Tokens are like coins in that they were used in circulation as coins to make change and carry on business. Unlike coins, they were made for individuals, businesses and towns and not for national governments. Token collecting is the broadest and most active area of numismatics - from parking tokens, to Civil War patriotic tokens, to gambling tokens and more. Tokens can come in all sizes and shapes and can seem overwhelming at first. But take it slow and easy and you may have just found a hobby you can enjoy for years to come.
Because of the number of classifications of tokens, there is no one reference we can recommend. You will need to look for specialized works such as The Standard Catalog of United States Tokens by Russell Rulau and Coins and Tokens of Canada by P.N. Breton.
Conders are a type of British token first cataloged in a meaningful way by James Conder, who was himself an issuer of such tokens. Known for their great number of varieties and the fantastic art represented in some of the images used, they are among the most popular of the different forms of tokens we offer. They are also of interest to historians; for instance, we know what a workbench for the making of tricorn hats looked like because one was used as the design for a token. Sometimes called by other names (such as British Commercial Coins) they present a challenge and hours of collecting fun.
The standard in depth reference for this type of token is The Provincial Token-Coinage of the 18th Century by R. Dalton and S.H. Hamer but some of the specialized works by R.C. Bell are worth the extra expense.
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