US Coins

Charbneau so-called dollars topic of new book

Discover the World of Charbneau So-Called Dollars, a new book by Jeff Shevlin and William D. Hyder, will make its debut in Rosemont, Ill., Aug. 16 to 20 during the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money.

The show will be conducted at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

Shevlin and Hyder will deliver a Numismatic Theater presentation at 11 a.m. Aug. 19 on collecting “Charbneau Dollars from the Golden Gate International Exposition” and will be at the ANA Library table from 2 to 3 p.m. the same day to sign copies of their book.

In the 94-page, 8.5-inch by 11-inch book — available in a full-color hardcover edition and a limited-edition, signed and numbered, collector’s leather-bound version — Shevlin and Hyder examine the history, art and architecture of the Golden Gate International Exposition, which inspired Jules Charbneau’s design for his souvenir gold dollars.

The exposition was opened initially from Feb. 18, 1939, through Oct. 29, 1939, and reopened from May 25, 1940, through Sept. 29, 1940.

The book tells Charbneau’s life story and helps the collector better understand the man behind the popular medals. Charbneau entered numismatic history when he designed the Alaska Gold souvenir medals struck for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909.

The heart of the book is Shevlin’s in-depth analysis of the 13 known varieties of the Charbneau dollar. Each variety is illustrated with detailed photographs produced by numismatic photographer Todd Pollack. The images are enlarged 14 times from the 12-millimeter diameter of the actual medals.

Shevlin and Hyder’s study ends by placing the Charbneau so-called dollar within the tradition of small gold exposition souvenir pieces struck for Farran Zerbe and others in the early 1900s. Although they could not legally be called coins, it is clear that those who issued them marketed them as if they were coins, according to the authors.

The book can be ordered from So-Called Books, 7737 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite 250, Carmichael, California 95608. The hardcover editions are priced at $34.95. The signed and numbered collector’s leather-bound edition, limited to 75 copies, is available for $95. Shipping is $4.50 per book, for either edition. California orders must add 9.25 percent sales tax.

For more information visit online at, telephone the firm at (916) 955-2569 or email the business at ¦

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