FRANCE PERPIGNAN Military token 1914-18


FRANCE, PERPIGNAN, token, no date (1914-18), Obverse: 53E MESS DES SOUS-OFFICIERS, Reverse: 25c, star countermark, bronze, 22mm, L11.3, cor, AU

1 in stock

SKU: 2731273 Categories: ,


France made extensive use of local currency during and after World War I. Tokens were used in military canteens too. The thought was to keep the “real” money for government use.

France has been a hotbed of numismatic activity since Celtic times in the 3rd century BC. People making their own coins (tokens, imitations, counterfeits) was a normal activity wherever and whenever there was a coin shortage. Keeping in mind, of course, in this coinless age, that coins were THE way people did business until the 20th century. In France they were using tokens in the normal, local way we think of tokens being used, from the 15th century.

A token is used like a coin but is not a coin. Rather, it stands for a coin without the value of the coin. Maybe its copper, but says its value is the same as a silver coin. Usually tokens were made privately, but sometimes governments got involved.

The word “exonumia” is used to describe all kinds of things that are “like” coins but are not coins. I wrote a blog post on that subject. Basic categories: 1. used like a coin but not issued by a national government, 2. looks like a coin but not made for spending, 3. other things that we are interested in.