US Coins

CSNS's grant helps publish medal book

A collector’s presentation to the Ozarks’ Coin Club in Missouri on an obscure series of mostly aviation medals has grown into a full-fledged book with the help of a grant from the Central States Numismatic Society.

The Medal-of-the-Month Club, Created by Felicity Buranelli is a 78-page catalog compiled by Branson, Mo., collector Harry Waterson.

Buranelli, a New Yorker with an interest in early aviation, commissioned 10 medals and two emblems between 1941 and 1972. She released the medals under the “Medal-of-the-Month Club” name, but in reality they were issued irregularly in the course of three decades.

Waterson’s book was printed by the College Press of the College of the Ozarks and is the first to be printed with the help of the Central States grant program for authors.

The softcover 82-page book is available for $25 by mail from Underpaid Productions LLC, 383 River Drive, Branson, MO 65616.

In 2011, the Central States Board of Governors voted to budget $20,000 a year for grants to numismatic authors.

Waterson applied for a $1,000 grant from CSNS to print, promote and mail the Buranelli catalog.

The obverse of each Buranelli medal shows the bust of the person being commemorated. The reverse of each medal is devoted to a several-line legend about the person and usually notes that the piece is a medal of the month.

Medal honorees included the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart and the Rev. Bernard R. Hubbard. The Hubbard medal, the last in the series, was commissioned in 1951, but not struck until 1972. Hubbard, the only nonaviator honored, was famed in his day as the “glacier priest.” He erected a life-size statue of Christ on King Island, Alaska, just 75 miles from the Soviet Union in 1937.

The emblems Buranelli issued were boys and girls award medals intended to promote citizenship, service and world peace in the 1950s.

Central States grants

The CSNS grant program provides grants of up to $5,000 for such things as research expenses, photography and printing. Other grant recipients include Neil Shafer for a book on panic scrip, R.W. Julian for a book on the early years of the U.S. Mint, Fred Reed for a work on Civil War stamp envelopes and Dr. John Amato for a census of 1796 to 1797 Draped Bust half dollars.

CSNS Education Director Ray Lockwood said: “Central States is honored to help authors advance research into numismatic topics both on and off the main highways of our hobby. Copies of each book produced under the grant program are being placed in the American Numismatic Association and American Numismatic Society libraries to ensure that future generations of collectors are able to benefit [from] the research.”

Interested authors should contact Lockwood at 2075 E. Bocock Road, Marion, IN, 46952 or at for additional information. ¦

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