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Military Tokens Thread

DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited April 5, 2017 4:42PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Anybody collect military tokens? I feel this is an important and largely unexplored area of numismatics. From the Sutlers, through post exchange and canteen tokens, Military payment certificates, NCO clubs, mess halls, right up to modern day pogs given as change in Iraq and Afghanistan. They all represent a tangible link from our servicemen and women to our hobby.
I find them incredibly interesting, loaded with opportunities for research. Often they can be purchased for very little, and one can accumulate a large collection on a small budget.
This thread is dedicated to all soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, and the tokens they used and left behind. Let's keep this thread going by posting examples in our collections with a little info if possible.
Here is a nice one I just picked up from Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont. Struck in Aluminum, pre-1944, it features the horsehead of the 2nd Cavalry on the obverse, and on the reverse, a horseshoe heralded by "Good For 50 cts In Trade."

Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
"Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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Comments

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a few Civil War Sutler tokens. They are not common, and they are not cheap. Getting into them in a big way is a very expensive proposition with high prices ($1,000 to several thousand each) sometimes even for damaged pieces.

    Many of the others are more reasonable, but since I was never in the military, they are not of great interest to me.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 4, 2017 7:09AM

    .
    so @DCW, is the thing in the background a shield from medieval times that was used in many battles and struck by many swords, daggers, battleaxes, arrows, maces, etc?

    or just the wife's cutting board/countertop?

    at this point i give it 50/50.

    of all the many tokens i have, not sure i have any military-related ones. the one you posted is pretty neat though.
    .

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • DNADaveDNADave Posts: 7,238 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 4, 2017 7:42AM

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:
    .
    so @DCW, is the thing in the background a shield from medieval times that was used in many battles and struck by many swords, daggers, battleaxes, arrows, maces, etc?

    or just the wife's cutting board/countertop?

    at this point i give it 50/50.

    of all the many tokens i have, not sure i have any military-related ones. the one you posted is pretty neat though.
    .

    The horseshoe?

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are they generally inexpensive if you exclude Sutler tokens?

  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,770 ✭✭✭✭✭

    interesting field of collecting :smile:

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978, TJM965, Smittys, GRANDAM, JTHawaii, mainejoe, softparade, derryb

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Are they generally inexpensive if you exclude Sutler tokens?

    I think so. There have been some pieces come up in our local club auctions that sold or went begging for less than $10. Some of them were of the World War II vintage.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Are they generally inexpensive if you exclude Sutler tokens?

    Most can be had for around 25-40 bucks, some as low as 10 or 15 bucks
    Some of the rarer ones will cost more, especially if they have interesting subject matter or are in high grade. The horsehead 2nd CAV is harder to find, and it appealed to me on several levels.
    It is probably worth over a hundred dollars, and I am not ashamed to have paid up for this one.
    I was an infantry soldier, and these kind of things appeal to me. Maybe others would be drawn to them as well if their existence were more widely known. There are a few books out there on the subject.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting tokens.... I do not have any of these, however, I do have an extensive collection of Challenge Coins... various branch's of the military, one from a V.P. and one from a Secretary of Defense... Very colorful and they were important to the people who carried them. Cheers, RickO

  • PTVETTERPTVETTER Posts: 5,871 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a challenge coin from the SM of the army!

    Pat Vetter,Mercury Dime registry set,1938 Proof set registry,Pat & BJ Coins:724-325-7211


  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PTVETTER said:
    I have a challenge coin from the SM of the army!

    Well, let's see it brother!

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice challenge coins guys..... Cheers, RickO

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2017 10:35AM

    Great thread everyone! I love the Merriam token with the modular dies.

    I have a variety of military tokens and medals. Here's the Fort Totten Post Exchange dollar dies. The fort was known as Fort at Willets Point in 1862 and named Fort Totten in 1898. Of note the dollar denomination style is similar to the Brooklyn Navy Yard token posted by @DCW above.

    Cannons feature prominently on all the Fort Totten Post Exchange tokens I've seen. Here's a photo from Wikipedia which shows their impressive 12 inch mortar batteries in an Abbot Quad arrangement.

    Here's a postcard of the Fort Totten Post Exchange building from the bay:

  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,770 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Amazing history, thanks for sharing it here :smile:

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978, TJM965, Smittys, GRANDAM, JTHawaii, mainejoe, softparade, derryb

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PaleElf...Do you still get together with your unit buddies for a reunion? Cheers, RickO

  • PaleElfPaleElf Posts: 990 ✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    @PaleElf...Do you still get together with your unit buddies for a reunion? Cheers, RickO

    Not reunions, but I still talk regularly with a number of them. A lot of us are now in the same post-military profession.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great.... My ship has a reunion every year.... we are getting old now and losing shipmates....but still fun to get together and tell sea stories. Cheers, RickO

  • OldEastsideOldEastside Posts: 4,602 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Y'all are teasing me for a new niche :smiley:

    Steve

    Promote the Hobby
  • EagleguyEagleguy Posts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ft. Schuyler is directly across from Fort Totten. Together they created a nice defensible bottleneck. I grew up near Ft. Totten and perhaps I should look into finding a couple of these tokens for myself.

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fort Totten, Good For 10c in Trade:

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is a very interesting one from Camp Furlong, NM.
    Troop H of the 13th Cavalry Regiment, Good For 25c in Trade (1916):

    This token is contemporary to the famous raid on the city of Columbus, NM on March 9, 1916 by Pancho Villa and his army. They were repelled by the brave men of the 13th Cavalry, who also participated in the ensuing military expedition into Mexico under General Pershing.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is another from Fort Ethan Allen, VT. I like this one for its obvious resemblance to the Anheuser-Busch logo. I wonder which came first?

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fort Adams, Rhode Island Post Canteen token, 25c. Uniface. Incused design, circa 1900

    Fort Adams was named after President John Adams and was in operation from 1799- 1953. It is now a state park.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great pictures.... I have mentioned my Challenge coin collection before... it is quite extensive... However, I do not have any of these...must look into them a bit....Cheers, RickO

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fort Terry, NY on Plum Island Good for 25c at Post Exchange


    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Bottle return, 75c redeemable value. Struck in aluminum, circa 1940s.


    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • mercurydimeguymercurydimeguy Posts: 4,625 ✭✭✭✭

    Super cool stuff!!

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is a fairly common token from the Vietnam War, "SEMO" 5c, 777:


    S.E.M.O. was an acronym that stood for Saigon Enlisted Mess (Open). It's unclear from my research what the significance of 777 was, other than perhaps a symbol of good luck.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • PaleElfPaleElf Posts: 990 ✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    Great pictures.... I have mentioned my Challenge coin collection before... it is quite extensive... However, I do not have any of these...must look into them a bit....Cheers, RickO

    @ricko PM me your address and I will send you a challenge coin from my current position.

  • PaleElfPaleElf Posts: 990 ✭✭✭

    This is one of my favorite modern challenge coins.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PaleElf ... Nice challenge coin... 'Lead or silver'....Cheers, RickO

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    United States Base Hospital 22 token, 15c (WWI)


    Organized in Milwaukee under the Red Cross in 1916, Base Hospital 22 arrived on French soil in June 1918 and was the largest hospital in the American Expeditionary Force in World War I.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is a very rare token from Ft. Wadsworth in Staten Island, NY. "Good for 1 ration of bread" Struck on a thin brass disc, it is the plate to Cunningham's military tokens reference. I have not heard of another example.

    Anyone who has ever driven over the Verrazano Bridge will note the striking image of Ft. Wadsworth's Battery Weed, still standing watch over the harbor:

    Ft. Wadsworth was one of the nation's oldest military installations. It was also depicted in the G.I. Joe comic book, where a counterterroism unit operated from "The Pit," a secret underground base concealed beneath the Motor Pool of the Army Chaplains' Assistants School at the fort.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DCW ...That is a great old token.... Especially with the hand engraved date....gives it a human touch to the period. Cheers, RickO

  • Bigbuck1975Bigbuck1975 Posts: 1,249 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Any ideas on this one guys?


  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 27, 2017 6:36PM

    Fort Wayne was built from 1842-51 on the Detroit River about a mile from Canada. It served no real purpose until the Civil War, when it gained continual use to muster and garrison troops.
    You have an interesting piece.
    I have found one similar listed in the token catalog online:
    http://tokencatalog.com/token_record_forms.php?action=DisplayTokenRecord&td_id=392629&inventory_id=394118&attribution_id=402626&td_create_uid=411
    As you can see, there are some subtle differences. The size and spacing of the lettering and the number 5. There is also a comma after Fort Wayne in your example.

    That one sold for $179.50 on eBay 3 years ago for your reference.
    Thanks for posting!

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bump in honor of Veterans Day

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One of my challenge coins.... from the higher ranks.... Cheers, RickO

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One of my challenge coins.... from the higher ranks.... Cheers, RickO

  • ECHOESECHOES Posts: 2,974 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ~HABE FIDUCIAM IN DOMINO III V VI / III XVI~
    POST NUBILA PHOEBUS / AFTER CLOUDS, SUN
    Love for Music / Collector of Dreck
  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not a token, but a cool piece of military history - an original 1784 Society of the Cincinnati order, made in Paris:

    David McCarthy - Kagin's - IG: X_COINNERD_X

    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 5, 2019 9:08PM

    Here's a Fort Totten quarter. One thing you learn from collecting these is that you can't necessarily hold out for great condition!

    Anyone know of any reference cataloging the Post Exchange tokens? So far, I've only seen TokenCatalog.com by Richard Greever.

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Here's a Fort Totten quarter. One thing you learn from collecting these is that you can't necessarily hold out for great condition!

    Anyone know of any reference cataloging the Post Exchange tokens? So far, I've only seen TokenCatalog.com by Richard Greever.

    There is a two volume set of Military Tokens by Paul Cunningham. I would highly suggest picking that up if the subject interests you.
    Though, throw away the prices. They fluctuate wildly

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 5, 2019 11:00PM

    @DCW said:

    @Zoins said:
    Here's a Fort Totten quarter. One thing you learn from collecting these is that you can't necessarily hold out for great condition!

    Anyone know of any reference cataloging the Post Exchange tokens? So far, I've only seen TokenCatalog.com by Richard Greever.

    There is a two volume set of Military Tokens by Paul Cunningham. I would highly suggest picking that up if the subject interests you.
    Though, throw away the prices. They fluctuate wildly

    Does the Cunningham reference include any additional information for the Fort Totten tokens, for example issuer or rarity information?

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