Trade token (obverse), Halfpenny, possibly of Edinburgh

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Postcard of Trade token (obverse), Halfpenny, possibly of Edinburgh.
© National Museums Scotland

Trade token (obverse), Halfpenny, possibly of Edinburgh

This is the obverse of a copper halfpenny token, dated 1796. Although attributed to Edinburgh in the book by Dalton & Hamer published in 1916, the token may have originated elsewhere.

The obverse depicts a filtering stone for purifying water. The surrounding text reads 'FOR PURIFYING WATER/1796'.

Between 1787 and 1817 over 10,000 different types of trade token were issued to ease the shortage of small change. The contemporary fascination with tokens resulted in them becoming collectors' items. Some tokens were issued purely for collecting.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-103-368-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.XII.19.42
Date: 1796
Material: Copper; slight traces of lustre; slight wear. Inscription: Obv.: FOR PURIFYING WATER; a filtering stone; 1796 in exergue. Rev.: no legend; shield bearing a bunch of grapes; thistle to either side. Edge plain, not in collar.
Dimensions: Diameter 29.00 mm; weight 8.35 g; die axis 6.0
What: Coin Type: Dalton and Hamer, Lothian 1
Trade token
Subject: Trade Tokens
Where: England, uncertain mint
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Copper halfpenny trade token of Edinburgh, Lothian, 1796
  • Calder, J. 'The Wealth of a Nation'. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989 pp. 179-80 
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