Medal: US Mexican Border (So-Called Dollar)  1914 to 1921
Medal: US Mexican Border (So-Called Dollar) 1914 to 1921

Hello Sandra -- You have an interesting piece from one of the many interesting corners of numismatics (coin collecting). You have a large medal, about the size of a silver dollar, that commemorates a public or special event, a famous person, or a famous place. Your example is from US Army operations on the Mexican border during the time of the Mexican Revolution. Other examples would include world's fairs, town or state anniversaries, statue dedications, and other events or figures in American history. People call these So-Called Dollars and they are a subset of the broader class of numismatics called exonumia.

If you go to eBay and do a search on 'so-called dollars' you will see listings for many different medals that meet this broad definition. Condition, as always, directly affects value. Medals that are worn, stained, cleaned, or scratched will always be worth much less than those in pristine condition. Typical retail prices range from $10 to $100 US dollars, perhaps rising to $200 for a rare specimen. An average price for a medal in good condition is about $50.

worn: $20 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $40
well preserved: $60
fully uncirculated: $100

Remember that if a medal sells retail to collectors for, say, $50, a dealer would probably pay $15 to $20 for it. Mark-up on medals is more than coins, because there are far fewer medal collectors than coin collectors.


You can see a superb web site on so-called dollars at (where else?) John Raymond is the numismatist who runs the site, and CoinQuest thanks John for use of the image you see here. At the site, you will find many images of fine so-called dollars in John's collection, and you will also learn about the reference material that is essential for any serious collector of these neat pieces.

Coin: 8038 , Genre: Medals
Requested by: Sandra, Fri, 01-Jul-2011 16:40:23 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Fri, 10-Aug-2012 03:27:06 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Sun, 19-Nov-2017 13:33:03 GMT
Requester description: 1916 One side says 'Called to the colors' and 'Service on the Mexican border' and has a man squating with a rifle with cactus behind him. The other side has an Eagle with 34 stars and says 'Trust in the Lord and keep your powder dry'.
Tags: medal mexican mexico border dollar medallion medals medalion badge medallic medaille medallions mex mexicana mexicanos mexio mexicano boarder moulding bordering bounded bordered boundrey boundary dollare dolls doller dol dollars one colors flag service man squating squatting rifle cactus eagle stars star trust lord powder dry ones colours blanket banner flags banners bannered male mens mans pistoles gun muskets pistole guns pistol rifles musket eaglets egals egal eagles eagel starrs trvst arrows arrow spears spear arrowheads javelin harpoon lance spearing hawk falcon starburst burst


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Tue, 20-Mar-2018 09:41:32 GMT, unknown: 5806564