History of Maryland Token and Medal Society

Founding & Mission

The Maryland Token and Medal Society was founded in 1979 by A.Vernon Taylor and Millard W. Hajek. Realizing the need to establish a club where like-minded exonumia collectors could meet and share knowledge, a meeting was held in April of that year at the Maryland State Numismatic Association Convention. There it was decided to found MD TAMS, and the club was born.

Over the next two years the club grew and in July 1981 the club was incorporated. Shortly thereafter, the club acquired the status of a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

From its inception, MD TAMS focused its emphasis on education, and the need to document Maryland’s long and rich history of token and medal emissions.

At its start, the two primary goals of the society were to launch a quarterly journal and a compile catalog of all known Maryland merchant tokens. In the Fall of 1979 the inaugural edition of MD TAMS Journal was published.

Premier of Maryland Merchant Tokens Catalog

Maryland Merchant Tokens by David E. Schenkman

A mere seven years later in 1986 MD TAMS realized its second goal. A comprehensive catalog authored by David E. Schenkman was published. The 225 page hard cover book was the first of its kind for Maryland, and lists over 1500 merchant tokens.

Exquisitely researched, the book contains over 400 specimen photographs, and provides a vast array of historical context. That same year the Token And Medal Society (TAMS) awarded the book its golden Sandra Rae Mishler Cataloging Award.

Over the next subsequent 20 years the society steadily grew in both membership, and equally important, continued its mission of research, education, and exonumismatic documentation. Periodic supplements to the Maryland Merchant Tokens book were released, and quarterly editions of the MD TAMS Journal continued.


In 2004 MD TAMS celebrated a milestone by publishing the 100th issue of the MD TAMS Journal. To date, over 140 issues have been published.