The exact source of the 1781 North American Tokens is unknown and has been attributed to Ireland because of the presence of a harp on the obverse. However, the tokens are similar to some contemporary Canadian tokens, so this is another possibility. Regardless of their source or where they circulated, the North American tokens have been accepted into the canon of U.S. "Colonial" coins. As such, there is considerable demand for them.
Most examples are softly struck and others show raised lines in the fields (especially on the reverse) caused in the preparation of the dies. Q. David Bowers believes these anomalies were intended to make the coins more commercially acceptable, but it may just be a case of poor die preparation and a weak coining press. Either way, the surfaces of the coins become increasingly important components of the grade. Full Mint State examples may not exist. The finest example certified by PCGS is a single PCGS AU58+.
Don Willis Collection
Richard Picker, sold privately - Ted L. Craige Collection - Stack's/Bowers 3/2013:374, $5,581
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