Reading the Civil War Token Tables

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Go to Attributing Civil War Patriotic Token Dies
Go to Attributing Civil War Store Card Dies

Civil War Token Tables

The tables are presented in two formats to make attributing the tokens easier.

Patriotic Civil War Tokens

These token dies are designated by Fuld numbers. Since two dies are used for each token, then two Fuld numbers must be used to identify a specific token.

For example, the following token is made up of dies: 191 and 443. This would result in a Fuld designation of F-191/443.

civil war token tables

The token is also made of copper. One or two letters are used to designate what metal is used for the token. For copper, the letter ‘a’ is used by appending the Fuld designation: F-191/443a. This becomes the number found on NGC and ANACS holders and allows you to search for a specific token.

Civil War Store Cards

These token dies are designated by an older system which makes use of four different numbering systems:

The original system was created by Hetrich & Guttag, or H&G Numbers. These are seldom used anymore and this website will steer clear of them.

The second system was developed by George and Melvin Fuld and separates the obverse and reverse dies as follows:

The obverse number indicates the token’s state of origin by a two letter abbreviation like the postal system. This is followed by a two or three digit number indicating the city of origin for the token. Finally, one or two letters of the alphabet follow the city code to indicate which die from this city was used for the obverse.

The reverse number is a sequential number indicating which reverse die was used for this obverse die. This number is follow by the material composition letter in lowercase.

Example: NY 630K-1a would indicate the token was made in New York, City using die ‘K’ for the obverse and die 1 for the reverse. The token is made of copper as indicated by the ending lowercase ‘a’.

This is currently the system also used by the Third Party Graders and will be used for Store Card identification throughout this website.

Material Composition (Mat)

Tokens made of metals other than copper are significantly rarer. See the table below for material composition designators used in the die tables:

  • a      : Copper (C)
  • ap   : Copper plated (Cpl)
  • b      : Brass (Br)
  • c      : Nickel (N)
  • d      : Copper-Nickel (C-N)
  • e      : White-metal (WM)
  • f       : Silver (S)
  • fp    : Silver plated (Spl)
  • g      : Lead (L)
  • h     : Rubber (R)
  • i       : Zinc (Z)
  • j       : German silver (GS)
  • k      : Gilted (Gt)
  • l       : Gold (G)
  • lp    : Gold plated (Gpl)
  • m    : Tin (T)
  • mp : Tin plated (Tpl)

Minting Errors

Since these tokens were not made by the US Mint, quality of workmanship was not always the best. Almost every token will have some type of “mint error”. But, there are a few which really stand out. These are the ‘Overstrike’, the ‘Incuse’, and the ‘Double-strike’.

The ‘Overstrike’ occurs when the token is struck on a non-standard planchet, such as: an Indian Head Cent, a US dime, or even another token.

Example:

F-180/430do : Token images struck over 1859 Indian Head Cent
F-180/430do : Token images struck over 1859 Indian Head Cent

The ‘Incuse’ is a full brockage. A condition where a token sticks to the hammer die. This stuck token has an image from the anvil die exposed and when it strikes the next token planchet, it imprints that image as an incuse, but reversed, strike on the obverse side of the token.

Example:

F-231-231ai
F-231/231ai : Full brockage (reverse is incuse)

 

The ‘Double-strike’ is normally only considered if the token significantly rotated, or flipped over after the first strike and then was struck a second time.

Example:

F-20/303ao : Flipped-over Double-Strike
F-20/303ao : Flipped-over Double-Strike

Our private minters are not to picky about the outcome of their tokens, so they fix the problem and throw the newly minted token into the pile. These significant ‘mint errors’ are extremely rare.

In the tables that follow each token, you may encounter some additional abbreviations in the ‘Mat’ column identifying these error tokens. See the table below for additional abbreviations:

Other abbreviations used in the
‘Mat’ column of the die tables

  • o      : overstruck
    ie. F-1 may overstrike a C-N cent, abbreviated as ‘do’
  • i       : incuse (brockage)
    ie. F-6/6 where one side is incused with the same die, abbreviated as ‘ai’
  • *     : flip-over and/or double strike
  • #    : die actually made in 1858-1860, or after 1864, not an actual Civil War Token,
    but has been listed as one in other books

Reading the Civil War Token Tables

Below each die listed are identifiers which make the die unique. While some of these identifiers are common to other dies, when considered with the possible combination dies, they become positive identification for the die.

The boxed table below each die indicates the possible combinations.

For instance, if you were looking at the F-6 Patriotic die, you would see the following table:

Die F-6

civil war token tables
Sinker : Frederick B. Smith

Identifiers:

  • Date is 1863 with 8 & 6 low
  • 5-pointed stars in field
  • 6 raised stars in headband
  • 2nd and 3rd stars in headband are high
  • Hairline below last star in headband is standard
  • Position of lowest curl tip centered over 3 in date
DIE MAT RAR DIE MAT RAR DIE MAT RAR
6 ai R9 268 a R1

 

This tells you that die F-6 has only been found combined with dies: 6 and 268. The table also tells you the material composition and rarity of each combination. And, note that the combination with die 6 is an ‘Incuse’ error.

Or, if you were looking at the NY 140A Store Card die, you would see the following table:

Obverse Die – NY 140A

NY 140A-1a-r

Reverse Die

(1)NY 140A-1a-o

(2)NY 140A-2

Die Reverse: (See Reverse 1)
DIE MAT RAR DIE MAT RAR DIE MAT RAR
 1 a R1 1 b R9  1  c R10
Die Reverse: (See Reverse 2)
 2  a R6  2 a1  R9 2 b R10

Small differences you may notice when compared to the Patriotic Die Table:

  • More than one reverse die may be used with the obverse die. The original Fuld numbers are in the colored boxes. ie. NY 140A-1a, or NY 140A-2a
  • Sometimes, the same reverse is used with slightly different obverse dies. The differences will be indicated under the obverse die.
  • Above each reverse die table are the New Fuld numbers (New), and if applicable, the associated Patriotic (Pat) Die Fuld numbers. This gives you the ability to look up an image of the reverse die from a consolidated list of images. The reverse dies are consolidated so they only have to be shown once, as they are used frequently in other combinations.
  • Some tokens have not been assigned New Fuld numbers. For these, if available, an image of the reverse die will be shown below the obverse die.

Where possible, an example token picture has been provided. Due to the rarity of some of these, I have not found them all. If a picture has not been provided, then a description or the text on the die will be given.

Rarity

The collectible value of the token is determined mainly by its rarity and whether it has been authenticated. Expect to pay four times the raw value, or more, for an authenticated token. See Pricing Civil War Tokens.

Fuld Rarity Scale (Rar)

  • R1: Greater than 5,000
  • R2: Between 2,000 and 5,000
  • R3: Between 500 and 2,000
  • R4: Between 200 and 500
  • R5: Between 76 and 200
  • R6: Between 21 and 75
  • R7: Between 11 and 20
  • R8: Between 5 and 10
  • R9: Between 2 and 4
  • R10: Unique (one known example)

Go to Attributing Civil War Patriotic Token Dies
Go to Attributing Civil War Store Card Dies
Go to Civil War Token History

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