Author Topic: Swedish and Finnish token listings  (Read 706 times)

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Offline natko

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Swedish and Finnish token listings
« 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.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 04:06:36 PM by Figleaf »

Offline malj1

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Re: Re: Norwegian Tram token
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 02:24:48 PM »
See our Sweden: Transport tokens we have yet to do Norway and other Scandinavian tokens.
Malcolm
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Offline natko

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Re: Re: Norwegian Tram token
« Reply #2 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) :)

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #3 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.

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

Peter
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Offline natko

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #4 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...

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #5 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
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #6 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.

Offline natko

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #7 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.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #8 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 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
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline orsk2

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #9 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.
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Offline andyg

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #10 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.

Other official documents had stamp duty too
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #11 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
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline andyg

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #12 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....
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #13 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
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Swedish and Finnish token listings
« Reply #14 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.