Tokens

Posted on 9/1/2005

With greater interest in the various token series, improper storage methods should be a thing of the past.

It is an unfortunate reality, but oftentimes when a numismatic item has a nominal value, it will suffer with less than ideal storage. This is the fate tokens have long endured. Until a recent surge in popularity, tokens have often taken a backseat to their standard issue cousins in terms of both their popularity and their value. The result of this has been storage in holders and in environments that have not been the best to promote long-term stability and those ill-effects abound.

Residues can often obscure the surface beauty of a coin or a token. That is what was covering the obverse of this Civil War Token depicting a patriotic eagle in flight. Civil War Tokens are found in two varieties—those issued by specific merchants known and those depicting purely patriotic design themes with no mention of specific merchants. Civil War Tokens are cataloged in two references written by George and Melvin Fuld. Once the residues are removed from the surface of this token, the details are more vivid and the token is much more stable for its long-term storage and enjoyment.

Another large type of tokens NCS frequently works on is what is known as a Conder Token. These tokens were issued in Britain at the end of the 18th century to provide small denomination money in circulation. Usually representing ½ penny in value, many tokens feature designs advertising merchants through political and social themes as well as cultural themes are also common. The Conder name to these tokens is taken from the name of an author of an early catalog of these tokens. Just as with other token types, many of these tokens have been poorly stored resulting in heavy residues being deposited on the surfaces of the tokens. This politically themed Conder Token had thick residues hiding detail and brilliant surfaces. After the conservation, we can see this token’s true beauty.

So-called Dollars are medals issued in America mostly at the end of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. These medals are typically large, around the size of the contemporary silver dollar or half dollar and feature designs commemorating places, events, people, or things. This medal conserved by NCS was issued in 1876 to commemorate the Centennial Exposition that year in Philadelphia. Thick residues were hiding the surface of this pewter metal almost appearing as corrosion. With professional conservation, those residues were carefully removed to reveal the medal’s details once again.

With greater interest in the various token series, improper storage methods should be a thing of the past. For a complete list of the types of tokens and medals NCS will readily conserve and encapsulate, visit our website www.NCScoin.com.

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