George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming Token
A George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Spade Guinea Gaming Token dated 1797. Georgian gaming tokens are very common metal detecting finds and this example is one of the most common. This token was made to look like a gold spade guinea. One source I came across said that these tokens claims that they were frequently given out to theatre audiences as a memento or keepsake.
This post is part of an ongoing photo-blog series on identifying common metal detecting finds, in the future, I will try to post as many of the Georgian and Victorian gaming token types as I possibly can.
If you are interested in tokens be sure to have a look at Edward “Ted” Fletcher’s series of books about tokens (Leaden Tokens & Tallies – Roman to Victorian, Tokens and Tallies Through the Ages and Tokens & Tallies 1850-1950) available from your local metal detector dealer or direct from Greenlight Publishing, the same firm that produces Treasure Hunting Magazine.
Probably my favourite Georgian coins, the Cartwheel pennies are a currency experiment that didn’t quite go as planned. They were created by Matthew Boulton at the Soho Mint in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1797. Eight of these cartwheel twopence coins, laid side by side, measure exactly one foot, an unusual sort of anti-counterfeiting measure. They weighed exactly 2oz a piece, the one penny weighing exactly 1oz. At the time they were produced it is believed that as much as two thirds of the copper coinage in circulation in the UK was fake. They were also the first official British coins struck using steam power. A quick and easy way of telling a cartwheel twopence from the one pence, without a side by side comparison, is to measure the thickness of the coin. A cartwheel twopence is 5mm or 1 fifth of an inch thick and the cartwheel one pence is 3mm thick.
Matthew Boulton and his Soho Mint also produced tokens for the East India Company. The millions of copper tokens salvaged from the wreck of the Admiral Gardner, wrecked on the Goodwin Sands on January 24/25, 1809, were produced at the Soho Mint on Matthew Boulton’s steam powered coin presses. Admiral Gardner was carrying 54 tons of the copper coins, which had been destined for use by the company in India.
These photographs are licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Which means you can take them for use on your own web site etc. as long as they are properly attributed. I’ve already added a couple of them to Wikimedia Commons.