World of Coins

Other tokens and medals => Transportation tokens => Topic started by: natko on August 24, 2019, 02:07:12 PM

Title: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: natko on August 24, 2019, 02:07:12 PM
Sweden and to much lesser degree Finland has used a lot of tokens in the past.

I'm wondering is there a book or an online resource which deals with Scandinavian tokens. Especially for Norway, I can't seem to find much info.
Title: Re: Re: Norwegian Tram token
Post by: malj1 on August 24, 2019, 02:24:48 PM
See our Sweden: Transport tokens (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/wiki/Sweden:_Transport_tokens) we have yet to do Norway and other Scandinavian tokens.
Title: Re: Re: Norwegian Tram token
Post by: natko on August 24, 2019, 04:00:49 PM
Thanks. I'm however particularly interested in trading tokens, as they basically have been used as a small money in neigborhoods, towns and wider.

If a small Croatia has probably around 200-300 of them, I guess Norway and Sweden should even have more.

Casinos and Transport tokens are a bit different category (although, I know this is a transport board) :)
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: Figleaf on August 24, 2019, 04:14:05 PM
Don't know if our definition of "trading token" matches. For me, a trading token is a general purpose device that was actually used instead of official money.

The number of trading tokens (as I define them) does not depend on size of the country or its population or its economic, financial or technological development. It is a function of government management. When the government fails to secure a sufficient provision of official money, tokens come in. See also this contribution (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,46517.msg291352.html#msg291352).

AFAIK, there are few if any trade tokens that circulated in Sweden or Finland.

Peter
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: natko on August 24, 2019, 04:33:06 PM
Interesting Peter.

I agree. However, when visited Stockholm's coin museum there was a small section of their trading tokens. I would generally call it, probably as you, private money, made for use inside a company. They were very often popping up online in my constant searches for Croatian tokens which were not identified. With recent travel through Norwegian countryside I was wondering how secluded areas could have enough formal currency for their trade. Maybe it was just more popular in Germany and Austria-Hungary and in the US for instance to mint these...
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: Figleaf on August 24, 2019, 05:04:17 PM
made for use inside a company.

Ah. That's different. There are plenty of tokens for use by, or inside a company. They include the Swedish transport tokens malj1 linked to, Swedish and Finnish telephone tokens on the same site, but also canteen tokens, coffee machine tokens, parking tokens, gaming tokens and more. The Swedish transport tokens are being catalogued. Fosseway is involved in that effort. Some volumes have appeared already. I think we are pretty complete on WoT with the Swedish and Finnish telephone tokens. The rest is AFAIK not completely covered.

Peter
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: FosseWay on August 24, 2019, 06:01:04 PM
Swedish tokens are mostly caralogued by location rather than purpose. So far there are volumes on Stockholm, Gothenburg and Skåne. Other areas are undr research at various stages of progress.
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: natko on August 26, 2019, 01:01:38 PM
That's different.

From what I've learned so far by collecting trade tokens, they mostly ended up in general circulation of a city at least but that was not their original purpose. Say, for instance a company uses 6 denominations in official currency for internal payments, mostly canteen as it happens. Or a beer/wine/milk/oil company issues a few denominations in liters or HLs. Or a mining company in weigh of coal, whatever... Will they end up in use far wider than their initial scope, I agree, it's up to sociopolitical circumstances. Their main purpose is to trade.

Telephone tokens are slightly distinct but I know at least one local example where it ended up in circulation - it had denomination on it. Transportation tokens had a fixed purpose and rarely showed values unlike casino ones which are valued but also fixed purpose. They can be distinct from trading tokens.

One example of "Norwegian" trading tokens are issues of 1946 from Svalbard.
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: Figleaf on August 26, 2019, 05:13:59 PM
Russian 5 kopek coins were the standard fare for a local call in telephone booths, so they remained in circulation when you could no longer buy anything with them. Similarly, in Hong Kong, the 5 cents had to remain in circulation as long as a Star Ferry (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Ferry) ticket was 25¢. These are two examples of coins in fact becoming a token.

However, it is more difficult to use a token as a coin. Sizes are different, so you can't use them in a machine and humans may refuse them (a question of who you trust more.) Consequently, tokens tend to replace coins only when there is a shortage of coins.

An extreme example is postage stamps used as money. Stamps are also issued by the government and the government would presumably continue to accept them as payment for mail. You can't pay your taxes with them, so they are a notch below money, but close. Yet, stamps are used as coins only in situations where there is a clear and well documented lack of coins, very often together with metallic tokens.

Peter
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: orsk2 on August 26, 2019, 09:11:05 PM
Coins of 5 kopecks have never been used in telephones. A coin of 5 kopecks was used only during the USSR for passage in the subway.
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: andyg on August 26, 2019, 09:24:35 PM
Stamps are also issued by the government and the government would presumably continue to accept them as payment for mail. You can't pay your taxes with them,

In the UK there used to be a tax on receipts to pay you affixed a postage stamp (stamp duty)#
Picture borrowed from ebay - abolished 1964. (https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1964/jun/18/new-clause-abolition-of-stamp-duty-on)

Other official documents had stamp duty too (https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1964/jun/18/new-clause-abolition-of-stamp-duty-on)
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: Figleaf on August 26, 2019, 11:21:59 PM
Other countries had them too, but they were of a different type than those you could use for mail, so what goes for Great Britain was not necessarily true in other countries. Moreover, in those days, everyone used stamps frequently, but not everyone paid stamp duty regularly. IIRC, they were used for certain equity, bond, mortgage and real estate transactions. I remember them being required in passports, but not necessarily in British passports.

Peter
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: andyg on August 27, 2019, 12:27:31 AM
Other countries had them too, but they were of a different type than those you could use for mail, so what goes for Great Britain was not necessarily true in other countries. Moreover, in those days, everyone used stamps frequently, but not everyone paid stamp duty regularly. IIRC, they were used for certain equity, bond, mortgage and real estate transactions. I remember them being required in passports, but not necessarily in British passports.

Peter

In the UK they were used for any transaction over £2.
Anyway - the point is that whatever is decided to tell a coin from a token then there are exceptions....
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: Figleaf on August 27, 2019, 11:20:18 AM
Coins of 5 kopecks have never been used in telephones. A coin of 5 kopecks was used only during the USSR for passage in the subway.

Thanks, Orsk. You are quite right. This gets worse with age. You'll see. ;)

Point taken and agreed, andyg. :)

Peter
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: FosseWay on August 27, 2019, 11:45:38 AM
To return to the question of private tokens being used in the same way as coin of the realm (in the way that Italian gettoni telefonici were before the euro), I don't think this has occurred widely in Sweden. It may be the case that transport tokens changed hands between private persons for the current price of a tram/bus ride, but I am not aware they were accepted or given as change by shopkeepers, for example, whereas the Italian gettoni definitely were.

There have, however, been issue of "official tokens" (for want of a better word) that have gone under various names but are all essentially emergency issues when normal coinage could not be struck for whatever reason. These include the Stora Kopparberg mine tokens from the mid-18th century, the Riksgeldskontor tokens around the turn of the 18th/19th century and, I guess, also the emergency dalers that were overstruck on old öre coins around the time of the disastrous (for Sweden) conclusion of the Great Northern War in 1715-1720.  The latter are usually termed "emergency money" rather than tokens. All of these were officially issued and sanctioned, much like the silver tokens issued by the Banks of England and Ireland in the first two decades of the 19th century.

I presume the above three kinds of official token also circulated in Finland, since Finland was still part of Sweden at that point.
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: natko on January 06, 2020, 06:19:03 PM
I have found a book on Norwegian tokens by M. Øverland "Norske poletter og akkordmerker". It seems pretty well referenced with NP numbers often quoted on auctions.

Cannot find much further info, how detailed is it, was the subject just scratched on the surface, what exactly does it cover and is the book worth it at all. Maybe someone could help.
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: Figleaf on January 06, 2020, 07:07:19 PM
I recommend a PM to Scroggs (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=12006) with that question.

Peter
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: FosseWay on January 07, 2020, 02:47:07 PM
I'm not Scroggs but I can confirm that I both have a copy and find it useful. I don't have enough Norwegian tokens to know how comprehensive it is, though IME no token publication can claim complete coverage of the issues relevant to the topic. But I can't immediately think of a Norwegian token that I possess that isn't in the book. (If you find yourself in this position, btw, the first question you should ask is "Is it Danish?")

One slight disadvantage, compared to say the three big Swedish token volumes or the Token Book series and Rains co-operative tokens in the UK, is that it is harder to find your way around the book, especially if your knowledge of Norwegian geography is a bit hazy. I sometimes find myself leafing through the whole thing (though that way one learns stuff one otherwise wouldn't!) or believe that a token is missing from the book only to find it listed somewhere unexpected.
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: natko on February 01, 2020, 01:38:39 PM
Thanks for the input FosseWay. I know the problem of a complete token listings, coming from a country with comparatively many trade tokens. Best publication is good enough but it probably covers less than a third of issued pieces, with best collection that will ever exist will probably not have more than 10-15% of them all.

I have already found some corrections to the catalog by Mr. Sømod, which is probably known to every Danish numismatist. And found some unpublished pieces from the auctions, but that is expected.

Potential issue I see with the book us that seemingly every round(ish) piece of metal is immediatelly a token, even if it's advertising medal or whatever similar. That is the huge issue with our local catalog as well, so a collector needs to go through it and decide what fits own collecting criteria. And it's easy to make a mistake, as obviously there is no enough info on the issues to make a clear decision sometimes. Although I have not had the Norwegian book in hands, so I might be wrong.

Thanks again for inputs :)
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: FosseWay on February 01, 2020, 02:22:48 PM
Potential issue I see with the book us that seemingly every round(ish) piece of metal is immediatelly a token, even if it's advertising medal or whatever similar. That is the huge issue with our local catalog as well, so a collector needs to go through it and decide what fits own collecting criteria. And it's easy to make a mistake, as obviously there is no enough info on the issues to make a clear decision sometimes.

This is always an issue. When we (Gothenburg Numismatic Society) were compiling the Gothenburg tokens book, we ignored certain categories of round metallic objects because they were easily categorisable. We didn't, for example, include dog tax tags or "lokalmynt" (local currency minted for charity or in connection with an anniversary etc.). Whatever one's personal view on whether these things are "tokens" or not, everyone knows exactly what is meant by a dog tax tag or lokalmynt, or can find a definition easily, and all dog tax tags and lokalmynt are easily identifiable as such.

In other cases it's less clear. Either we just don't know precisely how a given piece was used, or it isn't a given that all potential readers would categorise the piece in the same way, or it turns out that a piece wasn't a token by a strict definition but without the knowledge published in the book, many readers would not know this. In these marginal cases we operated on the principle "better in than out". It's also the case that many collectors who specialise e.g. in the tokens of a given locality or a given company will include objects that might not be strictly defined as tokens. I have numerous Volvo tokens, for example, which are definitely tokens, and would be quite happy to add tool checks or coin-like advertising objects from the same company for the added completeness and interest.

You also have to consider the readership of the book. The token collecting community is fairly small, especially up here in the relatively sparsely populated north. The community of people interested more widely in local, industrial or transport history is considerably bigger. These people probably do not draw so clear a distinction between a token used directly as an alternative to normal money to buy things, and an advertising medal: the principal point of interest is that it is issued in a particular place or by a particular company.
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: FosseWay on February 01, 2020, 02:35:23 PM
One perhaps obvious thing to say about the Øverland book is that it is in Norwegian. It didn't occur to me to mention this since reading Norwegian isn't a problem for me, but for most people I guess this might be an issue.
Title: Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
Post by: natko on February 10, 2020, 04:35:41 PM
Thanks once again! Well, from a national token catalog is expected that it's in nation's language. Reading most European languages do not pose a problem for me, I guess for most, in a coin catalog. Information is usually given in a few sentences at most. Også, jeg snakker litt norsk og det er flott å lære nye ord ;)