Ship Pass Token

Started by Lou Salerno, August 17, 2019, 09:44:17 PM

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Lou Salerno

This appeared on eBay and is just listed as a "Ship Pass Token"

I'm hoping someone can verify that and provide a value range. I could not find it in the Smith books.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


"1 noche en tierra" = "1 night on land", so a ship's pass token seems reasonable. Presumably for the crew of a merchant ship rather than passengers on a ferry or liner, though - I don't see why the shipping company, as opposed to the immigration authorities on land, would need to authorise passengers to leave the vessel.


I would suggest its an authorised pass for a crew member to leave the ship and return to it the next day.
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Lou Salerno

Great - thanks to all.

Anyone have any idea of its collector value, notwithstanding  that anything is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.


I think the amount people are willing to pay for it would increase noticeably if we knew who the issuer was.

I have (with hindsight) scored some good hits buying unattributed tokens for peanuts that then turn out to be attributed very specifically (so much the better if they turn out to be transport tokens, which attract a further premium), and then suddenly start selling for higher prices with the attribution.

Lou Salerno

I understand. I'm very leery about some of the prices asked for "rare" tokens on eBay, as I have more than once  seen the same token listed for, say, $75 and considered buying it, when, a month later, another seller listed one in the same shape for, say, $10 "buy it now" with free shipping.

Since there is no current listing guide of value, other people's experience is helpful. I also look on eBay to see if any similar ones have recently sold.

Caveat emptor, as they say.

Thank you for taking the time to post.


An example of this token was sold at auction by Centro Numismático de las Sierras del Tandil, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 12 July 2011.

The description: Se entregaba a los marineros para concurrir a los prostíbulos de Puerto Rosario, baires y Montevideo.

As theorised above it was for sailors to visit shore facilities.

Plan now. European Token Conference, 16 November 2019, Vilnius


Also a page on the website of Centro Numismatico de Buenos Aires with a slightly different reverse.

CNBA / Museo virtual de fichas / Fichas de Cabarets y Prostíbulos / Prostíbulos

Plan now. European Token Conference, 16 November 2019, Vilnius

Lou Salerno

Great info, thank you.

I suspect the different bottom number is that particular tag number for a certain sailor.


I would agree and that would make the top number an identification for the ship. I checked a large maritime company data base. W. S. & Co. did not occur.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


The language mixture is interesting. W.S. & Co Ld rather than W.S. y Cia seems to indicate aa probably anglophone shipping company habitually operating in Spanish speaking waters. The nitrate trade comes to mind.