Token, Penkridge

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Description:Penkridge half pence copper alloy token, issued by John Phillips, mercer. A mercer is a trader in silk and textiles.

Token coins such as this were issued by businesses and other organisations when official coinage was in short supply. In theory, tokens would circulate only where their issuer was known or trusted, but in practice trade tokens were circulated widely and used in exactly the same way as official coinage. In the 17th century, coining money was supposed to be the exclusive right of the sovereign, but this lapsed with the beheading of Charles I in 1649. Trade tokens soon appeared and continued to be issued until 1672, when Charles II issued official copper coins of his own.

Obverse: 'IOHN ----LIPES*'. Central shield is the Mercers' Arms.
Reverse: 'PANCRIDGE.1665* / HIS HALF PENY'

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Donor ref:66.136.0081 (37/32948)

Source: Staffordshire Museum Service

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