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Token Money

tokens, varieties, issued, coinage, york and copper

TOKEN MONEY, a name in numismatics applied to pieces of money current only by sufferance and not coined by the authority of the state or govenunent. In England in the 16th century the national coinage was so un satisfactory and inconvenient that large num bers of private traders and merchants were im pelled to have halfpence and farthings manu factured for themselves. These 4tokens,° as they were called, were made of lead, pewter, latten, tin and even leather, and could only be made use of as currency at the shops or ware houses of their respective issuers. Notwith standing the endeavors made during several reigns to put a stop to the circulation of this unauthorized coinage, traders' tokens continued to multiply to an astonishing extent, until, in 1672, a proclamation was issued, prohibiting their making or use under severe penalties. From that date until 1787 the issue of private tokens entirely ceased; but in the latter year, owing to the great scarcity of government cop per coins, the Anglesey Copper Mines Company struck and put into circulation some 300 tons of copper pence and halfpence. The bold ex ample thus set was speedly followed by other trading firms all over the kingdom, and again the government found it necessary to take action in the matter, which it did by issuing a new na tional copper coinage. For some years the issue of private tokens was thus effectually checked; but in 1811 the authorized coinage again getting scarce, the copper companies and others recom menced the issue of batches of tokens. This went on until 27 July 1817, when the manu facture was prohibited by act of Parliament, and all tokens in currency *ordered to be with drawn from circulation by 1 Jan. 1818.

In the United States small coins became so scarce in lfka that tokens made' their appear ance in large quantities. They were of two classes, war or patriotic toicens, and trade or advertisement tokens. Both kinds were issued

with a mercantile view, since they passed for a cent and could be manufactured (in sufficient quantities) for much less. Cards and tokens appeared during 1862, 1863 and 1864. Of the patriotic or war tokens there were something like 400 varieties coined, including mulings and different metals, the latter largely restrikes. Of ori,ginal pairs of obverse and reverse there must have been less than 200. The common varieties bore the inscriptions ((Army and Navy,° and gNot One Cent.° The first coinage of trade tokens, or store cards, as they were sometimes called, tooic place in Cincinnati where nearly 900 varieties were issued, fully three time.s as many varieties as any other city issued except Nevi York. A number of other Western cities °soon followed the example. of Cincinnati, but it was not until the early part of 1863 that New York began to issue the famous Lindenmuller cents, of which there were more titan a million coined; these were followed by the Knicicer bocker tokens, consisting of many varieties. Altogether there were between 600 and 700 varieties issued from New York. Ohio issued about 1,300 varieties from 100 different cities and towns, more than any other State issued; New York State comes next after Ohio, with over 900 varieties. New Jersey had but few, and Pennsylvania not many; chiefly from Phila delphia and Pittsburgh. Detroit furnished as many advertisers as New York, and the rest of Michigan nearly as many as Cincinnati. Indiana had about 100; Illinois, including Chicago, not as many as Indiana; and Wisconsin nearly twice as many. When the government stopped the coinage of tokens in 1864 there were upward of 20,000,000 in circulation.