MEXICO DURANGO time check (1890s)


MEXICO, DURANGO, token, no date (1885-95 written on holder), Obverse: A.W.W.Co. VELARDENA DURANGO MEXICO VELARDENA UNIT, Reverse: FICHA 4785 DE TIEMPO, holed at top, brass, 32mm, R-nl, aVF

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Many agricultural operations in Mexico used tokens in the late 19th century. The labor system at the time incorporated many techniques that looked like slavery. Armed guards, indenture contracts, payment in tokens that could only be used at the country store. One of the reasons they had their revolution.

The reference used is Latin American Tokens, by Russell Rulau.

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.