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Token: US Civil War  1860 to 1870
Token: US Civil War 1860 to 1870

Civil War Tokens like yours appeared in the early 1860s because there was a severe shortage of US government-issued coins. Regular cents of the era were strongly hoarded, so private individuals started making small copper coins to meet the demands of commerce. The government caught up eventually, and Civil War Tokens disappeared. CWTs are eagerly collected today.

The picture shows a CWT like the one you have. Many different political and patriotic themes appear on CWTs. For a coin in good shape, like the one in the picture, figure a retail value of $40 to $50 US dollars, sometimes twice those amounts depending upon rarity. Since yours has stains, is heavily toned, and because it is possibly difficult to read, it may sell for $20 to a collector. A dealer would buy it from you for about $5 to $10. Fully uncirculated CWTs are very rare and can fetch several $100s of dollars.

Very approximately, here are general values which apply across most CWTs:

worn: $20 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $50
well preserved: $100
fully uncirculated: $400

The web universe of CWTs centers at (where else?) CivilWarTokens.com. Here you will find plenty of examples and very knowledgeable people. There are nice collections at the UK Token Society, on AnythingAnywhere, and on flickr.

The inscription says in full 'The Federal Union - it must and shall be preserved'. The only pattern I know about with 'Army and Navy' and the 'shall be preserved' slogan has no date.

Go to eBay and do a search for Civil War Token. You will find many specimens for sale. The themes, inscriptions, and devices (pictures) are intriguing. Some typical inscriptions are:

IT MUST AND SHALL BE PRESERVED
ARMY AND NAVY
OUR ARMY
OUR NAVY
OUR CARD
OUR COUNTRY
UNION FLOUR
LIBERTY AND NO SLAVERY
THE FLAG OF OUR UNION
FOR PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION
ONE COUNTRY
NOT ONE CENT

Coin: 638 , Genre: Tokens
Requested by: Donkey, Mon, 15-Jun-2009 22:20:27 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 12-Jul-2014 03:49:01 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Wed, 29-Jun-2016 00:52:32 GMT
Requester description: 1864 The federal union it must be presented
Tags: token civil war jetton jets jeton ietton tokens exonumia jet jetons wars federal union dunion lunion shall preserved preserve army navy flour flower flag public cent slavery slave monitor one card preserving preserver florets blossom fler fleurs lises petals leis lisse flowerettes flur stems trefoils floral lily petels orchid lis posy bouquet flowers orcid bud lilly fleur lei petal bloomed trefoil floret floer stem flowery lilys fluer fleures pedals publice publica publicae publiqve publico peny cents pennys pennies penny ones anchor wreath star starburst wreathed rief reif reef wreathe wreat garland wreth wreah wreaths starrs stars burst

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Sun, 28-May-2017 04:54:45 GMT, unknown: 17929713