The Mott Token was once believed to be America's first native trade token. However, much mystery also surrounded the pieces, such as who made them and when. Previous authors have attributed them to various members of the Mott family (including some who turned out to be grocers!). The dating of the token has ranged from 1789 (the date on the coin) to as late as the 1830s. In 2002, researcher Wesley S. Cox and Russell Rulau presented evidence linking the Mott Tokens to other private tokens issued by Robert S. Lovett, Jr., thus placing the Mott Tokens somewhere in the period between 1832-1844. Efforts to place the dating of the Mott Tokens in the late 1830's based on a unique example allegedly overstruck on a Large Cent have been discounted because of the questionable authenticity of the piece.
The eagle design on the reverse of the Mott Tokens is very similar to the design by John Reich that appears on U.S. gold coins beginning in 1807.