|The Very Highest Quality Medallions...|
|In Memory of the Good Old Days - 1788|
We get about 20 e-mails or phone calls every week about jetons or medallions similar to the one we illustrate here, asking what they are and how much they are worth. These are very common, and are almost worthless, even though they are quite interesting.
What's a Jeton?
A jeton is a token or counter, typically used as a card or gaming counter. Nowadays casinos use plastic discs as their gambling chips. In the eighteenth century when gambling clubs were very fashionable and popular, there were many different designs produced, mainly in crude imitation of guineas or half guineas. The word jeton comes from the french jeter meaning to throw, as one would throw ones chips onto a roulette table. We sometimes call them medallions, tokens or imitation guineas.
The Good Old Days?
We were not around at the time these were issued, so we cannot claim to read the mind of the person who decided on the inscription on this particular coin. Perhaps there was a club called "The Good Old Days", possibly these jetons were produced after guineas and half guineas had been superseded by gold sovereigns and half sovereigns, so that "good old days" may have been referring to the age of the guinea. Although our token is the size of a half guinea, they are commonly also found in one guinea size also.
Many similar jetons were made with the names and addresses of businesses as novel advertising pieces, the intention being that few people would throw away something which looked like money, so the "coin" would be a long-lasting advert.
The date 1788 would be entirely correct for this type of guinea or half guinea, which were issued from 1787 to 1800, although as we suggest, it is entirely possible that these jetons were issued later than this. Obviously because these are only "toy" imitations of coins, it is likely that there many dates will appear on them which would not appear on actual coins. This does not make them rare or valuable, merely interesting.
The obverse shows a crude portrait of George III.
GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA
If you think it reads GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA, then please see our page about V and U in the Roman alphabet,
The reverse shows a crowned spade-shaped shield in reasonable imitation of a George III half guinea, with the inscription:-
IN MEMORY OF THE GOOD OLD DAYS
Diameter: 20.5 millimetres
Weight: 1.8 grams (a half guinea weighs about 4.2 grams)
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