Suez Canal Cooperative Society Tokens from 1892

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.”

Whitewater, New Mexico Camp

This rare CCC token is from Whitewater, New Mexico, camp 2846. Whitewater is a small community in Grant County in southwest New Mexico. It features a cool, semi-arid climate.

There were two camps in Whitewater, one in 1936 and then another in 1938. Both worked on soil conservation projects.

The round token is small, only 20 mm in diameter. It is made from aluminum. It was used for playing billiards.

One side of the token reads:
GOOD FOR / 1 / GAME OF POOL

The other side reads:
COMPANY / 2846 / CCC

Jerome, Arizona, Paper Chit

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.

eBay item number: 203050460365

Nature’s New Deal by Neil Maher

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.

CCC Camp Exchange Scrip

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.

This website is a good reference for Depression era scrip: http://www.depressionscrip.com/

2019 CCC Token Prices from eBay

I tracked the sale of every CCC token I could find on eBay in 2019. Most pieces are uncommon, especially compared to federal coins from the United States, and only a few are commonly found.

Total Number Sold66
Total Prices$5,087
Average Price$77
SaleEvery 5.5 days

The least expensive example sold for $7, a corroded 10-cent token from company 1774 in Rochester, Minnesota.

The most expensive token sold for $308. This 25-cent piece was used by company 1471 in Jamestown, Tennessee.

All of these pieces sold for $200 or more:

DateDenominationCompanyPrice
4/2/201925 CentCompany 557$280
4/14/20195 CentCompany 1501$200
6/26/20195 CentCompany 321$208
7/8/201925 CentCompany 1676$234
10/27/201925 CentCompany 1471$298
11/10/20195 CentCompany 1471$253
11/17/201925 CentCompany 1471$308

The most common example sold was a 5-cent token from company 1754 in McGregor, Iowa. There were nine transactions in 2019 with an average price of $29.

My example of the 5-cent piece from Company 1754

Conserving a Token

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.

Wisconsin 5 Cent Token

This token belonged to veterans CCC company 1680 of Wisconsin. The Manderscheid reference for CCC tokens says this piece was likely used by the camp near the town of Phelps.

One side of the token reads, “V-1680TH CO. / C.C.C.” with four stars.

The other side of the token reads, “GOOD FOR 5ยข IN TRADE.” There are 5 cent and 10 cent tokens from this camp.

The token reference and the CCC Legacy website indicate this company was located at four places in Wisconsin: Bloomington, Phelps, Blackwell, and Evansville. Archives of the company’s “Warvet” newspaper indicate it was a veteran’s company with work projects across the region.

The Tree Side

The photo above shows the “other side” of my CCC tokens. If my small collection is indicative, many of the tokens in the series use the nicely designed tree motif with the following text: “Civilian Conservation Corps | CCC | US.”

There is one Veterans Conservation Corps token, with a “V” surrounding a tree. The text reads “Veterans Conservation Corps | US | CC.”

A few of them do not depict the tree or any iconography other than text. Those pieces show the text “GOOD FOR # IN TRADE” (with the value or denomination in the center).