So-Called Dollar Books

So-Called Dollars Volume I: United States Expositions

Just Released in 2023 – the latest publication on So-Called Dollars by Jeff Shevlin & Bill Hyder, “So-Called Dollars Volume I – United States Expositions”. It is a new standard reference book for So-Called Dollars, historical U.S. medals. The book catalogs So-Called Dollars from 67 different expositions held in the U.S., from the 1853 New York Crystal Palace through the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It includes detailed information never published before.

Kenneth Bressett in his preface for the book states “While reviewing this latest numismatic treat I was especially impressed by the thoroughness of the research and dedication to completeness shown on every page that go way beyond making it simply a mere catalog of types and designs, but one that is calculated to teach and inspire a new interest in the subject. Using this as a guide, collectors can create their own goals, decide what interests them most, and how they can begin to satisfy their individual interest in these fascinating pieces.”

Hardbound, 8 ½ x 11, 270 pages, full color editions are $59.95. A signed and numbered collectors gold-foil-bound edition which has the Official Medal struck by the United States Mint for the 1962 Settle World’s Fair encased in the cover, limited to 100 copies, is available for $149.95. Shipping is $4.50 per book.

So-Called Dollars from the Pacific Coast Expositions

The publication on so-called dollars by Jeff Shevlin & Bill Hyder So-Called Dollars from the Pacific Coast Expositions won awards at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money as the Best Book of the Year in 2019 on medals and tokens. We hope you order it and know you will enjoy reading it. The 1894 Midwinter chapter is on-line for viewing:

1894 California Midwinter Exposition (pdf)

Q. David Bowers in his preface for the book states “With its captivating narrative, color pictures, and other details you will have an ‘I am here’ experience when reading about the expositions… I suspect this will be a dangerous book to own – for it might compel you to collect so-called dollars.”

Each chapter consists of two components, a story component and a catalog component. The story component talks about the exciting things that happened at the expositions listed below and the catalog component identifies all of the commemorative so-called dollar medals that were struck for each exposition.

• 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition
• 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition
• 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
• 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition
• 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition
• 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition
• 1939-40 Golden Gate International Expositions
• 1962 Seattle World’s Fair Exposition

Hardbound, 8 ½ x 11, 300 page, full color editions are $59.95. A signed and numbered collector’s leather-bound edition which has a medal encased in the cover that was struck from original dies engraved by George Morgan for the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, limited to 100 copies, is available for $149.95. Shipping is $4.50 per book.

So-Called Dollar Collectors Pocket Price Guide

The “So-Called Dollar Collectors Pocket Price Guide” provides values for so-called dollars and the 2018 version is published in conjunction with the bookSo-Called Dollars from the Pacific Coast expositions”.

In addition to providing values for so-called dollars from the Pacific Coast expositions in five different grades the Pocket Price Guide has high quality photos of each type, rarity information and identifies all the various metal compositions they were struck in. There is a check box for each variety with room for notes so collectors can keep track of what they have and what they are looking for. Each year additional so-called dollars will be added to the Pocket Price Guide until all so-called dollars are included.

Collectors interested in medals from the eight expositions held on the Pacific Coast will now have photos and information on medals they probably did not know existed.

Values for co-called dollars fluctuate just as values for U.S. coins fluctuate. Many factors influence their values and the Collectors Pocket Price Guide will be published annually to provide collectors and dealers with valuable pricing information. The Pocket Price Guide is $19.95. Shipping is $4.50.


Shevlin and his co-author, William D. Hyder, examine the history, art, and architecture of the Golden Gate International Exposition that inspired Jules Charbneau’s design for his souvenir gold dollars. They tell Jules Charbneau’s life story as well to help the collector better understand the man behind the popular medals, and they uncover his earlier entry into numismatic history when he designed the popular 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 thirteen known varieties of the Charbneau dollar, each personally examined and verified by the senior author. Each variety is illustrated with exceptionally detailed photographs produced by numismatic photographer, Todd Pollack. The images, enlarged 14 times the 12mm diameter of the actual medals, allow the reader the opportunity to fully appreciate the elegance of the design and the artistry of the engraver.

Their story ends by placing the Charbneau so-called dollar within the tradition of small gold exposition souvenirs 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.

Medal specialist, D. Wayne Johnson, says in his Preface for the book, “This is a delightful story about the artist, the event, and the highly collectible little numismatic items. Call them dollars, or call them medals, you are extremely fortunate if you own even one of Charbneau’s creations.”

Discover the World of Charbneau So-Called Dollars won awards at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money as the Best Book of the Year on medals and tokens.

Hardbound, 8 ½ x 11 full color edition $34.95. Deluxe collector’s leather-bound edition limited to 75 copies is available for $95. Shipping is $4.50.