Twenty-two rare coffee tokens
Impressed copper, tin, and brass.
British Colonial, 1671 - 1867.
This collection of tokens, the eldest of which dates from 1671, illustrates the long history of this private currency. At the latest until the 17th century, the introduction of tokens as a commonly used, coin-like private currency served to bridge an acute shortage of state produced coins until the 17th century, especially in England and South America. These embossed coins minted by plantation owners in South and Middle America and Asia developed their specific value to as collectables due to their special connection to coffee and the coffee harvest. Landowners used so-called plantation or hacienda tokens as a cheaper form of currency to pay their numerous workers. They were used as both salary and currency in plantation-owned shops.