USA Civil War token PRO BONO PUBLICO NEW YORK (1863)


USA, Civil War token, no date (1863), Obverse: shield on star, PRO BONO PUBLICO, Reverse: NEW YORK in wreath, letters 1.8mm tall, 19mm, dies 191/443, slightly off center, 20 degree reverse die rotation, aXF

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The thousands of tokens made in the North during the Civil War were only made during 1863 and part of 1864, after which they were made illegal.

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.