Mike 's Blog

11 Jun 2021


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!

08 Dec 2020

1794 Plain Edge Token Franklin Press A/U 58

Tokens | Mike

Hi my friends . I'm writing this blog about a label. That's right. It's wrong. Quick story. This is the second time I have taken up my position against NGC. You see the title is wrong. Very wrong. I called NGC. Talk about people who Will not admit to a simple mistake. The label should read 1794 GB. Half Penny. No Edge. Franklin Press Middlesex 307a. This is the third year I have taken them to task. If you didn't know Condor tokens and saw this in the Red Book you would think it was made here a post Colonial. Very wrong. Now NGC has refused to change the label to read the way it should. It was according to Mr. Bowers it never circulated in the United States. England yes.I spoke to the section supervisor of tokens and heard no we will not change the label. I said because if you did you would be doing the right thing. And admitting you made a mistake. Never happen Now I just want the label to read the correct information. Made in Great Britain. Not the U.S. I said give me proof about your label. We don't have to do that. I have the proof the book the token . Bottom line they made a mistake.. Bottom line they refuse to change history. The history of Mr. Franklin and were his token was made. I think they found it on wikapedia. Then I could understand the mistake. To this day refuse to change there label. It's a Conder token pure and simple. No number to look it up in Dalton and Hammer. That number is 307a. Has nothing to do with the red book.. I thought in was speaking to a token expert. Turns out wasn't. They will not take it higher. Didn't mean I won't . These mistakes must be corrected. . It means allot to those who are looking to buy it and own it. It does mean something about history. Thanks.

05 Dec 2020

Saint Andrew of Scotland D&H -44 1792

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone hope you are all well. Today is a token about St. Andrew. Who was he? He was the brother of Peter.. It was made in 1792. It's a half penny,made of copper. It weighs 11.1 gems 29 mm thickness is 2mm. . This token is what is called a double rarity. There is only one rarer than this. You notice the two pieces of wood he is holding. They are to be his cross. He said I do not deserve to be crucified like Jesus.. The cross is called de cussata or x shape. It states No one provokes with impunity! The reverse is the It or arms or Edinbourgh. The edge says Payable at the warehouse of Thos & Alex R Hutchison . He was crucified on November 30 60 A.D. Being St. Peter's brother he was the first follower of CHRIST. . He preached the word of God and said "I would not preach the honor and glory of the death s of the cross if I feared the death of the cross" .So he was sentenced to death for denying the religion of the Roman gods. His words were "I Cross Most Welcome And Long Anticipated! I Come To You With A Willing Kind With Joy And Desire A Fowler A Student Of The One Who Died For You. I Have Always Embraced You". He was not nailed to this cross instead he was tied. It has The same effect. You might say Why is he writing about a Saint. Well I'm actually writing about a token and the man who died on his cross.. If you look at the flag of Scotland it was made after the cross of St. Andrew. The country loved him. As a religious man and a man who stood up to the Roman Empire.. One man. He knew he didn't stand a chance. Knew that eventually after the interagations that the Romans would sentence him to death. Besides there's nothing wrong with a little religion now in the situation we live in today. Who Ever we pray to. Pray. This is a small blog. The man was sent out to preach the word of God by the Holy Spirit. They spoke all the world langues. He is also the patron Saint of other countries he preached in . When the House or the Senate is called to order in Washington it's opened by a member of one of the many Religions in this country . He says a small prayer that God will direct these men to a favorable decision. That doesn't happen all the time. Everywhere there is Justice we see in God we Trust.That's a reference to your God not the Catholics. .So politics does have a place in our history. The Druids had many in Ireland.St. Patrick witch is also a token here in the colonies.. He took there Sun God combined it with the Christian cross and the Celtic cross was.born. So Conder tokens have animals ,people famous people.who started the industrial revolution. War hero's just about every famous person in the 18th century. The political section has one of George Washington. In MS 61 it sold for 25,000 dollars. So you see there are many famous people. This was a way of recording there history.. These tokens grade very high. They were taken care of better than some coins today. The biggest I have is a MS 66 many of them. Proof like red and brown and the detail you can count the bricks or the links in a fence. These were masters. So I decided to write about this man Andrew. Yes an ordinary man who preached. Your not made a Saint the next day . Sometimes it takes centuary's. It's a remarkable process. So it's not a holy day just a normal day in the middle of a pandemic. A little religion won't hurt . It might save lives. I hope.you enjoyed this story of a simple man. Who influenced an entire country. Just like the people of the Mayflower. Looking for.religious freedom. So in this day of a virus taking million s.if lives ask St. Anthony for a quick cure . Thanks

28 Aug 2020

1796 D&H 42 Penny London P. Kempson.

Tokens | Mike

Hi every one. I hope your all well. The token you see at the bottom is one of Peter Kempsons London series.. He made 36 pennys. Now there were much heavier and bigger. This token has edge writing. It says " I Promise To Pay On Demand The Bearer One Penny X" . Now there were two different dies to some of these. Die A on the reverse and die B this one is die A. There was not that much difference between the two. A word that was it. The Guildhall in London if your there can be seen from King street. The building was built in 1411,but only the very fine crypt remains from the original structure. The fire of London in 1666 destroyed the roof and caused such damage that considerable repair was needed. A new roof was installed in 1669. The old hall was used as a bazaar by booksellers and vendors of various articles. Now I said the roof was put back on in 1669. However that was temporary and the roof on the token was added by George Dance in 1789..In 1870 a new council Chamber,Library,and Museum were added and the older parts were restored.. As if it had had luck it was badly damaged in air strike in the second world war,the original council Chamber and the roof again the great hall were destroyed. One thing I learned about the British is there resolve. They never let them famous buildings lay in rubble. Now remember it was built in 1411. It was rebuilt in1952 by Sir Giles Scott. Now many are amazed how good the shape of these tokens are. . Well I said in the first one they were sold to collectors and the public. Those sold to collectors were stored in a table like the one below. It has a marble top and many drawers to store the tokens. This one below was sold at Heritage ,don't think I didn't consider buying it. But my wife would throw me out. . It stopped the environment from damage to the tokens. They had a bed of felt that they laid on and stored like a safe. You look closely you will see the poles coming up. So when it was closed it looked like any other table. That's why I can buy a token with the rich color of red brown. They were taken very good care of. I have been lucky to be able to buy this art. I can't imagine how long it took to make a die of these buildings. Now here is something I found out. Kempson limited these to 200 A piece. Talk about low mintage. But it's a series I do not see anyone compleating. Not with the age and mintage. But think what it would look like. I have seen some in bad shape that gets me upset when I see so many in great shape. This token was bought before my set. And it still has that bright red color. I only wish the pictures could give them justice. Thanks for reading this I hope you enjoyed it. Stay safe . Mike

19 Aug 2020

St.Mary's Hall D&H 295 Warwickshire P. Kempson

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone hope all is well. Today I will be writing about Conder Tokens. What are they . They were used in England during the 18th century. Why Conder. Well a Gentleman by the name.of Conder saw one an decided these were important . So he decided to catalog these beautiful tokens. Now Britain was not issuing any silver or gold.They were involved in so many wars it cost them. Like our civil war the people stepped up and made these. Some have the store on the reverse of on the edge. They made half pennies and penny's. . This way they could redeem them for goods. This set was made for collectors. Yes there were collectors back then. And they paid big money for these. The set is considered rare and scarce. The D&H number stands for Dalton And Hammer. A book that has them cataloged. Now there were many great designers and die sinkers. This one was made by P. Kempson. He was one of the best and there were also many others who were excellent. What happened they became a work of art in copper. P. Kempson put two sets together. One of all pennies and one of half pennies. I decided to put together one of his sets. The Coventry Set of tokens. There were 19 in the set. I was told I could not do this . Why well these were made in 1797. That's 223 years ago.It took five years but I did it. The token below is one of the set. They all graded MS 63 to MS 66 some red brown one proof like.. . Now St. Mary's Hall was built on Marys. street on the south side of St. Michael's Church. It says on the bottom St. Mary's Hall erected 6 in. It was built as a meeting and banquet hall for three of the city's guilds.St.Johns, St. Katherine Church, and Trinity Church. . This is the part I really enjoy. It was began about 1340-42. The great hall itself started in 1394 and finished in 1414. It was extensively repaired in 1580 and in 1753 the old brick floors were removed and wood planking put in.The windows you see at the bottom were of famous people Earls Dukes, Bishops Mayors,. In 1826 the Windows were replaced Pemberton of Birmanham. Why was this building important. All the public used it the corporation used it. That's during the reign of my friend Henry the VIII. The three other churches used it for there bussiness. What I find remarkable as I always say is the record keeping I mean back to the 1300's . I found I could not put it all in. Now enlarge the picture's the color was taken in the 20th century. The black and white the 19 century.not much change. Now look at the token almost to the brick. That's how good they were and the steam presses put out 60 to 80 per minute. This set is rare. It's so far the only known complete set. I will write another explaining these tokens. The token is12.96 grm 29 mm. The reverse is the crest of the town of coventry. An elephant for strength. On top a small castle were the soldiers would be and a wild cat to show there resolve. I'm very proud of this set it took two years to find the last one. NGC could not say its the only set . But they asked me to send it back and they put my name on the label. They do not do that to often. I was proud . But I had help from my friends at ANA. They didn't find any . But every time I was going to give up they kept me going. The set can be seen in the NGC Registry set or the web. Thanks I hope some of the new comers enjoyed this. It was last posted two years ago. If course more.information. And a picture of my research book. . That's what a research book should look like when your trying to find these. Thanks. Please enlarge the pictures. By the way the building is still standing!!!!!

22 May 2020

York The City In The North Token 1795 D&H 68

Tokens | Mike

Hi my friends i hope all of you are well. I decided to write today on the token York. York was in the north of England and has a rich history. We will get the false stories we have been led to believe in. That William Wallace saked York. No. Not close. It made for an ok movie but again we have fiction and non-fiction. They do that allot . After the Norman conquest William the Great built a wooden castle. However in 1609 the north of England rose in revolt.The Norman Garrison was massaquerd . William returned and rebuilt another castle to rebuild the town. So who sacked York? The Vikings. It was Ivar The Boneless and his brothers Ubbe and Hvitserk..It was easy since York was boult by two rivers. The town was slaghterd.. York was important to them because they had a mint.All the Vikings coinage came from York. Before i go any further William Wallace did beat the English at the historic battle of Stirling. Wallace defeated Edward the 1st otherwise known as Lonshanks. Who founded York before William. The Romans.in 70A.D. They founded it between the two rivers named Ouse and Foss. The Romans left in 1190 but before that the Jewish population was slaughtered some committed suicide. Rome had settled most of England when they left it was a mess. Now many things happend it York.during the time of the Romans ,the Normans the Vikings. It seemed like Wallace was the only one that didnt sack York. The towns people stayed the same and continued to rebuild.this wonderful town its mane export was wool. There was a big demand for it and wool was made all over England. Many tokens have the machinery on the reverse.. They also built one of the largest Cathedrals in Europe its called The Metropolitcacl Church of St.Peter. Commonly known as York Minister. It is the seat of The Archbishop the third highest office of the church of England.. Now York has a great story. They made thes tokens so we would remember the history of England. Yes they tell stories and there fascinating. Braveheart was an ok movie but the real history is so much better .The token the obverse has a view of the Cathedral York 1795 .The reverse has a view of the castle and drawbridge. The edge says York 1223 Cathedral Rebuilt 1076A.D. . Its half a penny the diameter is 28.7 mm 1.8 thick. And weighs 7.18 grm.. Its a wonderful token and as i say read the history. Why did they make such a beautiful token . Because the English are probably one of the best in record keeping. I could not put every detail every name. But i told the tokens story. Thanks stay safe.

09 May 2020

The Soho Mint And Matthew Boulten D&H -212

Tokens | Mike

Hi my friends . Now hope I you all are ok. This blog was written before but a new token and more information is always welcome. Matthew Bouldien was the general manufacturer in Birmingham. In 1762 he bought and rebuilt some works at a place called SoHo. Little did we know what would be coming . Its on the outside of the town. Now he didnt do this alone a gentleman by the name ofMr. Fothergill was his partner. Now he wasnt done they became aquainted with Mr. James Watt. He was the man made.famouse by inventing the steam engine. He moved to Soho in 1769. He knew a good thing when he saw it. He hooked up with the other partners. Now Boultin was not done in 1773 he had an Assay office to his bussiness. Everthing was getting bigger.. In 1788 he added a coin machines and a coin mill was built. Now what we have is the Soho mint. Beautiful coins and wonderful tokens like the one below. I know NGC is busy but that token is a proof you cant get better. They made a mistake on another one. Back to the blog. Now these machines were putting out 60 to 80 coins per minute. And they were taking care of. I now the made a few items for the Royal Mint. In 1857 there were no more coins tokens . It was dismantled and the machinery sold toMr. Ralph Heaton and the TheSons of Soho. . Now all good things come to an end the old mint was one. There are no remains of the old mint. It produced some of the words best tokens and coins you have seen most of my collection. I still have raw tokens that i like that way. But when you come accross a beautiful token whats the crime in trying to protect it. You hold this token up its remarkable. How they missed this i will tell you. NGC is using other graders in different sections. I will not send another coin or token till this virus ends and it will the other mistake. The token said erected in 1794 they used that as the date. It wasnt. It was made sometimes in the 1700's. I will send it back . Then again i like to learn the history is a lesson the reserch all teaches. I hope you enjoyed this one the next one will say proof. The obverse is a view of the Soho Works . Legand, is Soho Manuufactury. Erected in 1764. The reverse is Kempson crest and Birmingham. Thanks i hope you enjoyed it Mike

13 Apr 2020

Bishops Gate D&H 651 Middlesex Britain.

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone. I hope your all doing well during this terrible time. Im writing today on a token called Bishops Gate. First the token. Its 11.51grms and 29 mm. The Obverse states Bishops Gate Built 1733. The reverse has a cypher PSCo. The reverse states Dedicated To Collectors Medals And Coins.. Its a wonderful token with a rich history. It goes back to the Romans. It was rebuilt in 1471. You have to love the records that the Brutish kept.its amazing. A group of people called The Hansa Merchants did the rebuilding. Now the gate was put up with numirious gates to protect the city an allow visitors and merchants to the town known as Bishops Gate. This is in the east end of England because of this it survied the Great Fire of London. The gate was divived into two. . Bishops gate without and in. This meant ouside the walls of the Gate and the inside. I was born in Ireland and Baptized in Holy Trinty Without. Out side the walls of Waterford. It was completed in 1733. The token was made.after that but no date is on it. This is common it was made duding the middle of the 1700's.. Now a little of some of the places Bishops Gate was Know for. It had some of the oldest and most famous public houses or bars as we know them.One in particular was the London Tavern. This stood from 1768-1876. It was demolished and re-ericted as theold.Crosby Hall which at one time was the residance of Richard the III and St. Thomas Moore. There was a bad time in this modern age. On April 24,1993 Bishops Gate suffered massive destruction April 24 was the Anniversary of the Easter Uprising. Now understand this. I am aware of what goes on in the land of my birth Ireland. On that day the I.R.A. Called the British station police and Army. They gave a five digit code that verify that its the I.R.A. They then continue to name the place ,time,and size of the explosive. However during this time the British would not respond to the message and allowed the truck bomb to go of causing one death and 40 injured. One million pounds in damage. The sad part no one had to suffer. The British decided to turn public opinion against them. Great idea. It back fired. They did it a few times and the public was upset at both but mainly the procters they had the time place and plenty of time to disarm So there you have it the Readers Digest version of Bishops Gate and its town. Rich in history. Every coin and token tells a story. The British and Romans were remarkable in there history. If i did anymore research i probably could get the blue prints. Stay inside stay healthy family first.P.S. Kindly enlarge the photo that shows Bishops.Gate!

27 Jan 2020

The Token That Has Music Middlesex D&H 302

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone. Well I have allot of Tokens. Trade private, political all sorts. When I saw this one I was curious. Now I wanted it for many years. So I tried to see if the notes were real or just a bunch of notes. To my surprise the music coincides with a song most of the old timers knew and middle age. I don't know what there teaching in school anymore but it's called God Save The King. Now it's not on the top ten but the music goes to a song we used to sing sometimes in school . It's the music to My Country Tis of Thee. Remember that . It's very patriotic. We want it every day in class. The Token is 30 mm 14-8 grams. It says God Save The King. Below it there is a crown all encircled by the notes to God Save The King. It was done by William Forster. It says on the reverses Wm Forster Violin Tenor, and Violincello maker No 348 Strand London. Strand London was a stretch of stores that made these wonderful instruments. If you ever get a chance to go to a quartet go. It's some of the most beautiful music you can hear. You can put your head back and close your eyes. I use to go when I could. I will start once again. Now I put a bid on it to my surprise many showed up. It's not rare or scarce. It shows you these tokens will surprise you all the time. I looked at it again on the reverses it was the shield of King George The III. I wonder how many picked that up. Well I paid a reasonable price. And I was glad I did. I had seen it in the books but now I could own it. I did. I started to do the research and never figured that those notes were the real thing. England is very good at adapting. When the King died and a Woman took the Throne naturally it was changed to God Save The Queen. This is just another reason I love these tokens. A sorry for everyone. Maybe we can change the words to God Save The ANA. Hope you enjoyed reading this as enjoyed writing it. Enjoy. Mike.

10 Jan 2020

Cardinal Thomas Worsley D&H 10. One Penny

Tokens | Mike

Who Was Cardinal Thomas Worsley? Well he was a very educated man. He received his degree at Oxford in 1530 at the age of 15.. Now this is not a repost. It's been a while I think it fell off. And we have new members. This is a Conder Token of the Cardinal. Some of you have heard about him in the T.V. series The Tudors . First don't believe everything you see in the movies. Remember that. He was Archbishop of York, and Chancellor of England to King Henry the VIII. One of my favorites. Not really. Worsley held many titles. He built many beautiful homes and castles. He was born in Ipswich in 1473.. His claim to fame was the Chancellor simply because he had the ear of Henry and he basically ruled England. King Henry and Worsley were the best of friends. Did he take a few pounds for himself.? What Chancellor didn't but one. Saint Thomas Moore. Also best of friends with the King. For that he had his head cut off. Not really he would not join the Church of England. King Henry's church. He had many riches land many homes. Now I said don't believe what you see in the movies or T.V. shows. In the Tudors King Henry turns against Worsley. Has him out in the tower of London and commits suicide. Far from the truth. Yes he was arrested because he did not get the divorce for his King. The Pope turned him down. Worsley argued that if the Pope granted this England would remain Catholic.. The Pope has grandfather them before. On his journey to hear his charges he came down with dysentery and passed on in Leicester at the age of 57. The British are known for their record keeping. He was surrounded by his supporters at his death and spoke his final words"I see the matter against me how it is framed.But if I had served God so diligently as I have the King maybe he would not have given me the gray hairs". Then he passed. He was accused of everything but never convicted of anything. The King cried at the news of his death.. He was born in Ipswich the same town as Conder the man who started cataloguing these wonderful tokens. So in this day and age instead of making movies of non fiction than fiction they distort history.. Now the light was working when I received it and you can see we have one now without the lamp.I wanted you to see the token as it is today red brown and still looks like the raw token. And in the light you can see the great detail. As a matter of fact Conder had a statue of him made. The reverse shows Worsly's gate at Ipswich. The gate was built in his memory and to protect the city. Now I haven't done a blog on Conder tokens for a long time. Once in a while I will post a blog on some you may like. Thanks.Mike


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