So-Called Dollars

So-Called Dollars are medals approximately the size of a silver dollar (33mm to 45mm) that were struck to commemorate a U.S. historical event. Struck since the early 1800's they fall into two categories, those associated with a major fair or exposition such as the 1892-1893 Columbia Exposition and those associated with an event in U.S. history such as the completion of the Erie Canal in 1826. In addition dollar-sized medals that are associated with the silver controversies, our national coinage or were actually designed as circulating media are also known as so-called dollars. Pieces were struck by the U.S. Mint as well as by private diesinkers. The following types of medals are not so-called dollars: military medals, religious medals, award medals, fraternal medals or advertising store card medals. The standard reference work on these tokens is “So-Called Dollars” by Harold E. Hibler and Charles V. Kappen.