Hard Times tokens (2)
Overall: 1 1/8 in. ( 2.9 cm )
Token; metal; depiction of a seated woman with a bald eagle, shield, ship, and spinning wheel, on obverse; obverse "AMERICAN INSTITUTE" reverse (a) "COPY OF A MEDAL / AWARDED TO / ROBINSON'S / JONES & Co / FOR THE BEST / MILITARY, NAVAL / SPORTING, / & PLAIN FLAT / BUTTONS / 1833" (b) "COPY OF A MEDAL / AWARDED TO / ROBINSON'S / JONES & Co / FOR THE BEST / MILITARY, NAVAL / SPORTING, / & PLAIN FLAT / BUTTONS / 1836"
The Robinson's Jones & CO. recieved the American Institute medal for their metallic buttons in 1833, and issued these tokens to advertise the award. In 1837 and again in 1857, financial crises caused loss of confidence in paper money and widespread redemption of currency in coin. Banks were soon forced to suspend specie payments, and tokens and fractional notes had to serve as smaller change.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.