Sunday, June 10, 2012

01 Why a blog on armour coins ?

I guess we should start off with an introduction. My name is Phil Garrou. In the world of Armour coins I'm known as ArmourPhil. I grew up in Hells Kitchen in NYC in the 1950's and 60's  and one night a week my family had "beans and franks". During the summers of 1955, 1959 and 1960 Armour franks offered a premium for kids in their packages of franks which were different colored plastic coins baseball players.

I kept these coins tucked away in a cigar box and later in life , in the late 1970's, when my interest in BB cards and other memorabelia had been rekindled by co-worker Larry Duquette, I found that these coins were catalogued and were actually available at BB card shows in the area (Framingham MA). That really began my quest for the perfect collection.

With the inception of the internet and EBay I found that others had these coins and were willing to sell them , which has built up my sets at a much more rapid pace.

In the last decade, working with other collectors we have identified significant variations, especially in the 1955 set which had never been catalogued before.

The purpose of this blog will be to docuent all that we have found. Until recently we have kept Bob Lemke in the loop and he has been diligent getting any new variations into the Std Catalog of BB Cards (which he edited until his recent retirement) . He now informs me that the current editors have no interest in adding to, or correcting, past entries (no money in this) so I feel an obligation to get all the info that I have documented herein.

Armour coins are currntly graded by PSA and you can find a list of the graded collections here:

1955 [link]                         1959 [link]                       1960 [link]

An article that I wrote for PSA back in 2006 can be found here [link].

In each blog I will attempt to tackle a specific year or topic and share what I have learned with you. The biggest probem I forsee is that color is a key attribute to armour coins and the software in our computers may not allow you to see what the eye can very easily pick up in terms of color differences, but we will try the best we can.

For this blog I will finish with a picture of the coin that started it all, the 1955 Mantle in orange. You can see that Mantle is spelled "Mantel" on the front of the coin. This error was later corrected. This miss spelling is the common coin.

(click on picture for larger version)


  1. great start Phil and your color pictures are dead on

    1. Phil,

      I just purchased a Nellie Fox Armour Coin Collection and while in research mode, I came across your site. If you have time to look at the coins, please reach out to me.

      Thanks for your time and expertise on these coins.