• Free Online Version: Dalton & Hamer's The Provincial Token Coinage of the 18th Century

        In 1775 the British government ceased production of copper coins, including the Regal farthings, half-penny, and penny varieties. Very quickly, small change began to disappear from circulation. Those still in circulation quickly became very worn, and barely identifiable. The lack of small coinage quickly began to hamper local trade and commerce.

        Lightweight counterfeits began appearing prolifically. Merchants and the public alike, though angry, had no choice, but to accept these imitations.

        Enter the Parys Mining Company. Based in Angsley, Wales, the firm was a miner of copper. Seeing an opportunity to alleviate the public's demand for small change, the firm decided to produce half-penny and penny tokens, using the copper dug from their mines.

        The popularity of the tokens was apparent by the vast numbers that began to be produced, and with a short number of years there were thousands of different designs in circulation. Many different varieties were produced, with an abundance of designs unparalleled in quality and artistic beauty.

        In fact, demand for the tokens grew so strong that many designs were produced for token collectors, producing many scarce varieties.

        In 1798 James Conder wrote the definitive resource for these amazing pieces. Titling his treatise An arrangement of Provincial Coins, tokens, and medalets issued in Great Britain, Ireland, and the colonies, within the last twenty years, from the farthing to the penny size, Conder not only wrote a book about these tokens, he also issued his own pieces.

        James Conderís reference was to remain the definitive reference of these tokens for nearly 100 years after its release. Regardless of how you collect them, Conder tokens provide a fascinating snapshot of an amazing period of history, the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.

        Collectors who are interested in exploring Conder tokens can start by perusing the 1910 version of Dalton & Hamer's The Provincial Token Coinage of the 18th Century online.

        It is free of charge for all.

        As it is the standard reference work on Conder tokens, it can be found

        Cheetah and Treashunt.