Cunningham Exonumia

Your expert in all things "outside numismatics"

Why Exonumia

We get asked a lot, "So, what is exonumia?"

Exonumia (from exo - Greek, meaning out of and nummus - Latin, meaning coin) translates to outside of coins.  In common parlance exonumia describes items outside of money issued by a governmental body.  Exonumia encompasses a wide variety of collectibles that may resemble money, but were not created to be legal tender.  These items tend to be valued more for their historical significance and design than their rarity, unlike the bulk of numismatic material.  Despite it's provenance, the Wikipedia article on exonumia is concise and informative on the topic.

Paul A. Cunningham first started collecting coins in the late 1950s but quickly found a passion for the historic nature of exonumia.  His personal interest revolves around US Military tokens, Abraham Lincoln items, and Michigan trade tokens. After retiring from a successful 34-year teaching career, Paul turned his focus to Cunningham Exonumia full-time.  We have a brisk business in the sale and purchase of most exonumia items.  Please see the next section for more information.

Exonumia For Sale

We are always looking for interesting exonumia to purchase.  If you have any of the following items, please email us for a quote:  American Indians; A.N.A. awards and other medals; Animals; Anti-slavery tokens and medals; Apothecary weights; Asian-American tokens; Automotive (tokens and medals, like GM’s 25th Ann.); Aviation tokens and medals; Beer and booze tokens; Bimetallic tokens; Brothel tokens (genuine only!); Brunswick Balke tokens; Canadian, Breton tokens; Charge coins; Circus tokens; Civil war tokens, store cards, patriotics and sutler tokens and encased postage; Coal tokens; Elongated coins, half-cents to $20 gold; Communion tokens; Counterstamped coins; Dairy tokens; Encased coins, half cents through $20 gold pieces; Counters; Cut-out coins; Fairs and expos; Error tokens; Fakes/fantasies; Hard Times tokens; Europe (France, England, Germany and Italy tokens); KKK tokens; Latin America, including South and Central America Mexico and the Caribbean tokens; Lincoln tokens, medal and plaques; Love tokens; Lumber tokens; Masonic “penny” tokens; Medical tokens and medals; Magic tokens; Medical (quack!) Batteries; Military, U.S; Miniatures; Oceania, including Australia; Picker tokens, Playboy collectibles, political tokens and medals; Prison money; Relic tokens and medals; Repoussee (popout) coins; Rulau/Miller tokens; Saloon tokens; Scouts, boy and girl; Sales tax tokens; Shell cards; Ships, tokens and medals; So-called dollars and half dollars; Space tokens and medals; Spiel marke; Spinner tokens; Sports tokens and medals; Swastika tokens; Telephone tokens;  Theater tokens and medals; and Washington tokens and medals.

We also seek medals of all persuasion, such as Society of Medallists, Greengarden, Circle of Friends, Old Time Assay Commission, various statehood medals, World’s Fair awards and commemorations, life saving, art deco and many others. Ask!

We have several full catalogs available online, both with and without photos.  
Encased Coins
American Numismatic Association
  • Encased Postage

    "In the early 1860s John Gault patented a system by which current Federal postage stamps were slabbed or encased in small, round, brass frames.  The frames had the name of a businesses on the side oppose the stamp and were freely circulated because of the scarcity of enough legal coinage to meet the needs of the wartime populace." 
      Who is John Gault? sidebar from   Lincoln's Metallic Imagery pg. 35,    
       Cunningham 2015

  • Encased Coins

    Commonly used as advertisements for specific businesses starting in the early 1900's, encased coins come in a variety of denominations.  The metal around the coin is known as the 'holder' and bears the message of the manufacturer, either advertisement, commemoration, or even a good-for message.  Many urge individuals to keep the coin for good luck.
  • ANA Medals/Tokens

    We recently got our hands on a large collection of tokens and medals from the ANA with a variety of types and purposes.  This list is not comprehensive: we have several varieties with copies in the dozens.
  • Lincoln Plaques

    We have a lovely selection of plaques, both mounted on marble and un-mounted.  For an up-to-date selection, please email us.
  • Other Exonumia

    Although we don't have a full listing of our stock online, we promise that we have a great selection in our physical stock.  Please email us or stop by and see us at the next show to browse our collection.
  • Books

    The Print Media section has a list of publications by Paul but we stock a full selection of references and catalogs on tokens and other exonumia.  Please inquire about current stock.

Print Media

Paul has dozens of writing credits to his name between Token and Medal Society (TAMS), Civil War Token Society (CWTS) publications and his own books.  Listed here are full books he's published himself under the Michigan Exonumia Publishers of Tecumseh, Michigan umbrella.  All books are fully stocked and for sale through the links on Amazon or directly from Cunningham Exonumia.  Just send us an email.  Prices listed on this page include postage if ordered by phone or email.

Lincoln's Metallic Imagery:  
A Catalog And Price List of Lincoln Coins, Tokens, Medals, and Plaques

From nationally and internationally well-known exonumist Paul A. Cunningham comes the completely updated and expanded version of King's Lincoln in Numismatics. Listing all known metallic exonumia bearing Abraham Lincoln's likeness, photos are featured with concise item descriptions, logically organized and easily referenced. This stunning hardbound book features 1600 new, full-color photos, some never before seen by the public. Take a step back in time and trace Lincoln's life from his earliest political days in Illinois to his last days and beyond through the world of coins, tokens, medals and plaques. This book has something to offer all collectors of Lincoln paraphernalia.

Buy On Amazon


Michigan Trade Tokens

Published in 1986, Michigan Trade Tokens represents the most extensive guide to Michigan tokens representing monetary value ever produced.  Mr. Cunningham's first book features over 700 pages filled with descriptions and photographs of 6000-plus listings.  A must-own for collectors and hobbyists as well as historians. 

Buy on Amazon


Military Tokens of the United States - Vol. 1, Domestic Issues 

A revision of James Curto's several military token catalogs, this book includes tokens dated pre-Civil War to the Vietnam War.  Military tokens were commonly issued by the US Government as substitutes for legal tender to protect the interests of soldiers.  They were strictly used by the military and varied not only branch to branch but also between divisions down to units.  This volume, published in 1995, covers tokens that were produced and used domestically only.

Buy on Amazon

Military Tokens of the United States - Vol. 2, Foreign Issues 

Mr. Cunningham's second volume on US Military tokens covers issues specifically outside the US border including oceans.  Tokens date from around the Spanish-American War to the First Gulf War.  Both volumes are available for a joint price of $90 by email.

Buy on Amazon

Our Schedule

All dates are subject to cancellation.  If you'd like to see us at a show, please send us an email.

Whitman Expo

March 30-April 2, 2017
Baltimore, MD     

Michigan State Numismatic Society

April 14-16, 2017
Warren, MI

Central States Numismatic Society

April 26-29, 2017 
Schaumberg, IL

Pennsylvania Association of Numimatics

May 11-13, 2017
Monroeville, PA

Garden State Numismatic Society

May 18-20, 2017
Somerset, NJ

Whitman Expos 

June 22-25, 2017
Baltimore, MD

About Paul A. Cunningham

Paul A. Cunningham is a nationally known authority on American exonumia from the time period of the United States Civil War to the present.  He has been involved in exonumia since the late 1960s. He is a Life Member of the American Numismatic Association, The Token and Medal Society (TAMS), the Civil War Token Society (CWTS) and the American Vecturist Association (AVA).  He is also a Charter Member of the Casino Chips and Gaming Token Collectors Club, the National Token Collectors Association (NTCA), and the National Scrip Collectors Association. He has served as President of TAMS, CWTS and NTCA and was an officer of the AVA.  He is currently serving his second term as CWTS President.

He has authored four exonumia books including the long awaited Lincoln's Metallic Imagery, published July 2015. He has published more than 20 other titles for organizations such as the Elongated Collectors and for private collectors. His articles have appeared in many numismatic and exonumic journals. He published the journals of TAMS and CWTS for more than 25 years. You can find him at dozens of coin shows every year.

Contact Us For More Information

We do not have a 'brick and mortar' store but we are quick to respond to inquiries.  Email or call today.

Mailing Address
Paul Cunningham
PO Box 1
Tecumseh, MI 49286

How to reach us