Local Currency Token Coins
Token coins are essentially a symbol or a substitute for money. Rather than a paper substitute (like scrip), tokens are coin-like objects used in lieu of real coins.
In technical terms, all coins used in trade today can be considered tokens, since no one is currently on a gold or silver standard. However, to those in numismatics (the study and collection of coins), a token is something other than a coin.
These tokens are generally make of a less expensive material than real coins. Tokens may be made of plastic, wook, copper, pewter, aluminum, brass, tin, leather, porcelain or other baked material.
Tokens generally differ from coins in their usefulness. A coin is issued by a government, and can be exchanged freely for any goods, services or other coins. However, a token is generally limited in its use. There is often one specific purpose for a token.
A particular company, a group, an association or an individual often issues tokens. For example, a car wash company will accept money in exchange for tokens that are inserted into the car wash machinery indicating the type of wash that has been purchased. This allows the exchange of money to take place in one location. The tokens in the machines are of little value themselves and have a low appeal to thieves.
The most valuable tokens to collectors are “currency” tokens and “trade” tokens. Currency tokens are accepted in nearly the same way as actual government issued coins. Traders issued trade tokens when the supply of official coinage was limited. These allowed trade to continue.
Other types of tokens are barter tokens, good only at a particular store or with a particular merchant. Credit tokens are similar to barter tokens or scrip in that they can be used only at a particular store or with a certain merchant.
Credit tokens were used in lieu of a salary, often as a way to force workers to purchase from a company store or a store with a financial relationship with the company.
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