ANA Blog

08 May 2018

The Franklin Press 1794 D&H 307& 307A

Tokens | Mike Burns

Hi everyone. Well I went and did it again I bought another token. Not any token this one is the Franklin Press. Why do I say that? Simply because it's the only token or coin I have seen classified as Unique. That's right in the Red Book Deluxe on page 138. It is a Conder Token made in England in 1794. Now some made it's way to America but never circulated they went into collections. They went into collections because it was associated with a London shop were Franklin worked.

04 May 2018

Spon Gate Coventry D&H 277 Kempson

Tokens | Mike Burns

Hi everyone. Well I have one more of Kempsons famous Coventry series to put up. The last one will be the conclusion of way over two years work. Today's is Spon Gate. Another one of the defensive gates used around the city. This gate is very different from the others. It's two towers compared to most of the one towers. This was also inhabited by people and soldiers. Now again you have a MS 64 token in Brown Red mostly red if you were holding it. If you look directly in the middle of the gate you would see a very narrow walk way underneath the towers. Now Spon was known for its dyeing industry. There color of blue gave it the name Coventry Blue. Now this was mostly industrial so in 1771 it had to be taken down. There just was not enough room for the wagons full of clothes and materials to get through. This is stated on the bottom of the token. I did find and old sketch before it was built up around it. Now Spon Gate stood for great gate. It was as a matter of fact i believe the designer of Grey Friars Gate was one in the same. I have no historical information confirming that, but when I do get that token you will see the resemblance. It was in the west city wall north west of St. John's Church it was originally spelt Sponne in the early days. It's memory to this day survives in Spon End and Spon Street. It's a shame it had to be torn down but industry is industry. I mean it only stood since the fourteenth century. I'm glad Peter Kempson did this token to preserve history. He knew the beauty of buildings , animals anything his talented eyes would see. Same as an artist. They see an object or building and they paint it. Now Kempson also did portraits. Not alot but he did them. Now one more thing. Kempson tokens are highly sought after simply because people know talent. Just look at the detail in this token. There is not anything he didn't see that he did not get on a piece of copper. For saving history the way he did he has gained our respect. How do we know this. His tokens were made for collectors and regular people. Today 223 years later they are still in demand. I hope you enjoyed this token as much as I do. Compare it's grade and color to coins today and remember the tools they had to make the dies. To make the token. These were all talented men. Take care and enjoy. Mike.

02 May 2018

Mill Lane Gate D&H 274 Coventry Kempson

Tokens | Mike Burns

Hi everyone today I am writing about Mill Lane Gate. Now Mill Lane of course was a street in Coventry. At the end of the street they built what they called a gate. Now these gates encircled the city for protection. They built about thirty two of these gates they were nine feet thick and eighteen to twenty feet tall. These gates sometimes had families living in them and at times of possible trouble soldiers. They were built in the fourteenth century some still stand today like Cooks Gate. This gate was taken down in 1849 to relieve some of the traffic on the narrow street and gate. These gates took approximately forty two years to build and were kept in great repair for more than three hundred years. Underneath of the gate if you looked up you saw the city's crest. Some had ramparts on top for protection of the soldiers. Now below you will see two colors. I wanted you to see what some of the tokens look like now and the brighter color for more detail. I want you to experience some of Kempsons talents. Remember these are 223 years old. Some of them still standing today. They also supported the buildings next to them. Now all of the gates in London could not stop the Germans from bombing Coventry. It seemed it was a popular site for them. But it still stands today. It just shows the resolve of the British people. Now these gates had a basic design some were different you couldn't tell today what it was at the end of the street. Some now stand by themselves surrounded by grass and flowers. These were very important to Coventry. Kempson had an idea what was important to the people of Coventry. That's why he chose this city and London to do his sets. In the future I will be putting up some of his private tokens still raw. Looking through my tokens I found another Kempson proof. That's what gets me. This token was taken such good care of a 223.year old proof is a gift. One of his Coventry tokens in his set is a proof. A copper proof. Not unheard of but this old it is a special token. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did writing it. Take care and enjoy your coins and tokens and medals. Mike.

30 Apr 2018

Saint Mary's Hall D&H 295 Kempson Coventry

Tokens | Mike Burns

Hi everyone. Well it's been a long time since I sent my tokens away. It takes just as long to grade as to get them back in the mail. Well the four are home and safe. There is one to go and I will be finished. That might take a few months. You have to get these from England. I have seen one Coventry token and it's not a part of the set that's it one. When I saw this one I knew it was well taken care of for 223 years. It's a MS 65 red and brown. Can't ask for better than that. Well you can but I don't think you will get it. The detail on the token compare them to both pictures. The black and white taken in the late nineteenth century. The color was taken a few years ago. Look at the large stained glass window on the coin and pictures then look at the token itself. It's almost as if Kempson painted it on.

06 Apr 2018

Repairs At NGC

Tokens | Mike Burns

Hi every one. Well I finally received my tokens back from NGC. There part of the set I'm after. Now I wrote blogs on these two coins so I won't be writing one on each token again. I will tell you the basics about them. These two are part of the Kempson Coventry set of nineteen. Now these have a very rare reverse on them. There called the George Fredrick Handel Reverse. These are sought after by collectors. I have checked with the so called experts and they say that Kempson made three hundred reverses of Handel on this set. When I finally got them i sent them in to get protected. They came back a month later with the Handel reverse as the Handel obverse. Both of them. One had the wrong label and it was falling off. So off they went back to NGC. Don't worry you will have them back in ten days. I said great. Well then the phone calls started were are my tokens? Well ten days turned into another month and change. NGC turned one label and two encapsulation into over two and a half months I even spoke to the grader. I'm getting tired of this. How long does this take. A label two slabs. I'm sorry but there time for doing something like this should take twenty minutes not two months and change. So NGC had my tokens longer than I did. Don't forget the time from Europe. Well there done now and there home were they belong. No one should have to go through this. It's when we get to it not when you want it. They said ten days. I would advise you to make as many phone calls to any grading company taking an excessive amount of time with YOUR COINS. Oh I forgot there is no charge for this. Maybe that's why they take so long. So call them. There customer service people are very nice act professionally no yelling after all there not doing the repairs and can get them moved up some times. There human but this mistake is not called for twice. I still do business with them and you will have these problems with other grading companies. So as upset as I was I knew they would come back. But there is room for improvement. So be calm and your coins and tokens will come back. Thanks for reading this I think it's an important issue. If your a yn's just joined and middle age these problems will happen. I hope I helped you with it. Keep collecting. Don't get upset. Mike.

28 Mar 2018

Finishing A Set

Tokens | Mike Burns

Hi everyone. Well those of you who have been following me try and finish a rare set know I am still one away. Now I started this two years ago when I saw what they call a Coventry token from Warwickshire England. The die sinker one of the most talented of his day and this day known as P. Kempson. Greatness continues it doesn't end. Well there are nineteen tokens in this set. I own eighteen. All of the in Mint State condition. Yes I have had help. One needs it when your chasing a set three thousand miles away and two hundred and twenty two years old. Never mind some proof like and all M.S. Well it hasn't been easy. We're coming up to the fourth month of the new year and still no bites. We say the fun is in the hunt but it can also be frustrating. But I will not give up. One there beautiful,.the workmanship is nothing but pure talent. ,and the most important one is I like them very much.

27 Mar 2018


Tokens | Longstrider

Thanks to a blog written by an ANA member on 10 March, 2018 I was inspired to look for a token from my hometown. Low and behold, I found one while searching a Civil War Token Society seller. It was priced very reasonably, so I closed the deal. Had to wait a while as he was out of town but got it in the mail within a day or two of his return. I happen to be from what used to be a small, sleepy college town in the northern part of CA., Palo Alto. The college is Stanford University and it is anything but small now. Somehow Silicon Valley has swallowed it up. I couldn't afford to live there if I wanted to. Anyway, we are talking about the 50's and 60's in my case. It was a nice time to grow up if you didn't count the Russian ICBM and nuclear bomb drills. Who would have thought that ducking under your desk while indoors or dropping down alongside a street curb would protect you from the blast and radiation? That's what we were taught! It doesn't sound like they were such a big deal back then. So when my friend Greg and I were not "duck and covering", we often went to the movies. My mom was kind enough to buy us both summer passes for all the kid movies that were shown. I'm sure getting us gone for a few hours had nothing to do with it. The theater we went to was called The Varsity. My mom would generally drive us there and we would spend the day watching everything on the screen. It didn't matter if they showed the same movie a couple of times. In those days there was generally two features shown. So we would sit there and get wired on Pixie Sticks, look it up, and all kinds of candy. We were given a small stipend to stay away. After the shows were over and the Varsity closed we would just walk home. You could do that back then.

22 Mar 2018


Tokens | Longstrider

For your enjoyment today I would like to share a resent auction win. A 1863 Civil War Token. This particular token is called an "Indian-Crossed Cannons". It's die pair numbers are F-82/351 a. These numbers are a way of looking up all the Civil War Tokens and Store Cards. They are like Breen numbers on regular coinage. The first number refers to Patriotic die #82. As you can see in the photos, I hope, it is the date 1863 along the bottom, and an Indian Head facing left. It also has 13 stars around the boarder as well as 13 stars in the headband. The die is thought to have been made by the Scovill Manufacturing Company. This die can be combined with dies 351 or 3352A. The second die number is 351. This particular Patriotic die depicts an open wreath enclosing crossed cannons, drum and Liberty cap. This die is also thought to be made by Scovill. It is also the obverse on this token. It can be used with reverse dies 12, 79, 80, 81 and 82. The token has a Rarity number of 1 and 2. Basically it's very common. The "a" refers to the metal used. In this case copper or bronze. All these tokens and store cards were made and used during the Civil War due to people hoarding any government issued coins for their metal content. They were used the same as money. I hope you enjoyed this blog and that I got my facts correct. I'm a novice at collecting these. Please feel free to comment. Thanks for your time.

17 Mar 2018


Tokens | Longstrider

Today I have a new token acquisition. As you can see below, it is a 1795 Great Britain Halfpenny. I like to collect tokens and coins with bee hives or Druids on them. This token has both. Nice find if I do say so myself. I’m very new to tokens so all mistakes are mine. The Obverse,?, shows a druid head facing right. Around the edge is written CURRENT IN THE COUNTIES OF. It has the date, 1795, below the Druid. The reverse has a old world style beehive in the center with bees flying around it. The hive is sitting on a stand on some grass. Around the edge is written INDUSTRY HAS IT’S SURE REWARD. There is what looks like a flower in the center edge. Around the outside rim is inscribed: CAMBRIDGE BEDFORD . AND HUNTINGDON . X . X

04 Mar 2018


Tokens | Longstrider

Today I would like to share with everyone my newest pursuit in numismatics. I have been inspired by our resident token expert Mike Burns. Now I am a huge Newbie on this. Any and all mistakes are my own. What I have pictured below is a 18th century British token. This particular one is dated 1792. It is for Donald & Co.. The obverse reads Donald & Co, STOCKING MANUFACTURERS, WHOLESALE &, RETAIL. All around that is an oval circling of bees. Outside of that it reads PROMISARLY HALFPENNY, PAYABLE AT NOTTINGmOR. The “m” is in a smaller size text and above the line of other letters. I believe that was meant to mean NOTTINGHAM. Just a guess. The reverse shows an old world style beehive on astand with grassy plants underneath it. A small swarm of bees are flying around the hive. There is another ring of bees around that. Below that is the date, 1792, No 29, BULL STREET, BIRMINGHAM. There is a very interesting die break that runs through the letters BIRMING. Through the letters B and I and into the ring of bees is a big glop of metal. To me, this indicates a late stage die break. Soon before the die blew apart. Another guess.


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