The 2016 presidential election hitting new heights, or depths, of nastiness

Election to collection: Campaign collectibles try to promote candidates amid mudslinging
By , Coin World
Published : 10/29/16
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This is the seventh and final part of a multi-part series on Presidential campaign collectibles from the Nov. 7, 2016, monthly issue of Coin World:

The 2016 presidential campaign will likely go down in the record books as one of the most derisive and divisive in American political history.

The barbs, patronizing remarks and mudslinging thrown between Republican candidate and political neophyte Donald Trump and Democratic candidate and veteran politician and former first lady Hillary Clinton opened the door ever so slightly for third-party candidates like Libertarian Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, because many voters feel they really don’t have a clear-cut choice.

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In many a comment, both Trump and Clinton have accused each other of being deeply misinformed on the issues or outright lying.


Trump Clinton medalIf you still haven’t seen enough of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there’s a medal for you: And for those having trouble deciding on two 2016 presidential candidates, it might be extra useful.


Johnson’s stumbles, making a number of gaffes during television and radio interviews especially on foreign affairs, and the arrest of Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, in connection with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, likely took a lot of steam out of their presidential candidacies.

Yet, the contentiousness of the 2016 presidential campaign may be considered a windfall to collectors of political memorabilia seeking to add buttons, medals, pins, badges, stickered coins, silver rounds and more to their candidate assemblages.

More often than not, the political campaign items carry a message issued in support of the candidate. There are, however, several pieces issued as pot shots at an opposing candidate’s perceived or real weak spots.

The race for the Republican Party’s nomination, which Trump secured, saw nearly two dozen candidates vying for the honor, with political items issued for each of them in the early stages of their candidacy.

The list of contenders slowly dwindled as candidates quit or otherwise suspended their campaigns.

The Democrats had a handful of contenders, with Bernie Sanders providing serious competition against Clinton.

And the third-party candidates, although they likely will not win the White House in the end, have had the opportunity to get their message out to the voting public.

What to collect from the 2016 election

Online searches through Google and other search engines will yield a multitude of political collectibles issued in association with the 2016 presidential campaign.

Results on eBay, too, were abundant.

Many of the items offered could be purchased for less than $50 each, but some prices were higher, especially if pieces were issued in small quantities, had limited distribution or were struck in precious metals.

Collectors may go beyond focus on a particular candidate, or a wide-angled “one of each” approach, and may consider adding items associated with the national conventions held by the respective political parties.

Trump’s leading campaign mantra, his “Make America Great Again” slogan is found on many Trump political collectibles, with and without his eventual vice presidential running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

For Hillary Clinton, the main slogan is “Stronger Together”; her campaign also uses “I’m with her” and a logo depicting an onward arrow through a capital letter H, used where Hs appear in her signage. Collectibles can be found bearing images and/or slogans of Clinton alone and with her running mate, Tim Kaine.

Bernie Sanders’ supporters were quick to market the play on words, “Feel the Bern.”

Gary Johnson presidential campaign items can be found bearing messages like “Live Free” and “Make America Sane Again.” Johnson items include those with and without his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. 

The Stein and Baraka theme has been “It’s In Our Hands.”

Imagine the possibilities

Many issues are not officially affiliated with the candidates’ campaign organizations.

Bernard von NotHaus, monetary architect for the Liberty Dollar, executed Trump Dollar medallions in Brilliant Uncirculated copper for $5 and .999 fine 1-ounce silver for $25.

Offered for nearly $2,600, a price subject to change, is a Proof set containing three pieces:

➤ A special 2-ounce “Double Split Piedfort” Proof Trump Dollar with a gold-layered 1-ounce .999 fine silver planchet sandwiched between two half-ounce .9999 fine gold planchets.

➤ A Proof 1-ounce .999 fine silver Trump Dollar.

➤ A Proof 1-ounce pure copper Trump Dollar.

All three Proof medals are minted with eight strikes by the proofing press and a special Ultra High Relief obverse die to create a “flawless” mirror-like Proof finish that “cannot be confused” with the lower relief Satin-like finish on the Brilliant Uncirculated edition.

Complete details and pricing can be found here.

Among the most prolific 2016 presidential campaign collectibles available are the pinback buttons.

One such button likens Hillary Clinton to Rosie the Riveter, a symbol of the women who worked in factories producing the nation’s armaments and more during World War II.

Many Bernie Sanders-themed buttons push the “Feel the Bern” motto.

Many examples of Clinton and Sanders buttons are available at under $5 each.

An anti-Hillary Clinton campaign flipper token, produced in a variety of metallic compositions, has Donald Trumpin a badly sculptured portrait on the “Heads You Win” obverse and a “Tails We Lose” reverse depicting an unflattering portrait of Clinton. Examples have been offered on eBay for $12 each.

A 10-piece Hillary Clinton Coin and Card set includes colorized 2016 Shawnee National Forest quarter dollars bearing images of the Chicago-born candidate captured at various stages of her life. Sets can be found for under $20.

Silver Shield’s 1-ounce .999 fine silver round inscribed “Vote Nobody 2016 — Nobody Can Help Us” has a faceless obverse portrait whose outline holds a striking resemblance to former President Bill Clinton. Examples can be found for between $25 and $30.

An Anti-Trump button depicts a clown-faced Donald Trump with Uncle Sam top hat being rained on by $100 Federal Reserve notes. Jugate buttons can be found depicting Trump with his vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence. The 2.25-inch buttons can be located for under $5 each.

Enameled bronze 1.75-inch medallions were issued as commemorative souvenirs of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, both available to anyone who wanted to purchase them. United States Secret Service enameled challenge coins from both conventions are also available. The enameled pieces can be found for $60 to $70 each.

Jugate third-party candidate buttons depict Libertarian Johnson and running mate Weld, while the Green Party jugate buttons show Stein and running mate Baraka. Buttons are available for under $6 each.

A strong political statement is made on a 1-ounce, .999 fine silver round issued by Silver Shield, although it is open to interpretation.

Inscribed OLIGARCHY — YOU VOTE WE WIN, the medal’s obverse depicts a two-headed skeleton in a suit, dollar sign on the tie knot, while the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant stand in the background.

Pricing is tied to the spot price of silver, with a premium added depending on the distributor.

A silver-plated base metal 38-millimeter Trump medal marries a Trump portrait obverse with a reverse design copied from the American Eagle silver bullion coin, with coin inscriptions included. Examples are found for under $20.

A privately produced pro-Trump 30-millimeter novelty piece resembles the Kennedy half dollar, replete with the appearance of a P Mint mark. It is silver-plated over base metal. Examples are found online for about $15 each.

American Art Classics has issued a number of colorful political notes both for and against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, each available for only a few dollars each.

No matter how you determine to collect from the 2016 or earlier presidential campaigns, there are generally plenty of items from which to chose, and pieces in all price ranges.

It all depends on how much you want to spend and on what.

Read our entire series so far on collecting Presidential election materials:

1828 election collectiblesThe presidential election that might have been the nastiest on record : So nasty were the personal attacks between Jackson and the incumbent, John Quincy Adams, during the 1828 campaign that Jackson blamed the stress of the attacks for contributing to the death of his wife.


1828 election collectiblesThe election of 1800 saw a number of firsts among American presidential races : The presidential election of 1800 was a particularly uncomfortable one in political circles, pitting Vice President Thomas Jefferson against the president he was currently serving under, John Adams.


1860 presidential election collectiblesAbraham Lincoln faced more than one opponent in the 1860 presidential election : While it is not uncommon today for political candidates in state and national contents to stump in any small community that will host them, during the 1860 campaign the tactic was considered somewhat tacky.


1896 presidential election collectiblesSounds like jewelry, so why was a ‘cross of gold’ not considered a good thing in 1896? : The hotly contested presidential race of 1896 pitted former Ohio Gov. William McKinley, a Republican, against Democratic contender and perennial presidential wannabe William Jennings Bryan.


Teddy Roosevelt cigar cutterHow Theodore Roosevelt helped deliver the White House to Woodrow Wilson : The 1912 election witnessed the establishment of a new political entity, Roosevelt’s Progressive Party, also dubbed the Bull Moose Party. 


Franklin Roosevelt buttonFour-time winner Franklin Roosevelt generates opposition collectibles : The election of 1932 put Democrat and former New York governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt into the White House for the first of his unprecedented four terms. 


Donald Trump novelty noteThe 2016 presidential election hitting new heights, or depths, of nastiness : Campaign collectibles are trying to promote the 2016 presidential candidates amid all the mudslinging.

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