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Token: US Traders & Merchants (Benjamin & Herrick)  1863
Token: US Traders & Merchants (Benjamin & Herrick) 1863

It sounds like you are into the world of exonumia, Jada. What you probably have is a token issued by a private company, the James Lewis Company in Laporte, IN. This happened often during the Civil War era. Government money was scarce, so merchants made their own.

The picture shows an 1863 trade token issued by an Albany, New York fruit dealer located on 427 Broadway. Typical values for this token are:

BENJAMIN & HERRIK TOKEN
worn: $5 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $12
well preserved: $20
fully uncirculated: $40

Tokens like these are fascinating to collect, and they are generally desirable for a certain subculture of coin collectors. If you go on eBay and search for trade tokens, you will find thousands of individual entries. Auction bids range from a few US dollars to well over $100, with most toward the lower end of that range. As always, the older, better preserved specimens bring higher prices.

Other places to look at tokens are Exonumia.com and TokenCatalog.com.

Coin: 705 , Genre: Tokens
Requested by: Jada, Tue, 23-Jun-2009 15:00:14 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 04-May-2013 13:13:12 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Wed, 09-Sep-2015 01:50:30 GMT
Requester description: 1861 Woman looking to the left with Childs Maner Chicago surrounding her. On the back, the picture looks to be a beehive of sorts on a table on water maybe? It also says Jas Lewis and Co Laporte Ind.
Tags: token traders trader merchants merchant benjamin herrick jetton jets jeton ietton tokens exonumia jet jetons merchandise benj ben woman childs child chicago beehive bee table water jas lewis laporte ind india femal women lady female feminine fem womans females womens ladys princess ladies boy girls boys baby kid girl children wasp hive bees honeybee hornet behive honeycomb private

  

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Wed, 29-Mar-2017 22:45:11 GMT, unknown: 15657918