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    Description

    1820 North West Company Token, VF25
    Rare Example Struck in Copper, W-9252

    1820 TOKEN North West, Copper, VF25 PCGS. Breen-1084, W-9252, High R.6. Holed for suspension, as almost always seen. Many of the forts and trading posts that existed in the Pacific Northwest in 1820 were outposts of the North West Company and its rival, the Hudson's Bay Company. These loosely organized companies merged in 1821, shortly after the mintage of tokens that served as much-needed circulating currency in place of beaver pelts and other forms of barter. The tokens were especially useful in the Indian trade, where they were highly valued and often buried along with other "earthly treasures." One notable find about 50 years ago along the Umpqua River yielded 26 North West Company tokens in a copper kettle at an Indian burial site, and today many known examples trace back to that discovery.

    All North West Company tokens are rare. Brass examples outnumber copper survivors perhaps 10 to 1. To our knowledge, we have offered just one previous copper piece (a Fine 15 NGC example in 2007).

    The current token displays amazing preservation and eye appeal. Deep chocolate-brown patina covers both sides, with lighter brown color on the raised elements. No significant corrosion or granularity exists on the smooth surfaces, and it is possible (perhaps likely) that this piece was never in the ground. Simple high point wear determines the assigned grade, although all of the legends and central motifs are bold. There are no relevant marks or distractions to mention. PCGS has certified just five copper pieces in all grades, with one finer example reported in VF30 condition. Population: 1 in 25, 1 finer (7/15).

    Coin Index Numbers: (Variety PCGS# 956, Base PCGS# 662)


    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 740

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