Annual token jamboree boasts Holabird Western Americana auction

March 25 sale in conjunction with Western States Token Society gathering
By , Coin World
Published : 03/13/17
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A 162-lot auction dedicated to tokens and medals will be held at 6 p.m. Pacific Time March 25 by Holabird Western Americana LLC at The National Hotel in Jackson, Calif.

The sale is being conducted in conjunction with the Western States Token Society annual jamboree.

Among the tokens offered is one referencing renowned California swindler C.C. Julian; a bell-shaped piece from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco; a good-for mirror from Mountain Home, Idaho; and a good-for token from the Polin Brothers in Goldfield, Nev., and Oatman, Ariz., to be used, among other places, at the Northern Saloon in Goldfield.

C.C. Julian

The 42-millimeter octagonal silver medal issued by C.C. Julian references the New Monte Cristo Mine in Arizona, one of the many enterprises concerning which the noted swindler is credited with defrauding investors.

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According to the auction lot description, during the early 1920s, Julian purchased marginal oil leases and promoted the Julian Petroleum Corp. in Los Angeles; he also founded the town of Leadfield in Death Valley, for which he bilked additional investors.

The New Monte Cristo Mine medal, dated 1927, was presented to prospective major investors. The operation quickly folded.

Julian picked up stakes to promote oil in the fields of Oklahoma. Julian died a pauper in Shanghai, China, and was buried in a cheap pine box on May 11, 1934.

PPIE token

The Panama Pacific International Exposition from 1915 in San Francisco is celebrated on a 43-millimeter bell-shaped token referencing the California mission bell.

The PPIE souvenir is inscribed SAN FRANCISCO and 1915 on the obverse with THE CALIFORNIA MISSION BELL in four lines on the reverse. The obverse also has an abalone shell inset.

Idaho mirror

A. Rosenheim in Mountain Home, Idaho, issued a “Good for 12½¢ in trade” advertising mirror that measures 56 millimeters in diameter. It carries an estimate of $1,500 to $2,000.

Generally the obverse of an advertising mirror bears advertising, with or without an image, and is encased in celluloid, while the reverse has a reflective surface.

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The Rosenheim mirror features an image of a provocatively clad woman with an elaborate hat, a common theme on advertising mirrors of that era, intended to catch the eyes of customers. 

Because of the cost associated with manufacturing mirrors, few are believed to have been redeemed for their face value, according to Hal V. Dunn in Catalog of Western Good For Trade Mirrors.

Polin Brothers

The 20-millimeter bronze token, graded and encapsulated About Uncirculated 55 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., was issued by the Polin Brothers from Oatman, Ariz., and Goldfield, Nev. The token was good for 6.25 cents in trade.

According to the auction lot description, “ ‘Tex’ Rickard and his partners operated the Northern Saloon. To promote Goldfield, he stage a prize fight on Labor Day, 1906. Joe Gans and Battling Nelson fought for the Lightweight Championship of the World. In the 42nd round Nelson was disqualified and Gans declared the winner of the $30,000 purse.”

The token is accompanied by an 8.5-inch by 6.5-inch photo depicting the crowd at the Northern Saloon in Goldfield witnessing the closing of gambling at noon on Oct. 1, 1910.

The lot carries an estimate of $300 to $500. 

For a copy of the auction catalog, contact

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