USA IOWA Good For token (1920s-30s)


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IOWA, token, no date (1920s-30s), Obverse: J.L. EGBERT GROCERIES CONFECTIONERY CIGARS & TOBACCO ROCK RAPIDS, IA., Reverse: GOOD FOR 1oo IN TRADE, brass, 29mm, crude, dark VF

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Dollar denominated “Good For” tokens are scarcer. You could buy lunch for a dime maybe. Get a big bag of groceries for a dollar.

There were two reasons people made “Good Fors.” One was coin shortages, which there were here and there in the USA of the early 20th century. The other was to get the money to come back by making change with tokens that you had to take back to the store to spend. Of course, they could also give them out in premiums too.

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.