1863 Civil War Token, Knickerbocker Currency, F-254/255, NGC AU58 BN. This near-Mint State, 1863 Civil War dated, pro-Union, two sided pictorial token has original, extremely clean surfaces with no granularity that often affects these issues. Traces of mint red remains in protected areas of the otherwise brown and copper surfaces. Just a touch of wear keeps this attractive piece from a Mint State grade. The strike is above average with strong peripheries on both sides and slight weakness on the center motifs.
This Patriotic token was designed by William Bridgens. According to George and Melvin Fuld, Bridgens lived on William Street in New York City. There were over 600 varieties of these tokens. The obverse is inscribed MONEY MAKES THE MARE GO with the date below, and the reverse says KNICKERBOCKER CURRENCY.
Civil War Tokens, also known as "copperheads," were issued privately because of the coinage shortage that occurred during the war. The public disliked the fractional paper money issued by the federal government and used tokens to replace it. There were two types of Civil War Tokens, those that had a commercial message, known as tradesmen’s tokens and those that had a patriotic or political theme. They disappeared in 1864 when the federal government issued enough bronze coins to satisfy public demand.
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