Civil War tokens were produced in the early 1860s at a time when the public, fearful of the outcome of the war, was hoarding coins of all kinds, including copper-nickel Flying Eagle and Indian Head cents. To help fill the needs of trade, many different substitutes were made – including paper notes, encased postage stamps, government-issued postage currency and, important here, millions of copper cent-sized tokens.
These are marvelous in their variety and encompass many different motifs, from Indian and Liberty head varieties to political figures, ships, patriotic emblems, and more. Today in 2012 they are very collectible, with many scarce and even rare pieces available in the market for less than $50. Even great rarities, for which only a handful are known, an often be purchased for less than $500 and in beautiful Mint State.
I have collected Civil War tokens ever since I was a teenager, and my enthusiasm continues unabated. I will be telling the story of Civil War tokens, how they were made and how they were distributed, and will also have on hand information concerning the Civil War Token Society. This fine group publishes a quarterly magazine, The Civil War Token Journal, and yet, remarkably, dues are only $15 per year! I’ll tell you what: if you attend my presentation and would like to sign up for the Civil War Token Society, bring a $10 bill and I will contribute my own $5 bill. Imagine that!
Civil War tokens are a lot of fun, and I am sure you will enjoy learning more about them. See you there.