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.
This is a 1 Franc token from the Suez Canal Cooperative Society in Egypt. It was issued in 1892 and is made of aluminum.
The canal was completed decades before 1892. These pieces must have been used by co-op workers at the operating canal.
There are two other token sets that circulated during the 10-year construction of the canal (1859 to 1869). Those tokens are dated 1865. One set is from “Ch. & A. Bazin” and the other from “Borel Lavalley and Co.”
I saw this paper chit on eBay. It looks to me like an original medium of exchange used during the CCC period from Arizona. I bid on it, but did not win. It sold on August 2, 2020, for $24 US.
Jerome is a small town in central Arizona between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The CCC Legacy website does not list a camp from Jerome, but there were camps in nearby Clarkdale, Prescott and Flagstaff.
I did a little reading and found that chits are official notes showing an amount of money that is owed or has been paid. This piece represented credit for two shows at a theater in Jerome, and the chit was only valid for CCC workers.
I am a member of the Willamette Coin Club in Portland, Oregon and gave a presentation on CCC tokens this week. The club missed its March meeting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders in Oregon. In April, we held an online meeting, and it went pretty well. My presentation is linked below if you want to see it.
I just finished reading Nature’s New Deal by Neil Maher. Maher examines the history of the New Deal and Civilian Conservation Corps. He shows how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policies implemented during the CCC contributed to today’s environmental movement and helped pull America out of the depression. It has clear writing and is well researched. Unfortunately, there are is no mention of CCC tokens.
This paper booklet served as another form of currency for workers in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Scrip like this allowed workers to borrow money against their salary and then use the scrip tokens at the company store.
The following photos show what the inside scrip tickets look like. There are 20 of the 5-cent pieces.
I recently acquired this 10 cent token from Company 3747 in Paris, Missouri. It has a few spots of environmental damage and some crud on it. I decided it needed conservation. The environmental damage could not be reversed, but the rest of the piece looks much nicer.
This is what the piece originally looked like:
Here is the token after conservation:
I soaked the token in Acetone and, under a stereo microscope, used blackberry thorns to dislodge the dirt and crud.
Thorns are great tools for this type of coin conservation. They have very fine points and are soft enough not to scratch the coin (if you’re careful). A friend suggested rose thorns work better, but I have more blackberry bushes in my neighborhood than roses.