The following Q&A is excerpted from Clifford Mishler’s Coins: Questions & Answers
Q: I have a round copper disc which has an Indian Head with 13 stars and the date 1863 on one side, and on the other some lettering which reads: PEKIN TEA STORE, N. 50 ST. CLAIR ST., PITTSBURGH. What is this item?
A: The item you have is a one-cent trade token known as a Civil War Store Card, or Merchant token. These pieces differ from Patriotic Civil War Tokens in bearing an advertisement of the issuing merchant. They were issued by merchants in almost 300 towns spread across 23 states, mostly in the North, with a few issues originating from the border states. It is estimated that the combined minting of store cards and patriotic tokens comprised more than 50 million pieces in about 10,000 varieties. The particular token you have is one of nearly 200 different Civil War store cards issued by some 30 firms in Western Pennsylvania, mostly Pittsburgh and old Allegheny.
Leave a Reply