USA DELAWARE prison token (1930s)


USA, DELAWARE, prison token, no date (1930s), Obverse: DELAWARE BOARD OF CORRECTIONS, Reverse: GOOD FOR 5ยข IN TRADE, brass, 21mm, VF

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Prisons in the USA used physical tokens for cantine purchases during the 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.