Tokens and Jettons

Tokens and jettons

Tokens and Jetton are both alternatives to currency, although in slightly different ways. Jettons were produced in copper alloy and used to perform calculations for accountancy. Jettons were in common use from the 13th to 16th centuries. The early types include those based on Edwardian long cross pennies. French Jetton, many carrying a fleur de lis design, are increasingly common finds from the 15th century and an enormous array of types produced in Nuremberg became the most common types in the 16th century, of which a design based around a rose and orb are amongst the most frequently found.

Tokens were produced mainly in copper alloy, lead and pewter. They were used by traders at time of a coin shortage, namely between 1600 AD and 1800 AD. They sometimes displayed the name or initials of the issuer, and some have the denomination of half penny or penny. Machine made tokens appeared in the 18th century, and continued to be produced as slot machine tokens until very recently (so watch out for modern ones).

Example description

A complete Medieval copper alloy French jetton. The reverse depicts a shield with three Fleur de Lis inside. The legend reads AVE MARIA GRACIA (Hail Mary Full of Grace). The reverse depicts a long cross with a quatrefoil in the centre. There is no reverse inscription. The jetton is in good condition.

Example records