1863 Civil War Token



1863 Civil War Token, The Flag of Our Union – Shoot Him on the Spot

This light chocolate-brown, lustrous 1863 Civil War token has very clean surfaces. There are few visible abrasion marks or other distractions on this eye-appealing piece. Some original mint luster remains within the devices. The strike is average with full details on the dentils and the peripheral edge.

This Flag of Our Union patriotic token has the word SPOT spelled correctly. It depicts a Union flag surrounded by thirteen stars. Atop its pole is a Phrygian cap, symbol of liberty. The legend THE FLAG OF OUR UNION, separated by ornaments, is above and the date is below. The reverse shows three concentric circles with a legend in each. In the outer ring it is IF ANYBODY ATTEMPTS TO TEAR IT DOWN, then in the next ring SHOOT HIM ON THE SPOT. Within the inner circle is the word DIX, the denomination.

The tradesmen’s Civil War Tokens were used to provide small change as well as advertising for the merchant. They came with implied or stated assurances of buybacks for goods or returns for cash. Often called “store cards,” the tradesmen’s tokens are usually collected by topic or location. The patriotic or political type was used as a substitute for regular issued coinage. Private minters placed them in circulation at a profit. Some imitated the copper-nickel cent, and some said the words NOT ONE CENT, with NOT written in smaller letters. The tokens show leaders such as Lincoln, military motifs, and slogans and flags. Approximately 10,000 different Civil War Tokens are known. It is estimated that more than fifty million were issued.

When they first appeared, Civil War Tokens were not illegal; however, in 1864 a law was passed that abolished all private coinage.

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