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15 Apr 2022

Broadening of the Horizon

Tokens | Long Beard

In my quest to complete the circulating coinage of my ancestors, those from Ireland, the fascinating sub-type of coin collecting Condor Tokens drew me in when finding and buying the beauty in the images. The Cronebane-Wicklow, the subject of the week. Enjoy!

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30 Mar 2022

The St. Patrick Half Penny 1670

Tokens | Mike

Saint Patrick . The half penny. This is the first blog I'm writing about a coin I do not own yet!On the obverse it is written Florest Rex . This means may the King flourish. The reverse its written Quiteslay Plebs. That means may the people be at peace.it shows David playing the harp gazing at the Royal Crown of England wish was a gold color.

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27 Mar 2022

Schenectady, New York tokens

Tokens | RyanK96

Is anyone aware of a reference book or catalog that lists all of the tokens made relating to the Schenectady/Albany, New York area?

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05 Feb 2022

Gates of Coventry

Tokens | Mike

Hi!Hope everyone is doing well. Today I will write about about the Gates Of Coventry. Now I will not write the whole article that was published in the Clarion magazine published at the last P.A.N. show. I had no idea that I was published. A good friend suggested it and the editor and publisher said yes.. When I received the magazine in the mail I had no idea the cover was about my article!The beauty of the set they all grade between MS 63 to 66. Not bad for 223 years old!! Please look at the engraving of these. It must of taken months to make a die. You can see every brick and window. This was a man born with the talent.

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17 Dec 2021

Chicago Transit Authority Token Varieties

Tokens | Mr_Norris_LKNS

UPDATE: The Smithsonian Institute has one of these tokens in their collection as part of their National Museum of American History. According to their website, these tokens were made in the early 20th century by the Scovill Manufacturing Company of Waterbury, Connectictut. Scovill made, among other things, buttons, tokens, coins, and medals... and staplers, as my mother had a Scovill stapler at her desk for many years.

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23 Aug 2021

St.Michael's Church D&H 38a Coventry Penny

Tokens | Mike

Well I could write pages on this church and the token. But I will keep it short. It is one of the most sought after tokens in the Conder series. It speaks for it's self. It's absolutely beautiful . It was built in the 14th &15th century. I could not find an architect associated with this wonderful church.The token is 28.3 grams and 36.0 mm. It's big and heavy. I will say it now. It is very under graded. Only NGC knows. This token was made for collectors. And for buying goods. It is a Penny! What I found is back in the 11th century a stone was put on the site and a church was built there called St. Mary's Priory.That church grew in stature and in status with funding from the medieval guilds. Chapels we're incorporated into the main fabric of the church. Soon St. Michael's had11 alters and seven chapels. The Chancel is a space around the alter. Sometimes it included the choir and sanctuary. This token was done by a great die sinker. Thomas Wyon. He made many wonderful pieces. As a matter of fact Wyon and Kempson teamed up on many projects. I can't imagine how long it took to make the die for this token. Just the detail . His son's also were die sinker. Even though this is a Coventry token it was left out of the set because it's a penny. The set is all half penny's. Wyon etched his name on the obverse and reverse you can only see It with a loop. It was built in the gothic style. It's spire was the tallest of all. Close to 300 feet. After a while it was the third tallest. This wonderful church soon became a Cathedral in 1918 it would still be standing. But Hitler kept on bombing the churches. St. Michael's was destroyed in the blitz on November 14,1940. They destroyed 600 buildings and killed 500 people. The picture below with Churchill the Bishop of Coventry and the Mayor was taken not to long after the blitz. They said he had a tear in his eye. ....A architect by the name of Basil Urwin Spence. Was asked to rebuild St. Michaels. He decided to build it right next to the ruins. The ruins will never come down. They want it to remind them of the destruction of war. This was in 1956 to 1962. ..Now like I said there is so much on this beautiful church I could write more. But please enlarge the pictures. This token took years to find. It's a rarity one. The D&H 38 Coventry is a triple rairty. It has edge writing saying Coventry token.They did not make many of each one. I have been looking on and of for years. Now it's home were it belongs. Hope you enjoyed the readers digest verson. Thanks. Mike. P.S. THE STAINED GLASS THAT THEY FOUND THEY PRESERVED. IT WAS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY OF THE TIME!!

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27 Jul 2021

More Conder Tokens

Tokens | Mike

Hi. Yes this will be a short blog on some of the buildings on Kempson tokens. The ones I chose today are a few of the buildings still standing from the time they were built. Some are so good it looks like Kempson took a picture of them.. The best part is the years these buildings were put up. I'm not talking 1797. Some of these were built in the 1300's the 1500's. and so on. Just think of that for a moment. The English were excellent record keepers so the dates were not just put on these. You can say some went over rehabilitation but the original face of the structure is the same. Now Kempson almost seems like he knew these would still be around for hundreds of years even some of the gates that protected the city still stand. They are beautiful works architecture. The wall that encircled the city parts still stand. Doing research I said I wonder if some of these are still standinng. I went to work and i was surprised. St.John's church later became St.John's High School. I wrote a journal of these at N.G.C. A few days later I get a message from a fellow collector . He said I went to St John's school there I grew up in Coventry.. Small world. I asked him if he or if he knew of others that lived there if they had any of these tokens. He said none. Passed down from his family he was told they used them. Now I bet if I continued I will find more. This is something I thought of after the set was finished. The other tokens I collect many are still standing. Not just Kempson but others. Cathedrals ,government buildings. If you check Kempson other set of building of London many still stand. Some were destroyed in WW. 11. Hitler had an obsession with Coventry. He bombed it a lot. One famous Cathedral. St. Paul's he wanted destroyed. He felt it be could level this Cathedral it would take the resolve from the people and he could take England. He sent over 200 bombers and St.Paul's still stands. The people stayed inside and put out the fires. It was built if I remember by Wren. It's in the heart of London. One thing NGC graded many Red Brown the token below it looks like the lights are on!! St.Marys Sorry I got it the topic. That's ok the two are connected. St. John's token and picture like I said look so much alike. The same with Bablake and St. Mary's Hall. St. Mary's is used as a catering hall today and ceremonies. If you look at the token and the picture there is a wonderful likeness. . I will end this short blog on these wonder tokens and buildings. I hope.you see the talent of this man. We need people like this working today the old way. The way commens were done and older.coins. No lasers here.!!Be well be safe!!

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06 Jul 2021

More On Conder Tokens

Tokens | Mike

Well my friends. I decided to write another blog on these beautiful arts in copper. They tell many story's . Story's about how it was to live in 18 century England. We're the Monarchy said no silver no gold. How were they going to survive. Britain was involved in Many wars and even a civil war. They had no money to speak of. Sure the King and Queen had there gold and silver. They even allowed some coinage to be made. This was the time of George The 111. Yes the battle for our Independence had much to do with this. There is one particular token it looks like a church. Built around 1340 . It's name was St. Johns. I wrote a journal about it at N.G.C. Shortly after I get a message from a fellow collector. Not only did he live in Coventry he went to that same building during high school. Sure it was probably refurbished but the outside is still the same . That's only 678 years. Coventry was bombed during WW 11. Many of the gates and buildings survied. So to get back to the tokens Matthew Boulton had built the SoHo mint. Now Britain was way ahead of other country's as far as coins were made. The Soho Mint operated on steam presses. They made 80 a hour. But it probably took weeks to make the dies. They had great engravers. That's why there are so many of these tokens. On the edge it would say where you could redeem these tokens. But collectors also noticed the workmanship and collectors noticed this and collected them . That's why so many are in MS after 224 years and longer. I found one of the first made in 1761 by a man called.Toke. He owned a farm and made thess. It was located in Kent. Depending on what the edge writing said ment how much they are worth today. That's why you will see a reference number like 214 a, b ,c. Let's say b they only made so many that meant it was worth more. There is another token below that has George Fredrick Handel. Peter Kempson made a set of Coventry tokens with just him on the reverse. He was loved in Britain but born in Germany.. Those go for a very high price today because they are very rare. . I know I'm all over on these. But you get the idea. They were used for money. The were made in a half penny and one penny. They were collected. They helped a country that was close to bankruptcy. Me I was lucky to find these. Look at one with a loop and count the bricks even the cobble stones in the street. The best part is there are still those in Red and Brown. One I have is proof like. To get a coin made today to be proof like takes allot of work . I believe this one was first of the die. They saved Britain I believe. . The prices of these have gone up allot. I have to stand back and say how bad do I want this.. There sold.raw at auctions. The quality ones.. There are still many. I could go on and on about these. Conder collectors do not slab there tokens. But the ones that are so beautiful should be. I believe in protecting them. I hope you enjoyed this. They do have classes on these at the ANA. They were made into the twentieth century. I will write a blog on those . Take care be safe and be well. Please enlarge PICTURES!!!

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11 Jun 2021

WHAT IS A CONDER TOKEN??

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone. Many of you have heard of or read blogs on Conder Tokens. Some have never heard of them. I will try to keep it simple. Back in the 18th century Britain was in very bad shape financially. With the wars they had they were near bankrupcy. Now what happened next is they started to make these tokens. Just like we did in the Civil War. The difference they had terrific die sinkers and manufacturing. Now I will not list all of the great die sinkers I will tell you about Peter Kempson.. He was one of them. Now a person by the name of Conder noticed these showing up and he was the first to document them. They became Conder tokens. Now the purpose was to be able to buy things. On the edge there was a writing on most but not all. They made half penny's and pennys. The edge writing would tell you were you could exchange these for products. And also the price of the token. These tokens were made of famous people famous sites political and for buying goods. The token you see below is the Soho Mint. They made most of them there a few were made privately. Now your in the 1700' s to make a token wasn't easy . Just the die would take time. The Soho Mint and below made 80 tokens at a time. They used steam presses. And they came out beautiful. I have a set it took five years to put together. It has 19 tokens and they were made by P. Kempson. He also made a set of England thirty two tokens. I have never heard of a set of these. They would be worth a fortune. He made this set of Coventry England.famous gates that protected the city. Famous buildings. He has four reverses plus the fifth the Handel reverse. Three he would put a period after certain letters. Then he made the very rare Handel reverse. There will never be a set of that. They were very rare. The workmanship got my attention. The set I put together is the only one known. N.G.C. agreed but couldn't put it on the label . So instead they put my name on them. It took two years to find the last one. They grade from MS 63 to MS 66 with some red brown and a proof like. . These tokens are 244 years old and look like they were made yesterday. The token below shows the token how I bought it. I knew it would grade MS. I sent it in and N.G.C. contacted me saying there was something on it and they could remove it. The graded one is what it looks like after cleaning. This one is not in the set. . There are so many of these Conder tokens. You ask what are they worth. Some hundreds of pounds. The George Washington's token graded MS 61 sold for 25,000 dollars. Yes they have very good prices. But then again your buying art on Copper and bronze. They have so much history. Such workmanship. You can count the bricks and the windows. The cobble stones. This was there tallent.. The token below is of Cardinal Worsely. If you watched the Tudors the story they told of him was not right. Henry the VIII actually liked him . He did not have him imprisoned and he did not kill himself. The gate was dedicated to him he was born in Ipwitch! Many of these were sold at the time to collector's who kept them in this condition. My set is on the web put in complete Coventry set tokens it should come up. Well I hope you enjoyed this. Those of you who want to learn more I will be happy to help. Just send a message. I'm in an auction now for a very special token. Once a week. Druids Revenge sells them in ebay. Take care be well!

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