Chicago Coin Company acquires hoard of Virgil M. Brand pedigreed exonumia

Vestiges of former holdings of prominent numismatist total 1,355 items
By , Coin World
Published : 01/20/16
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A hoard of more than 1,300 tokens and medals from the estate of numismatist Virgil M. Brand that were originally destined for the melting pot as part of a divorce settlement has been acquired by the Chicago Coin Company.

The tokens and medals, some of which are unlisted in numismatic references, are considered to be the final vestiges of the numismatic holdings of the Chicago beer baron and prominent numismatist, who died in 1926. The tokens and medals have been stored away in the same wooden crates in which they were put into storage more than 80 years ago, according to Chicago Coin Company President William Burd.

Burd purchased in the fall of 2015 a wooden crate containing 1,230 medals and tokens and two crates containing 125 rectangular bronze USS Nashville medals still in their individual felt-lined boxes. The USS Nashville medals and their storage boxes suffered damage from their long-term storage in a moisture-laden environment, Burd said.

The 1,230 crated medals and tokens were laid out on multiple layers of tissue paper and then stacked inside one of the three crates.

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Burd said he is in the process of individually cataloging each piece before deciding how to market the exonumic items to collectors.

Among the items so far identified, Burd lists these:

➤ A 25-piece paper-wrapped roll of 50-millimeter aluminum tokens commemorating the building of the Masonic Fraternity Temple in Chicago in 1892. Written on the roll, presumably in Brand’s own handwriting, is ledger number 30801, an indication Brand purchased them in October 1905 among items totaling $84.63.

On the side of the crate is handwritten in four lines in capital letters MASONIC / TEMPLE / MEDALS / NO VALUE.

“Contrary to the wording on the crate there were very few Masonic related tokens included with the other items,” Burd said.

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