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Tokens

Tokens are coin-like objects that can be made out of various materials. Most tokens are metal, but some are made out of plastic, wood, leather, or porcelain. While coins are typically produced by government authorities, tokens tend to be issued by private businesses. Exceptions to both of these rules exist in the form of currency tokens.

Most collectible tokens are those that relate to specific services, such as transit authorities, parking meters, or phone booths. Staff tokens, also known as scrip, reveal the dark side of tokens. Some 19th century companies, especially mining companies, would issue their employees tokens as pay instead of actual money. These company tokens would be used by the workers to purchase goods from the company's store, often at tremendously inflated prices. This allowed companies to pay their workers a slave wage while still ensuring their dependency upon the company itself.

Wooden nickels are curious varieties of tokens. While their modern origins lie in the grim era of the Great Depression, wooden nickels have come to signify cheap souvenirs. In recent years, wooden nickels have gained a niche popularity due to their ease of production and personalization, which allows them to be used by geocachers as calling cards.


Quick Facts

  • Israel's telephone tokens, while no longer required to use public telephones, have gained notoriety as necklace pendants due to their interesting markings, curious horizontal bar stamp, and central hole punch
  • Casino patrons exchange money for tokens or chips, then use thenm within the casino to play games. Casino tokens are frequently the size of Eisenhower dollars
  • The United States used telephone tokens before World War II. During the War, however, these tokens were discontinued and almost all of them were melted down to make shell casings

Recommended Items at Auction

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1837 Hard Times Merchants Exchange Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1837 Hard Times Merchants Exchange Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$219 Bids
1864 Lanphear Seal Presses Cincinnati OH Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1864 Lanphear Seal Presses Cincinnati OH Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$217 Bids
1841 Webster Credit Currency Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1841 Webster Credit Currency Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$317 Bids
1836 American Institute New York Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1836 American Institute New York Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$217 Bids
1857 Bank of Upper Canada large copper token. Neat coin.
Jun 24, 5:00 PM EDT
1857 Bank of Upper Canada large copper token. Neat coin.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$56 Bids
1863 Washington Equestrian Statue / UNION FOR EVER. Fuld-176/271 b Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 Washington Equestrian Statue / UNION FOR EVER. Fuld-176/271 b Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$216 Bids
1863 Civil War Patriotic Flag Of Our Union Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 Civil War Patriotic Flag Of Our Union Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$216 Bids
American Institute Of New York Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
American Institute Of New York Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$176 Bids
1837 Hard Times. Executive Experiment Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1837 Hard Times. Executive Experiment Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$236 Bids
Merchants Exchange Wall St. New York Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
Merchants Exchange Wall St. New York Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$216 Bids
1863 Civil War John Schun Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 Civil War John Schun Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$125 Bids
1837 Executive Experiment Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1837 Executive Experiment Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$215 Bids
1837 Hard Times Specie Payment Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1837 Hard Times Specie Payment Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$165 Bids
1863 Civil War Broas Pie Baker One Country Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 Civil War Broas Pie Baker One Country Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$114 Bids
Limited Edition .999 FINE SILVER CENTER Golden Nugget Casino $10 Gaming Token
Jul 01, 5:00 PM EDT
Limited Edition .999 FINE SILVER CENTER Golden Nugget Casino $10 Gaming Token
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$64 Bids
1863 United We Stand Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 United We Stand Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$104 Bids
Limited Edition .999 FINE SILVER Reno Hilton Casino $10 Gaming Token
Jun 22, 7:00 PM EDT
Limited Edition .999 FINE SILVER Reno Hilton Casino $10 Gaming Token
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$144 Bids
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BULK LOT OF 10+LBS OF COMMEMORATIVE COINS & TOKENS
Jun 23, 9:00 AM MST
BULK LOT OF 10+LBS OF COMMEMORATIVE COINS & TOKENS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$854 Bids
LOT OF 10 OLD WEST SALOON WHORE HOUSE TOKENS
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
LOT OF 10 OLD WEST SALOON WHORE HOUSE TOKENS
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $80- $150
$504 Bids
1863 Civil War Oliver Boutwell Troy N.Y Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 Civil War Oliver Boutwell Troy N.Y Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$114 Bids
1863 Civil War Robinson Ballou Troy N.Y Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 Civil War Robinson Ballou Troy N.Y Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$114 Bids
1863 Civil War Sherwood and Hopson China Emporium Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 Civil War Sherwood and Hopson China Emporium Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$214 Bids
1864 Hard Times Our Army Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1864 Hard Times Our Army Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$104 Bids
1863 Civil War French Liberty Wilson's 1 Medal Store Token
Jun 28, 6:00 PM EDT
1863 Civil War French Liberty Wilson's 1 Medal Store Token
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$134 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Tokens


Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Mebane Antique Auction

Mebane Antique Auction

Figlio Designs LLC

Figlio Designs LLC

Leski Auctions Pty Ltd

Leski Auctions Pty Ltd