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Canada Bank Tokens John Thill Johnson County Numismatic Society 3-18-2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Canada Bank Tokens John Thill Johnson County Numismatic Society 3-18-2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Canada Bank Tokens John Thill Johnson County Numismatic Society

2 Today's Canada is an evolution of its historical domination by France and England along with its very influential neighbor to the south, the United States. Like the American colonies there always seemed to be a shortage of legal tender for trade and commerce. In times of need man continually adapts and many Canadian entities took it upon themselves to remedy this chronic shortage.

3 Occasional attempts by the Crown to prohibit the import, manufacture and circulation of private coppers were largely unsuccessful and when local coin shortage occurred, new issues of copper tokens (the size and content of the half-penny and penny) would appear, well into the middle of the 1800s. The Currency Act of 1857 established a decimal systems of coinage for Canada setting the stage for the introduction of a truly Canadian coinage. In fact, in 1870, as part of an attempt to standardize and simplify Canada's circulating coinage, the government authorized the acceptance of bank issued copper half-penny and penny tokens at one cent and two cents, in aggregates up to 25 cents.

4 Lower Canada Half Penny Token George III Commerce Half Penny (Tiffin Token) Early type of British Tokens associated with Lower Canada were half-pennies and pennys has numerous varieties.

5 Lower Canada, Magdalen Islands, penny token The Magdalen Islands, 16 islands situated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 1815 an issue of penny tokens produced in England was sent out to the Magdalens and distributed to the local fishermen. The choice of subjects depicted on the token was appropriate. The obverse shows a fur seal, the reverse features a split codfish - denoting the main resources of the islands. The reverse shows "SUCCESS TO THE FISHERY" and the denomination "ONE PENNY." Although these tokens did not receive royal approval they apparently did circulate extensively and, as a result, few examples are found in mint condition.

6 A nice copper engraved and minted by John Sherriff in Liverpool for Nova Scotia hardware merchants Starr & Shannon. Starr & Shannon issued in Halifax Nova Scotia 1815

7 North West Company Brass Token, 1820 The North West Company was one of the most important companies engaged in the fur trade during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1820 the company issued both brass and copper tokens, each representing the value of one beaver pelt. These tokens were about the size of our present 50-cent piece and most known examples have a small hole at the top. Instead of using them as money at the trading posts, the Native Canadians often strung them on a cord and wore them around the neck as ornaments.

8 Nobody took credit for these lightweight brass tokens, but they were everywhere in Lower Canada from the mid 1820s through most of the 1830s. Bust & Harp issued in Lower Canada c. 1826

9 Province Of Nova Scotia George IV Thistle Token Beginning in 1823, and again in 1824, 1832, 1840 and 1843, the government issued copper penny and halfpenny tokens, without authority from England. These coins appeared from 1823 to The link between old Scotland and new Scotland was symbolized by the Scottish thistle which appeared on the reverse side of the earlier issues of these tokens. King George IV is depicted on the obverse.

10 Un Sou Habitant Half Penny Province Du Bas Canada Bank Token 1837 A token with strong symbolism for French-Canadians, portrays a Canadian habitant in traditional winter clothing. The reverse showed the arms of the city of Montreal with the name of one of the four participating banks on the ribbon (City Bank, Quebec Bank, La Banque du Peuple, and Bank of Montreal). For years the habitant was popularly identified with the rebel and politician Louis Joseph Papineau

11 Bank of Montreal Sous The bouquet sous are a large series of tokens that circulated widely in Lower Canada between 1835 and The first bouquet sous were issued by the Bank of Montreal, but they were quickly followed by similar issues from other Montreal Banks and by a torrent of private imitations. This was the first series of Canadian tokens to gain great popularity with collectors and today is collected by die variety.

12 Bank of Montreal “Front View” Tokens Following the successful issue of the 1837 habitant tokens by Boulton and Watt the Bank of Montreal ordered additional half-penny tokens in The new tokens retained the reverse design used in the 1837 issue but bore the front view of the new Bank of Montreal building. Additional orders were placed in 1844 and The half-penny dated 1845 is very rare. The reason for this rarity is unclear.

13 Bank of Upper Canada Tokens In 1850, the Bank of Upper Canada received the right to issue coinage due to a severe coin shortage. The coinage consisted of 1/2 Penny and 1 Penny Bank Tokens. The obverse of the coins carried a representation of St. George slaying the dragon based on Benedetto Pistrucci's gold sovereign coinage design. The reverse of the coins carried the then obsolete Coat-of- Arms of Upper Canada.

14 Quebec Bank Tokens 1852 The Quebec Bank half penny (un sou) and penny (deux sous) tokens of 1852 "were struck by Ralph Heaton and Co. from designs probably suggested by the Quebec Bank but it is unknown who cut the dies." They were struck for one year because of the delay in the production of the first two orders for the Bank of Upper Canada tokens.

15 1857 Prince Edward Island Token Issued on the island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off the coast of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Large numbers of lightweight halfpenny tokens circulated from about 1830 till well after The most numerous were the "SHIPS COLONIES and COMMERCE" halfpennies and tokens inscribed "SUCCESS TO THE FISHERIES" or "SELF GOVERNMENT AND FREE TRADE."

16 Un Sou Half Penny Quebec Bank Token, Province Du Canada Quebec Bank half penny (un sou) and penny (deux sous) tokens of 1852 "were struck by Ralph Heaton and Co. from designs probably suggested by the Quebec Bank but it is unknown who cut the dies."

17 Sources Internet – Canada Bank Tokens Internet – CoinInfo.com Internet – MetalDetecting.com Charleton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins James Haxby – Guidebook to Canadian Coins and Tokens


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