What were tokens really used for?

General discussions on tokens and medals.
michael
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Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:25 pm

What were tokens really used for?

Postby michael » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:29 pm

I have become interested in trade toekns over the last few months, but have not really figured out how they were used. If a business put out tokens, what were they worth, or how did you know? Could you only use it at their business, and in that case how did you get one? (trading merchandise/supplies/agricultural products, etc, and then use the token later?)

Likewise, with ones like the 'Ships, Colonies,Commerce' tokens - what value did they have, or what was the understanding about how to use them?

Thanks ! Love this hobby and learning about it.

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Lightw4re
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Re: What were tokens really used for?

Postby Lightw4re » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:26 am

It depends on each token. There were used for different reasons like the ones you mentioned.

There are a lot of varieties for 'Ships, Colonies,Commerce' tokens. Prices and values depend on which variety you got.

Shylo
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: What were tokens really used for?

Postby Shylo » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:00 pm

Tokens were very commonly used before 1859 as a means of currency for merchants as a means of trade and business.

Tokens are still used today... mostly select businesses will create a token to either sell or give to their customers that is redemable at their business... very much the same as it was a long time ago.

The only major difference is that currency is a lot more plentiful and accesible today than it was a long time ago.

Usually it was in the merchant that dictated the value of the currency as what purchasing power it had at their business.

michael
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Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: What were tokens really used for?

Postby michael » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:09 pm

So it would only be usable at their business, and you got one by ...... trading merchandise in?

Bill in Burl
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Golden Horseshoe, ONT

Re: What were tokens really used for?

Postby Bill in Burl » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:52 pm

Many banks made/issued tokens to make up for the lack of circulating coinage in Canada because England kept disapproving requests/authorization to either mint themselves FOR Canada, or allow Canada to mint their own, coins. Private merchants then did the same and, if they were the same size/weight of what the banks put out (and the banks were directly copying the size of Brit penny and 1/2 pennies), then they circulated freely as regular money. Before 1859, coinage circulating in Canada was a mishmash of Brit, Spanish, French, US and Mexican coins .. all with different exchange rates. At the time (even the 1850's) a penny bought alot.

Now, merchant or trade tokens that had "good for" or "redeemable" on the coin, rather than a denomination, would be good only at the issue store or one of the store's holdings.
Bill in Burl

michael
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: What were tokens really used for?

Postby michael » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:19 pm

Great, thank you.


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