Mike 's Blog

25 Nov 2022

The December Numismatist 2022 I Was Published.

Tokens | Mike

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!. Now get ready for sandwiches!! Last October I had a member telling me to submit an article to the Numismatist. I kept saying no. Well he was very persistent. So he told me what I had to do and I sent it in. It took Mr. Caleb the editor of the magazine to email me one day. He informed me the article was very good and they wanted my permission to to print it!. He asked if I wanted to get paid or donate the money. I donated it to the yngs. This blog is different than other. It tells collector's what they should do to get published. It can help. And ask me questions!! I was schocked. They were going to publish my article! I had pictures to take. So my friend Mokie said Gary (coinsbygary) was a professional photographer. Now I had to send him the five tokens. I was a wreck mailing these. They are one of a kind part of Peter Kempsons Tokens of Coventry. I would not be able to get another of each. They came back I was so relieved. Gary Herman did a fantastic job. Remember these are from 1797.

23 Nov 2022

Civil War Tokens Part Three

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone hope all is well. This is the last part of the civil war tokens. These tokens are slabbed . Now that's because some are a rare six,five and a four. Also as I stated in part two a rarity 1 graded a MS 63 means more money. It can get you close to two hundred dollars. ...Now that depends on the token what kind of metal they used and they used all the metals except gold. You might get a token with gold overlay. But I'm talking from copper to tin.If a different metal was used lets say brass there will be a letter that stands for brass.Metal can mean a rarity 1 to a 10.!!!

08 Nov 2022

What Are Civil War Tokens?

Tokens | Mike

Hi I hope everyone is doing fine. This will be done in parts. There is so much information on these. These were made during the Civil War because on July 17, 1862 the United States went coinless! That's right. People horded all the change. This is after on February 25,1862 the government made 150,000,000 in legal tender notes redeemable for gold and silver. Its expensive to run a war. It was costing Lincoln one million dollars a day to keep the army fighting and that wasn't enough! That's right people hoarded all the change they could get. You couldn't get a hair cut nothing. So the government allotted another 150,000,000 of legal tender. This was to remedy the shortage or least part of it. War will do this to a country. They also made stamps legal tender up to five dollars. To say the country was in bad shape was an understatement. In comes some ideas. A gentleman by the name of John Gault came to N.Y from Boston he put stamps in round brass pieces. They were made 1 cent 3 cents five cents 10cents and 90 cents. This helped a little. Today these are very expensive. .Now the tokens started to show up. They were made of two dies one for the obverse and one for the reverse.two brothers started catalogue these they were George Fuld and his brother Melvin. Years later Q. David Bowers came up with two books on these tokens and artifacts. The soldiers carried them till they could mail them home so the family could buy items with them. There were two types Political and store cards(tokens). The store name was on the token.

23 Oct 2022

Swanswell Gate Built 1440

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone. Hope those at the show had a great time. Now down to business. A coin collector working on a set does not just end his research. I kept going because I knew there were more gates in Coventry. But were is the Token.Kempeson didn't make a token of all the gates. ....You see he had to limit his set. And with all the gates he had to choose. Now the gate below was ma built in 1440. Or about that time. You see a photo of it in 1910. It looks pretty beat up. But this gate originally was called the privy gate the name changed laterto Swanswell Gate . One picture shows a a set of stairs that go to the top!!.I would love to see the view.

14 Oct 2022

The Tudors Cardinal Wolsey

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone ! I hope your all ok! Now I don't know how many of you saw the show 'The Tudors '. It was a mini series based on the reign of the one and only Henry The V111. The Tudor monarchy. This series was based on fiction and nonfiction. They did this with most movies of that time period. Take Braveheart. Were William Wallace who was real sacked York. The Vikings sacked York. And he only won one battle. Sorry to disappoint you guys. It was another movie made of fiction and nonfiction.. Now the token below is one of my favorites. The likeness of the Cardinal was done from a painting and put on copper.Its uncanny how good the engraver did this. I believe it was Wyon. I will check that. Since my blogs come from history. The gate was on the reverse was called Wolsey Gate. He was born in Ipswich Suffolk. His first name was Thomas. Born in 1475 and died in 1530. The same town as James Conder who started categorizing them. This token is a penny!! Now it was said Henry ruled the Kingdom but Wolsey called the shots. King Henry was very upset he could not get a divorce so he could marry again. He was the Chancellor of England and had more going on than the King had. And that was allot. He had an illegitimate son who would travel with him when he went to collect taxes from the Abbeys and church's. This money went to good use his charity's. Now there was allot of rumor that King Henry disliked the Cardinal. This was not true. King Henry liked most of his fund raisers. He did get a divorce from Pope Clement V11. But not the one he wanted. Now this is were it starts to break up the close friendship. Orders went out that the Cardinal had to return to London for treason. Now the show would have you think he committed suicide in the Tower of London. This also is not true.. Coming back to London the Cardinal became very sick . He was in the town of Leicester and had to stop It was dysentery. It caused his death. He spoke at length on his death bed but the sentence most remembered for is"If I treated My God as I did My King perhaps I would not have this gray hair" ....So there is a short list of how he lived and died. He had many beheaded. He stole all the money he could but was glorified in the series The Tudors. The token was made.some two hundred years after his death. But it shows the impact one man had over a King and a Country. The detail in the gate is as I always say remarkable. His likeness also. I sent it to NGC it came back Red brown MS 64. Please click on the pictures of the token on his face and the gate and see the work that went into it. I hope you enjoyed this little bit of history. I forgot his crest Most of those in the Monarchy had there family crest. It showed how.powerful you were. In earlier days the crest stood for the family every family had one I have a family crest. Thanks and enjoy!!

06 Oct 2022


Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone hope you all are well. This will be a short blog to explain the buildings and there tokens. Now if you didn't read the first blog please read it so you get a better understanding of these beautiful tokens. Now the engravers back then had terrific talent. Now I only picked two tokens and the buildings they represent. I said that the engravers worked on every detail. .....I have many more of buildings still standing the one St.Johns still is in use today .I wrote a journal about St. Johns and don't you know I received a response from someone who went there when it was a high school. Its a church again! Built in the 1300's. I stated that they were great architectures these are two examples. There are many many more.

05 Oct 2022


Tokens | Mike

Well I will try and keep this short. Simply because once I start writing about them I can't stop. Conder Tokens were made mostly in the 1700's in England. They did for the English what civil war tokens did for us. You see England was involved in many wars. The French the Spanish and us. This almost bankrupt the country.So a gentleman named Matthew Bolton who owned the Soho mint began to make these tokens so they could be redeemed for basic items. That information was on the edge. Now not all had edge writing. They were made in half penny's and pennys. Saint Michaels Cathedral below is very large that's a penny.

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.

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.

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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