Token coins have never traditionally reached the equivalent value of official currency coins because of several factors including:
For Proof grade the surfaces of a limited issue of coin dies are specially
polished by the mint and the coins then stamped twice in order to make the
relief-work deeper and clearer. These coins are then boxed and sold as proof.
(No token coins have been minted or sold this way)
For Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) grades there will be no visible signs of wear or handling, even under 30-power microscope. Full mint luster will be present. Ideally no bag marks will be evident.
For Uncirculated (Unc.) grades there will be no visible signs of wear or handling, even under a 30-power microscope. Bag marks may be present.
For Almost Uncirculated (AU), all detail will be visible. There will be wear only on the highest point of the coin. There will often be half or nore of the original mint luster present.
On the Extremely fine (XF) coin, there will be about 95% of the original detail visible. Or, on a coin with a design with no inner detail to wear down, there will be a very light wear over nearly all the coin. Some mint luster may be present.
The Very Fine (VF) coin will have about 75% of the original detail visible. Or, on a coin with no inner detail, there will be moderate wear over the entire coin. Corners of letters and numbers may be weak.
For Fine (F), there will be about 50% of the original detail visible. Or, on a coin with no inner detail, there will be fairly heavy wear over all the coin. Sides of letters will be weak.
On the Very Good (VG) coin, there will be about 25% of the original detail visible. There will be heavy wear on all the coin.
The Good (G) coin;s design will be clearly outlined but with substantial wear. Some of the larger detail may be visible. The rim may have a few weak spots of wear.
On the About Good (AG) coin, there will be typically be only a silhouette of a large design. The rim will be worn down into the letters if any.
Having said this the price of currency and trade token coins are seen as very collectable - prices have risen dramatically since the 1980s and are now taken far more seriously by numismatists. The beauty about tokens is their very struggle for acceptance, the unique history of each business that brought them into being and the romance of their ultimate reward when the general population embraced them as bona fide currency. There are examples of this all over the world with token coins being introduced in Australia, the USA and South Africa to alleviate the shortage of official currency in circulation as these new territories were claimed and settled by colonial powers in Europe.
The Strachan and Co tokens are the best researched trade tokens in the world today and as a result the prices of these coins has risen dramatically over the last ten years and these increases show no signs of slowing. See for yourself:
Numismatists and institutions who are known to own a complete set of the Strachan and Co tokens - there are only about 60 sets in the world:
Technical and mintage statistics of all coins at this link.
* Pre release of Balson's book
"Children of the
When one considers the extraordinary rise in price of the Strachan and Co tokens over the last twenty years one should consider the value of the first credit cards that appeared in the banking industry in the 1970s before magnetic tape and ATMs arrived on the scene. Will the early "junk" credit cards, tokens of your money controlled by the banking system, one day escalate in value like the token coins have in recent years? Only time will tell!
Displayed below are a selection of the very early credit cards held in the Balson Holdings Family Trust. This selection of credit cards date from 1979 (pre-magnetic tape) to 1983 (post magnetic tape) and had space for the terms and conditions to be carried on them - as can be seen on the reverse of the cards:
|GEORGE FULD RARITY SCALE FOR TOKEN COINS|
|RARITY||ESTIMATED NUMBER IN EXISTENCE|
|R - 1||Greater than 5000 (Relatively Common)|
|R - 2||2001 to 5000|
|R - 3||501 to 2000|
|R - 4||201 to 500|
|R - 5||76 to 200|
|R - 6||21 to 75|
|R - 7||11 to 20|
|R - 8||5 to 10|
|R - 9||2 to 4|
|R - 10||1 Only|
More on Great (S African numismatic) investments of the future at this link