Civil War Tokens

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#11 Unread post by mhonzell »

This next token (F-17/388a) has strong ties to the period following the Revolutionary War when relations broke down between France and the US during John Adams presidency. The French were supposed to receive three ambassadors from the US, yet after arriving in France, were refused an audience for several weeks. Then, an emmissary approached the ambassadors demanding a bribe of $250,000 for the luxury of being seen (allow negotiations between France and the US to start.) The "offer" was unacceptable and Pinckney's acclaimed response was, "Millions for defence, but not a penny for tribute" This was the start of the Frency Quasi-war.

During the Civil War, France found it very difficult to remain neutral. They badly needed cotton and continually made efforts to negotiate with the South for trade. Both the Union and Britian repeatedly warned France to stay out of the South. The French heeded the warnings and eventually supplied the Union with $15M to build ironclad Monitors, leading the North to win the war.

The quote changed "penny" to "cent" and became a jab at the French for their earlier American snub.

Any ideas on why the beaver is at the bottom of the coin?
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F-17-388a-64BN (2).JPG
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Re: Civil War Tokens

#12 Unread post by dipper13 »

The beaver was a direct slam against France,the theme of your token also. In early America the French traded with the Northern Native Americans, the Iriquois and Algonquin tribes. Beaver was their goal and they later armed the tribes against the Brits. and colonists. This was a not so subtle reference to their treachery, the French and Indian war and the so called "beaver wars." Dan

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#13 Unread post by mhonzell »

I'll keep it simple today.
This one is a F-37/434a. (I mislabeled the picture.)

Similar Miss Liberty with cap, but a patriotic "Made is USA" logo on the back. Interestingly, the eagle stands over a globe. Was this a proclamation to the future of the US? Notice this Miss Liberty looks a bit upset compared to the last one.

It's hard to pin down the use of "For Public Accomodation", but I think it is a re-use of a phrase put on English shilling tokens made in Lancashire earlier in the 1800s. Britian had a similar problem with money and tokens were privately made to accomodate the continuance of trade.

When I first saw this one, I thought it must have been made without a collar. Looks like some of my ancient coins.
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Last edited by mhonzell on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#14 Unread post by mhonzell »

If you find an interest in a particular "type" of coin, get the reference book on them. It'll make life so much more interesting and easily pays for itself.

For Civil War Tokens, there are actually two, of which, I only bought one since my current preference is to collect Patriotic tokens. The other book is on the thousand, or so, Store Card tokens.

The book: Patriotic Civil War Tokens by George and Melvin Fuld, 5th edition (~$30: It's kind of silly, but it costs the same in paperback or hardback, so you decide.)

Full of cross-reference tables showing which dies were used with each other, materials of the planchets, varieties, rarity, who designed them, how to attribute each token, and of course, pictures. (Unfortunately, all the pictures are black and white and a bit grainy, for me, but the 1st edition was written in the 70s.)

I took these example photos with my cell phone.
Cover.jpg
Example History.jpg
How to attribute varieties of a particular die:
Variety Determination.jpg
And, tabular listings of each variety. (Other tables based on these Fuld number give much more information.)
Muling of Dies.jpg

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#15 Unread post by Paul »

m, i think when it comes to "variety" finds/collecting of these....they just seem, "not to popular" with the 'variety guyz', like me.....i can only take an educated guess here, but it might be that they DID NOT have any 'monetary value'....coupled with the fact that they were not a "U.S. MINT" produced item...??

the 'makers' of these, supposedly, were not as "skilled" as a u.s. mint die maker, so, in turn, there would be more errors....?
this is just what i 'read into' the info i get when talking to others like me in the error circles.....as "collect-ability" goes.
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Re: Civil War Tokens

#16 Unread post by mhonzell »

Yeah, I kind of came to that conclusion too.

Unlike coins, there are thousands of token designs/combinations. The only varieties that seem to get any distinction are full overstrikes and brokages. Then, they get new Fuld numbers and not a title on the variety.

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#17 Unread post by mhonzell »

This and the last two tokens show Lady Liberty on the obverse. It is not too hard to see the differences in each even though they all present the same lady.

The first has a plain head band and six-pointed stars encircling her. The second has text instead of stars around her and six stars on her head band. This one (a F-1/391a) has six pointed stars around her and seven stars on her head band.

There are other obvious differences in the face and hair curls. Each lead to these unique numbers assigned.

On the reverse, you can see around the edge the remains of die alignment strikes.

The reverse shows the obvious use of the tokens as a means of collateral in trade.
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Re: Civil War Tokens

#18 Unread post by PetesPockets55 »

PALH1 wrote:m, i think when it comes to "variety" finds/collecting of these....they just seem, "not to popular" with the 'variety guyz', like me.....i can only take an educated guess here, but it might be that they DID NOT have any 'monetary value'....coupled with the fact that they were not a "U.S. MINT" produced item...??

the 'makers' of these, supposedly, were not as "skilled" as a u.s. mint die maker, so, in turn, there would be more errors....?
this is just what i 'read into' the info i get when talking to others like me in the error circles.....as "collect-ability" goes.
:agree: But........
Does anyone here think interest is influenced by economics which is influenced by availability?
(supply and demand- capitalism is not always a four letter word widegrin ). When we first start collecting (through purchases), it is almost always about cost.
Tokens have lots of availability and are relatively affordable. Tokens can definitely squash some interest by the numbers of poor quality dies and strikes (all about volume to make a buck or "cent" as it were). We all like collecting the best example of the coin type we like, whether proof, large cents, FE, Lincoln, but most tokens are affordable.

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#19 Unread post by mhonzell »

Tokens are currently priced based on: authenticated and rarity.
Raw coins, even in superb condition are typically less than $50.
Authentication seems to approximately quadruple the price.
Grade is less important since an MS65 token may be showing a very poorly struck, but well kept token. And, conversely, a very well designed, intricately detailed token gets an AU58 for lack of luster, but is high on the rarity scale.

Rarity is a bit unique. We don't really know how many tokens of a particular variety were made. We can only assume based on the number of tokens found. This is similar to ancient coins. Tomorrow, some metal detecting fool may dig up a cache of these tokens making your R9 drop to a R2.

On the rarity scale:
A R1 is considered "common" with over 5000 known.
An R9 only has 2-5 known examples.

Along with rarity, some varieties ARE recognized and given unique Fuld numbers. They just don't list the common variety names on the holders, like "Brockage", "Overstrike", etc. Because only a few of these have been found, they are in the R7-R10 range and very costly.

But, think about that for a moment... if I told you there were only 5000 Indian Head Cents, what would they be worth? The problem stems not from the lack of unique tokens (thousands of designs/combinations were made.). It is the diversity of tokens and that they were not actually coinage (as Paul indicates) that is keeping them low in price.

As collectors discover this rich field of history, there may be a surge in value as the availabity shrinks quickly for the small numbers of tokens found for each unique combination.

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#20 Unread post by Paul »

PetesPockets55 wrote:
PALH1 wrote:m, i think when it comes to "variety" finds/collecting of these....they just seem, "not to popular" with the 'variety guyz', like me.....i can only take an educated guess here, but it might be that they DID NOT have any 'monetary value'....coupled with the fact that they were not a "U.S. MINT" produced item...??

the 'makers' of these, supposedly, were not as "skilled" as a u.s. mint die maker, so, in turn, there would be more errors....?
this is just what i 'read into' the info i get when talking to others like me in the error circles.....as "collect-ability" goes.
:agree: But........
Does anyone here think interest is influenced by economics which is influenced by availability?
(supply and demand- capitalism is not always a four letter word widegrin ). When we first start collecting (through purchases), it is almost always about cost.
Tokens have lots of availability and are relatively affordable. Tokens can definitely squash some interest by the numbers of poor quality dies and strikes (all about volume to make a buck or "cent" as it were). We all like collecting the best example of the coin type we like, whether proof, large cents, FE, Lincoln, but most tokens are affordable.
c, don't get me wrong....i like tokens, mainly the 'store cards'. i just don't have the time to 'research' the "kind" i would actually buy. the whole "concept" is fascinating.
i bought a 1857 PEI, as it was one i researched & found interesting.
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