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Can anyone tell me more about this piece?


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I picked this up in Monterey years ago, and I've always wondered about it. The closest I can figure is it might be a jeton. Does anyone have more of a clue on this? Here's a sketch:

Jeton___drawing.gif

 

The obverse:

Jeton_obv.jpg

 

And the reverse:

Jeton_rev.jpg

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It is a 14-15th century jetton, or reckoning token. These type of tokens are believed to have been made somewhere in Germany(Nurenburg?) and were used all over what is now Germany, the Low Countries, and even in England where they turn up. Unfortunately while they are not uncommon, they are also not very well known as to what exact purpose they served. It is conjectured that they were used as a precursor to merchant tokens at a time when small change really was not very common - during this era coinage was either silver or gold and nothing else, and for instance in England the lowest denomination coin commonly available was a penny, which reflected a days labour for the great majority of the workforce then.

 

So it could have been used for small change when a penny was given for a purchase, but nothing was available to make change for say a loaf of bread etc.

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:ninja: nice token leon ;) an i c u like shading with a pencil the pic of the coin (coin under paper take a pencil an move over the coin so image appears) same me ;) anyways welcome to coin ppl ;) which u have fun

Thanks RoadDevil. Actually what you're seeing is fading from when I carried that card in my wallet for years, trying to figure out what the darn thing was (bringing it out to ask someone if I happened to run across someone who knew something about ancient coinage, etc.). But thanks for the welcome--glad to be here. I don't really collect actively any more, but my collection is still a prized possession, and I am always on the lookout for easy new additions to it.

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It is a 14-15th century jetton, or reckoning token. These type of tokens are believed to have been made somewhere in Germany(Nurenburg?) and were used all over what is now Germany, the Low Countries, and even in England where they turn up. Unfortunately while they are not uncommon, they are also not very well known as to what exact purpose they served. It is conjectured that they were used as a precursor to merchant tokens at a time when small change really was not very common - during this era coinage was either silver or gold and nothing else, and for instance in England the lowest denomination coin commonly available was a penny, which reflected a days labour for the great majority of the workforce then.

 

So it could have been used for small change when a penny was given for a purchase, but nothing was available to make change for say a loaf of bread etc.

Thanks Scottishmoney! I've read about jetons before, and what you're saying is in line with what I saw. It's nice to hear my suspicions confirmed after all these years. Is it possible to pin it down any closer than 14th-15th century? I haven't found any place online where you can check your design against known ones that were struck, in order to estimate the date more accurately, but have you heard of such a thing?

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