A Project of the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment
University of Notre Dame, Department of Special Collections
by Louis Jordan

Images Coordinated by
James C. Spilman and the Colonial Newsletter Foundation

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FAQ: British Tokens

There are several series of British tokens. These are small change coins produced for individual merchants. They are called token because their intrinsic value is less than their face value. Guide books for each series are as follows:

The series of 1648-72 is described in Willima Boyne, Trade Tokens Issued in the Seventeenth Century (2 vols.) revised by George Williamson (sometimes called Williamson). These tokens predate the introduction of the British halfpenny.

A more common series of British token is known as the Conder series (after James Conder who wrote the first book on these items) consisting of thousands of privately minted token were produced in England during the late 1780's and 1790's. These are described in R. Dalton and S. H. Hamer, The Provincial Token Coinage of the 18th Century first published 1910-1918 with several reprints, most recently 1996 by Alan Davisson in Cold Springs, MN.

The extensive token series from the 19th century is listed in: W. J. Davis, The Nineteenth Century Token Coinage of Great Britain.