SOUTH KOREA, enigmatic token or medallet


SOUTH KOREA, token, no date (c. 1910-40s?), Obverse: CHUN (army) in 10mm circle, all incuse, engraved,Reverse: blank, apparently handmade planchet punched out of a sheet, brass, slightly magnetic,20-21mm, 3.8g, VF

1 in stock

SKU: 295655 Categories: ,


Ex-Fisher collection. His holder says obtained in (South) Korea.

This might not even be a token. It might be a personal handmade object. There is a tradition of soldiers stuck somewhere, nothing to do, decorating shell casings or carving a souvenir out of some spare piece of metal lying around.

Use of struck tokens in East Asia was not as common as in Europe or the Americas. No Korean tokens can be considered common, though some are fairly cheap. Probably all of them are 20th 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.