In video arcades, they are also being phased out in favor of magnetic cards, which can also count how many tickets one has, allowing arcades to also do away with paper tickets.
However, a token coin typically has a much more limited use and is often issued by a private company, group, association or individual. In the case of "currency tokens" issued by a company but also recognized by the state there is a convergence between tokens and currency. Currency tokens issued by a company sometimes ceased to be merely "trade" tokens when they were sanctioned by a local government authority: In effect, the organization behind the tokens became the regional bank.
A classic example of this is the Strachan and Co trade tokens of East Griqualand in South Africa, which were used as currency by the indigenous people in the region from Their initial success resulted from the scarcity of small change in that remote region at that time. Similarly, in times of high inflation, tokens have sometimes taken on a currency role. Examples of this are Italian and Israeli telephone tokens, which were always good for the same service i.
New York City Subway tokens were also sometimes accepted in trade, or even in parking meters, since they had a set value. Coin-like objects from the Roman Empire called spintriae have been interpreted as an early form of token. Their functions are not documented, but they appear to have been brothel tokens or possibly gaming tokens. Medieval English monasteries issued tokens to pay for services from outsiders.
These tokens circulated in nearby villages, where they were called "Abbot's money". Also, counters called jetons were used as small change without official blessing. From the 17th to the early 19th century in the British Isles and North America , tokens were commonly issued by merchants in times of acute shortage of coins of the state. These tokens were in effect a pledge redeemable in goods, but not necessarily for currency. These tokens never received official sanction from government but were accepted and circulated quite widely.
In England, the production of copper farthings was permitted by royal licence in the first few decades of the 17th century, but production ceased during the English Civil War and a great shortage of small change resulted. This shortage was felt more keenly because of the rapid growth of trade in the towns and cities, and this in turn prompted both local authorities and merchants to issue tokens. These tokens were most commonly made of copper or brass , but pewter , lead and occasionally leather tokens are also found.
Most were not given a specific denomination and were intended to substitute for farthings , but there are also a large number of halfpenny and sometimes penny tokens. Halfpenny and penny tokens usually, but not always, bear the denomination on their face. Most such tokens show the issuer's full name or initials.
Where initials were shown, it was common practice to show three initials: Tokens would also normally indicate the merchant establishment, either by name or by picture. Most were round, but they are also found in square, heart or octagonal shapes. Thousands of towns and merchants issued these tokens from until , when official production of farthings resumed, and private production was suppressed.
There were again coin shortages in the late 18th century, when the British Royal Mint almost ceased production. Merchants once again produced tokens, but they were now machine made and typically larger than their 17th century predecessors, with values of a halfpenny or more. While many were used in trade, they were also produced for advertising and political purposes, and some series were produced for the primary purpose of sale to collectors. These tokens are usually known as Conder tokens , after the writer of the first reference book on them.
These were issued by merchants in payment for goods with the agreement that they would be redeemed in goods to an equivalent value at the merchants' own outlets. The transaction is therefore one of barter, with the tokens playing a role of convenience, allowing the seller to receive his goods at a rate and time convenient to himself, and the merchant to tie the holder of the token coin to his shop. Trade tokens often gradually changed into barter tokens, as evidenced by the continued circulation of former trade tokens when the need for their use had passed.
In the United States of America Hard times tokens issued from to and Civil War tokens issued in the s made up for shortages of official money. Because of weight, the U. Treasury Department does not ship coins to the Armed Forces serving overseas, so Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials chose to make pogs in denominations of 5, 10, and 25 cents. The pogs are about 38 mm 1. The collecting of trade tokens is part of the field of exonumia , and includes other types of tokens, including transit tokens, encased cents, and many others.
In a narrow sense, trade tokens are "good for" tokens, issued by merchants. Merchants that issued tokens included general stores, grocers, department stores, dairies, meat markets, drug stores, saloons, bars, taverns, barbers, coal mines, lumber mills and many other businesses. The era of through marked the highest use of "trade tokens" in the United States, spurred by the proliferation of small stores in rural areas.
There were thousands of small general and merchandise stores all over the United States, and many of them used trade tokens to promote trade and extend credit to customers. Aluminum tokens almost always date after , when low-cost production began. Metal token coins are used in lieu of cash in some coin-operated arcade games and casino slot machines. Money is exchanged for the token coins or chips in a casino at the casino cage , at the gaming tables, or at a slot machine and at a cashier station for slot token coins.
The tokens are interchangeable with money at the casino. They generally have no value outside of the casino. After the increase in the value of silver stopped the circulation of silver coins around , casinos rushed to find a substitute, as most slot machines at that time used that particular coin.
Treasury, and casinos were soon allowed to start using their own tokens to operate their slot machines. The Franklin Mint was the main minter of casino tokens at that time. Free Vegas casino at the tip of your fingers, but with more Fun: Billions of chips in Jackpots are given out each day! Like our games?
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