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What are these tokens


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Hi there,

I've been racking my brain over these mystery tokens. They were in an envelope marked Russia America, and are obviously stamped with Cyrillic letters. Somebody on Reddit pointed out that one of them "PAK" could be for the Russian-American Company, but unfortunately the only pieces associated with them I've been able to locate are seal-skin notes. I've been trying to figure out the denomination with the "Y" (ch) letter, but can't figure that out either. Has anybody ever seen these? They look like tin, are about 1-1.3 grams each. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

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I searched for "жетон 1/2 КН Ч and РАК 1 Ч" and no suitable results found.

Not sure what that may be and if it is genuine.

Wild guesses: "Ch" may stand for "Chast'" (Russian for "part") or for "Chaj" (Russian for "tea").

What abbreviations KN and RAK(C) stand for, have no idea...

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I have never seen these before.  Maybe a private token issued during the war between the Red and White armies?

By the way, the so-called "Seal Skin" notes issued by the Russian America Company are not printed on seal skin.  They are parchment.

Perhaps someone here who is fluent in Russian would be kind enough to post these photos to Staraya Moneta or similar Russian language sites for further information?

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As grivna1726 mentioned, PAK (Russian American Company) money were on parchment paper. No coins are known. There is a document from 1803 specifically calling for not having coins for PAK, since locals would most likely use them for other purposes than as money.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I think that those may be imprints made by sealing tool.

Lead seals often has numbers, dates, letters, etc., and even state emblems, thus they may sometimes resemble tokens or coins.

Espesially if the imprint is made not in usual lead but on some other material (as tin in this case).

Some examples of old russian lead seals:

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you Eugene,  but I do not understand completely.  To my knowledge there was no coal mined in the Petersburg region, what kind or measure of a box, why the odd 3/4? Does anyone know ? :huh:

Sigi 

 

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I can only assume that cradles or containers with coal were brought to the Petersburg factory for a redistribution to the local public, to keep their houses warm in cold seasons. Public members paid at a reception and got a token to say how much the workers, who redistributed coal, were suppose to give them in exchange for that token, with a box of some kind being a standard measure in this case. I remember one of my grandmothers used to live in a city, in house that was warmed by coal burning, and it felt very cozy. My dad would buy coal in full, 3/4 or 1/2 track loads in summer for her to use in winter. I think here we had a similar story.

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17 hours ago, extant4cell said:

I can only assume that cradles or containers with coal were brought to the Petersburg factory for a redistribution to the local public, to keep their houses warm in cold seasons. Public members paid at a reception and got a token to say how much the workers, who redistributed coal, were suppose to give them in exchange for that token, with a box of some kind being a standard measure in this case. I remember one of my grandmothers used to live in a city, in house that was warmed by coal burning, and it felt very cozy. My dad would buy coal in full, 3/4 or 1/2 track loads in summer for her to use in winter. I think here we had a similar story.

Very interesting ... thanks for sharing

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Actually, these tokens are a separate area of collecting. They are not a form of money and were used strictly for accounting purposes related to peasants supplying coal to the steel and other metal mills. Here is a definition from Zander's numismatic dictionary: Coal Mine Token (угольные печатки). These were much used in the Urals in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In early times, some were of birch bark and leather. Later all were made of metal.  

There are many publications on the topic.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think that it is about a tea.

Tea was brought to Russia from China back to XVII-XVIII c.

Chinese wanted a trade with Russia and the trade village was built at the Russian-Chinese board named  Кяхта, on Chinese territory - Маймачен.

To China, Russian sent furs, back received Tea чай.

Chinese tea later in XIX c. almost replaced the Russian kvas.

Tea boxes from China had signs:

 ЧАЙ
КЯХТА
ТМ и К*

(instead of star is a little upper o).

So, the topic tokens may be related to it. 

If you search Russian sites with my info - you will see the boxes marked with similar letters so tokens were probably used for trade purposes too.  

 

 

 

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I found that TM and K* means : Цыбики чая торгового дома "Токмаков, Молотков и Ко"

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