Collectors of U.S. material find spooky array: Collecting the Macabre

Plethora of associated items from which to choose
By , Coin World
Published : 09/23/14
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Editor’s note: In the October monthly Coin World cover feature, several staff writers embraced the spirit of Halloween and highlighted the spookier items in numismatics. This is one of a series of articles from the Collecting the Macabre feature that will appear online at CoinWorld.com. 

Read more from the series:

As a child of the 1950s and 1960s in Dix Hills on New York’s Long Island, my television viewing opportunities included such shows — in black and white — as the “creepy and kooky” Addams Family and The Munsters.

While those two shows were comedic in nature, making light of the two mixed families of ghouls, the host of a local television program that featured horror movies often scared the bejeebers out of me more than the horror shows that followed his introduction.

Collectors of the numismatic macabre have a plethora of associated items from which to choose to create a collection bearing devices that are strange, unusual, scary, eerie, spooky and the creepy.

George Washington’s funeral

The Dec. 14, 1799, death of the nation’s first president spawned the production of a number of tribute medals to mark his passing.

Among these is the famous Washington Funeral medal with Skull & Crossbones reverse struck in silver and white metal. 

Almost all examples known are holed for suspension, as they were worn by mourners during funeral processions in memorial to the late president.

An Uncirculated silver example from the John J. Ford Jr. Collection was sold at auction May 11, 2004, by Stack’s for $34,500. A “Nearly Extremely Fine” silver specimen sold in the Ford sale for $7,762.50 as did a Very Fine silver example. A Fine silver example realized $5,462.50.

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