Tag Archives: Token

J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token

Identifying Metal Detecting Finds – J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token

J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token
J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token

J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station, Provision Merchant Opposite, Wholesale Depot, London N.W. George III Token. Georgian tokens are very common metal detecting finds.  Another George III token trying to look like a spade guinea. These are very common, almost as common as the George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming token I posted in an earlier blog.

J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token
J. Sainsbury West Croydon Station George III Token

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George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming Token

George III "In Memory of the Good Old Days" Gaming Token
George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming Token, 1797

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.

George III "In Memory of the Good Old Days" Gaming Token
George III “In Memory of the Good Old Days” Gaming Token, 1797

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Cartwheel Twopence Coins, Cartwheel Penny Craziness

Cartwheel two penny coins

Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint, Cartwheel pennyCartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint, Cartwheel pennyProbably 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.
Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho MintA 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.

Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint

Soho mint mark beneath Britannia's shield
Soho mint mark beneath Britannia’s shield

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 Commons Attribution-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.

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John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Halfpenny token, 1792

Iohn of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Halfpenny token, 1792

Not a metal detecting find, but still an unusual token that I thought would be worth posting. These tokens were minted to make up for shortfalls in production of low value copper coins. This one commemorates John of Gaunt. I would imagine that they are pretty common metal detecting finds in and around Lancashire, but I’ve certainly not seen many of them down here in the southern UK. The most commonly seen tokens down here are the Georgian spade guineas that aren’t spade guineas and Victorian ‘To Hanover’ gaming pieces that look a lot like gold sovereigns when you first see them in the clod.

Iohn of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Halfpenny token, 1792

Some information about John of Gaunt from wikipedia:

“John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, KG (6 March 1340 – 3 February 1399) was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called “John of Gaunt” because he was born in Ghent (in modern Belgium), Gaunt in English.

John exercised great influence over the English throne during the minority of his nephew, Richard II, and during the ensuing periods of political strife, but was not thought to have been among the opponents of the King.

John of Gaunt’s legitimate male heirs, the Lancasters (the other party in the Wars of the Roses, the Yorks, being the male descendants of his older brother, Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, and younger brother, Edmund), included Kings Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI. His other legitimate descendants included his daughters Queen Philippa of Portugal, wife of John I of Portugal and mother of King Edward of Portugal, and Elizabeth, Duchess of Exeter, mother of John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter, through his first wife, Blanche; and by his second wife, Constance, John was father of Queen Catherine of Castile, wife of Henry III of Castile and mother of John II of Castile. John fathered five children outside marriage, one early in life by a lady-in-waiting to his mother, and four surnamed “Beaufort” by Katherine Swynford (after a former French possession of the Duke), Gaunt’s long-term mistress and third wife. The Beaufort children, three sons and a daughter, were legitimized by royal and papal decrees after John and Katherine married in 1396, with the proviso that they were specifically barred from inheriting the throne (‘excepta regali dignitate’). Descendants of this marriage included Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester and eventually Cardinal; Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland, grandmother of Kings Edward IV and Richard III; John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset, the great-grandfather of King Henry VII; and Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scots, from whom are descended from 1437 all subsequent Sovereigns of Scotland, and successively from 1603 Sovereigns England, of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the United Kingdom to the present day. The three preceding houses of English sovereigns from 1399 – the Houses of Lancaster, York and Tudor – were descended from John through, respectively, Henry Bolingbroke, Joan Beaufort and John Beaufort.”

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