Civil War Tokens

Civil War Tokens

Civil War Tokens were minted, by privatized mints, as a means to handle a currency shortage, during the Civil War. They were produced and distributed in the United States from 1861-1864; mainly used in the Northeast and Midwest territories. In 1864, the US Congress passed a law prohibiting the use of the tokens and stated that it would be illegal to use any private coinage. Three types of Civil War Tokens was produced: store cards, patriotic tokens, and sutler tokens. The three categories, of Civil War Tokens, can be immediately differentiated just by looking at their designs.

History

Entering the second year of the Civil War, US currency was rapidly vanishing. Americans were hoarding any coinage they could get their hands on, particularly coins containing gold/silver, and copper-nickel coins. This devastated local businesses, who were struggling to conduct transactions with little to no income. These businesses decided to take matters into their own hands and turned to private mints. From 1862-1864, over 25,000,000 Civil War Tokens were produced and at least 8,000 varieties are currently known.

On April 22, 1864, the US Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864. Although the striking of "In God We Trust" is what the Coinage Act of 1864 is mainly known for, this act also deceased the usage of Civil War Tokens and allowed the production of a new one-cent piece. This new one-cent piece's composition was very similar to the tokens and thus, appeasing the public.

Types of Tokens

  • Patriotic Tokens-Their namesake reveals the theme of these tokens. Since most Patriotic tokens were minted in Union states, these tokens reflect pro-Union patriotic logos, sayings, and symbols. Some examples, of Patriotic Tokens, are, "The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved," "Union For Ever," and "Old Glory." Among the numerous varieties of Union tokens, the Dix token is the most well-known. John Adams Dix was the US Secretary of Treasury in 1861 and a famous quote of his is found on the Dix token: "If any one attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot." Of course, some wording might be replaced depending on the token.
  • Store Cards- Contain the name and/or location of privately owned businesses. If a business was thriving, they could afford to use a 2-sided die for their cards but most businesses could only afford to strike one side of the card. A patriotic die was used for the other side.
  • Sutler Tokens- Considered to be the rarest, of the Civil War Tokens, the Sutler Tokens are similar to the Store Cards. Instead of featuring a business name, Sutler Tokens contain the name of an army unit and the name of the Sutler, who was in charge of the transactions on the unit's behalf.

Read Less ▲

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
158 Items
Product Inventory Wire/Check Bitcoin CC/PayPal Quantity
Available $119.00 $120.19 $123.76
Available $90.00 $90.90 $93.60
Available $19.50 $19.70 $20.28
Available $24.50 $24.75 $25.48
Available $19.50 $19.70 $20.28
Available $22.50 $22.73 $23.40
Available $27.50 $27.78 $28.60
Available $19.50 $19.70 $20.28
Available $35.00 $35.35 $36.40
Available $17.50 $17.68 $18.20
Available $19.50 $19.70 $20.28
Available $24.50 $24.75 $25.48
Available $22.50 $22.73 $23.40
Available $21.50 $21.72 $22.36
Available $18.50 $18.69 $19.24
Available $21.50 $21.72 $22.36
Available $19.50 $19.70 $20.28
Available $19.50 $19.70 $20.28
Available $22.50 $22.73 $23.40
Available $21.50 $21.72 $22.36
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
158 Items