Hudson’s Bay Company ½ Made Beaver Token

This Canadian token from around 1857 was worth ½ of a Made Beaver for fur trappers in the land east of Hudson Bay. It was part of a vast region of British North America called Prince Rupert’s Land. The Hudson’s Bay Company was gifted exclusive trading rights to all lands within the watersheds of Hudson’s Bay and the Hudson’s Bay Straits.

A Made Beaver is a unit of value created to facilitate trade between the Hudson’s Bay Company and trappers. It was worth a high quality, large beaver skin. Trappers exchanged them for company goods.

Some of the tokens have a punch mark on the denomination side, between the N and B. It is thought these punched pieces were used in a different region.

One side of the token shows the crest (coat of arms) of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Motto: Pro Pelle Cutem
Latin, meaning ‘a pelt for a skin.’

HB: Hudson Bay
EM : East Main district
½: denomination
NB: made beaver, die cutter error

These pieces are rare. This example has a some mint luster left. It also has a dark spot that I would love to remove, but have not been able to.

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