Part 1
The 1812, 1813, and 1814 Tokens

From the Shield on an 1813 Three Shillings Token


From the Shield on an 1813 Three Shillings Token

     The first official coinages minted for Jersey were the silver 1813 tokens.  They were struck by the Royal Mint on the authority of an Order in Council from the Committee on Coins dated February 5, 1813.  Thomas Wyon Jr., the chief engraver at the Royal Mint, designed the tokens.1  He placed the Jersey arms on the obverse, with a wreath of oak surrounding the denomination on the reverse.  Eventually, it was requested that £10,000 worth of silver bullion be converted to three shillings and eighteen pence tokens.  From February through June 1813, 2535 pounds of silver were delivered to the Royal Mint.  Using this silver, in late March, 4842 eighteen pence tokens were minted along with 2421 three shillings tokens.  Additionally, 33,896 eighteen pence tokens were minted during the month of June.  Also during the month of June, 51,890 three shillings tokens were coined.  A year later, during March 1814, an extra 578 pounds of silver was delivered to the mint producing 16,793 three shillings tokens.  Thus, we have a total of 38,739 eighteen pence tokens and 71,104 three shillings tokens for a nominal value of £13,571/0/6.2

     As Marshall-Fraser puts it, “It is necessary, however, to go back to October 26, 1812, when the States due to the paucity of small coins, decided to order some silver tokens and a Committee of nine members went into the question of amounts, denominations and costs.  The States then requested H.E. the Lieutenant Governor Don to consult with His Majesty's Ministers.  As a result, a letter dated November 12, 1812, from Lord Chetwynd, clerk to the Privy Council was read on December 12, 1812, and the States issued the necessary instructions to put the tokens into circulation as soon as they should arrive and agreed to redeem the tokens at a month's notice.”3
     It is interesting to read a letter written on October 27, 1812 from Lieutenant Governor George Don, Government House to Viscount Sidmouth concerning the desire of the States of Jersey to issue a local coin “stamped” with the arms of the Island.  From this letter:
     “Much inconvenience having been felt by the Public here from the great scarcity of specie.  The States met yesterday and passed the enclosed Act, by which Your Lordship will perceive that this assembly is desirous of issuing a local coin provided such a measure should meet with the approbation of His Majesty's Government.

     I have to report to your Lordship that every effort to keep a sufficiency of circulating specie in this island has proved ineffectual and I therefore take the liberty of recommending that the measure now proposed may be sanctioned.

     The States in the first instance intend to cause about six thousand pounds Sterling to be coined in small silver pieces and stamped with the Arms of the Island and to cover the expense of coinage, carriage, freight, and insurance.  The intrinsic worth of the pieces will be a little less than the nominal value at which they will be issued.”4
In a subsequent letter dated July 27, 1813, he writes to “My Dear Sir” the following:
     “I heartily wish that you could get your States to authorize the coinage of Ten Thousand Pounds in Guernsey tokens.  This with the coinage ordered by the Jersey States would set all disputes and differences respecting money matters at rest for ever.

     Yesterday my States passed an act for the additional coinage of tokens to the amount of Ten Thousand Pounds, and it seemed that the opinion of the assembly that in the event of this not proving sufficient for the circulating specie in the Island a further coinage of Ten Thousand Pounds should immediately be ordered.”5
     William Plees wrote in his book of 1817, An Account of the Island of Jersey, the following to describe the situation in 1813:
     “The coin current in Jersey was, until lately, chiefly that of France, with a small proportion of Spanish money.  The usual amount of specie, in circulation, has been estimated at nearly £80,000 sterling.  After the French revolution, the coin of England became more generally into use, until the increased value of gold and silver completely drained the island of all specie but copper, and even that became scarce.  There were, at this period, three regular banking houses in the town of St.  Helier.  These, and a few mercantile men, were accustomed to issue notes, payable to the bearer on demand, for twenty-four livres French currency.  So great, however, and so increasing were the inconveniences occasioned by the almost total disappearance of silver, that those houses were obliged to issue notes of five and ten shillings: these induced individuals to do the same; all having “Jersey Bank” on their notes; until there were about eighty of these soi disant bankers.  The island was soon inundated with notes, from the value of one pound down to that of one shilling; many of them issued by the lowest description of traders and publicans.  Alarming as this undoubtedly was, necessity gave to these notes a general and ready circulation. 

     Seriously aware of the ultimate consequences, likely to result from this unrestrained emission of paper money, the States resolved to have a silver coin struck: accordingly a quantity of tokens was issued, bearing the value of three shillings, and of eighteen pence English, to the amount of £10,000 sterling.*  The issuing of notes under the value of one pound sterling, was then forbidden; yet such apprehensions respecting the notes still in circulation were excited among the country inhabitants, that those who attended the market, hoarded all the coin and tokens they could procure: this was at least the reason assigned and generally believed, for the disappearance, in a few months, of nearly all the newly coined silver.  The scarcity still continues, though not in the same degree.

* About the value of £2600 sterling has been added.  The States have since made an act, whereby every person issuing notes payable to bearer, is to have a regular office for the payment of them in the town of St. Helier.  In consequence of this regulation, many have withdrawn their notes from circulation.  The rapidly increasing evil is thus checked, but the public security will probably render stricter measures necessary”. 
     These tokens remained legal tender until the first of October 1834, in which year English money was declared the sole legal tender. Lieutenant Colonel W. Marshall-Fraser, in his booklet The Coinages of the Channel Islands, stated that “large numbers” were exported to Guernsey and Canada where they were at a premium owing to more favorable rates of exchange.6  This was the case even when on March 9, 1813, the States of Guernsey forbad all importation of silver and copper tokens and all such tokens had to be exported within 15 days.7






An 1814 Jersey Bank One Pound Note

     It is of interest to make a comment about the mintage figures quoted in some leading books and journals.  Most sources state that the mintage for the eighteen pence token is 90,800 and the mintage for the three shillings token is 45,400.  These numbers can be traced to a guess by Pridmore.  He first computed the nominal value of these tokens from the January 28, 1834, Jersey Orders of Council and then took a ratio of two eighteen pence tokens to every one three shillings token.8  Pridmore also quoted the January 28, 1834, Jersey Orders of Council, stating that the amount of tokens outstanding and not redeemed by the Committee as £1,363/7/6.  This number is incorrect if one can assume that the amount redeemed is correctly stated in the Orders of Council as £12,256/12/6.  Also note that this redeemed amount is mathematically incorrect.  If we assume the redeemed amount is £12,256/11/6, then the computed amount remaining should then be £1314/9.  As James O'Donald Mays states, “Their circulation over a 21-year period meant that few Jersey silver tokens survived in a mint condition.  Although far more than three shillings tokens were struck, they are rarer today than the 18 penny pieces.  A possible explanation is that when the tokens were recalled, holders were more anxious to have their large denominations redeemed than the less valuable 18 penny piece.”9  One can only guess at the remaining numbers of these most elusive pieces left for the collector. To learn more about this subject, please read the Royal Mint documents concerning this issue. 



Silver Tokens Production at a Glance




silver chart

Silver Tokens Production at a Glance

Things to note:

      Currently I have ten of the 18 pence tokens and twelve of the three shillings tokens, with two three shillings tokens in uncirculated condition, and one 18 pence token in proof, another in an uncirculated state, and finally one in almost uncirculated state.


Eighteen Pence

Eighteen Pence


    Year   Mintage  Diameter   
    1813    38,740    26.50         
Things to note:


Three Shillings

Three Shillings


    Year   Mintage  Diameter   
    1813    71,104   35.00           
Things to note:


The Copper Tokens

     Besides the two silver tokens of 1813, various unofficial “Jersey” copper tokens issued by banks and firms appeared between the years 1812 and 1814.  The reason for minting these and other copper 19th century tokens is detailed in The Bazaar, the Exchange and Mart of September 22, 1886 by Richard Thomas Samuel.  He wrote:
     “The issue of the regal copper coinage of 1797 (known as that of the 'Soho' type), supplied a great want in the national currency; but the expensive warfare of the period, in which this country was engaged, enhanced the price of copper, and much of that heavy coinage, consisting of twopenny and penny pieces, consequently found its way to the smelting houses; while the value of the tokens of the eighteenth century becoming intrinsically enhanced, large quantities of the more honest description of those pieces also disappeared; and the spurious ones, being decried by authority, likewise found their way to the melting-pot. Thus another deficiency in the quantity of the copper currency soon arose.  Eventually, however, the price of copper fell, and then this branch of trade came comparatively depressed, so that, about the year 1811, the large copper companies and other firms, seeing that the change in the value of the metal afforded a favorable opportunity for supplying the deficiency in the circulating medium, took advantage of the circumstance, and commenced striking and issuing a fresh series of provincial copper coins, such pieces constituting the nineteenth century series of tokens proper, as it may be termed.”
     According to some, the Jersey copper tokens were probably all private issues.  Others think that these were patterns to be approved by the Island authorities.  Depending on your source there are various different issues of penny tokens that circulated on the island. However everyone will agree that there is only one half penny token.  As far as the tokens themselves, with the exception of the Prince of Wales Plumes / Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney combination penny, all Jersey copper tokens are very rare.  (The Prince of Wales Plumes / Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney combination is just rare.)

Things to note:
     You can read in The Bazaar, the Exchange and Mart a nice description of these Jersey tokens.

     To learn more about 19th century British copper tokens in general, you need to the read the best book on the subject, British Copper Tokens 1811-1820, by Paul and Bente Withers.  This book is fully illustrated and was written to set the standard.  No numismatic library is complete without this book. 


Half Penny

Half Penny


    Year    Withers  Davis   Pridmore  McCammon  Atkins  
    1813     2050    241-14     63        T12      --        
     This token is a companion piece to the first penny token but is much rarer.  Although this is not the rarest token, this is still the most sought after token of the series. 

Please note that this particular example is from the Pridmore collection and the McCammon collection and is depicted on the front cover of his book, Currencies of the Anglo-Norman Isles.  There are certainly three or perhaps even four available to collectors.11




From The Bazaar, the Exchange and Mart
of September 22, 1886


The Various Configurations of the 1813/1814 Penny Tokens

Number Withers1 Davis2 Pridmore3 McCammon4 Atkins5
1 2044 241-10 62 T6 49
2 2043 241-7 65 T5 52
3 2045 242-13 66 T7 51
4 1636 241-8 Rejected T9  
5 1681 242-12 68 T10  
6 2035 241-4 60 T2 47
7 2037 241-5 61 T3 48
8 2038        
9 2039        
10 2042 241-6 64 T4 50
11 1635 241-9 Rejected T11  
12 1680 241-11 67    
13 1682   69 T8  
1Withers, Paul and Bente, British Copper Tokens 1811-1820
2Davis, W.J., The Nineteenth Century Token Coinage of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and The Isle of Man, to which are added Tokens of Over One Penny Value of Any Period
3Pridmore,F.,The Coins of The British Commonwealth of Nations, Part 1 European Territories
4McCammon, A.L.T., Currencies of the Anglo Norman Isles
5Atkins, James, The Coins and Tokens of The Possessions and Colonies of The British Empire


The Various Configurations of the 1813/1814 Penny Tokens

Number Withers1 Davis2 Pridmore3 McCammon4 Atkins5
1 2044 241-10 62 T6 49
2 2043 241-7 65 T5 52
3 2045 242-13 66 T7 51
4 1636 241-8 Rejected T9  
5 1681 242-12 68 T10  
6 2035 241-4 60 T2 47
7 2037 241-5 61 T3 48
8 2038        
9 2039        
10 2042 241-6 64 T4 50
11 1635 241-9 Rejected T8  
12 1680 241-11 67    
13 1682   69 T8  
1Withers, Paul and Bente, British Copper Tokens 1811-1820
2Davis, W.J., The Nineteenth Century Token Coinage of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and The Isle of Man, to which are added Tokens of Over One Penny Value of Any Period
3Pridmore,F., The Coins of The British Commonwealth of Nations, Part 1 European Territories
4McCammon, A.L.T., Currencies of the Anglo Norman Isles
5Atkins, James, The Coins and Tokens of The Possessions and Colonies of The British Empire



Some of the Die Pairings for the One Penny Tokens

Some of the Die Pairings for the One Penny Tokens



Tokens 7,8, and 9, the Jersey Bank Tokens, share the same reverse die.



Prince of Wales Plumes / Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney
Penny Token

Prince of Wales Plumes / Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney
Penny Token


    Year  Number  Withers  Davis   Pridmore  McCammon  Atkins  
    1813    1      2044    241-10     62        T6       49        
     For the first token, the obverse has the Badge of the Prince of Wales, three ostrich feathers enfiled in base by a coronet, and on a ribbon the motto:  ICH DIEN. The legend is “TO FACILITATE TRADE” and the date 1813 is beneath the badge.  The slogan “TO FACILITATE TRADE” was used to encourage circulation.12  The reverse is simply the inscription “ONE PENNY TOKEN” in three lines with the legend “JERSEY GUERNSEY AND ALDERNEY.”  The diesinker was Thomas Halliday, the most famous diesinker of the early nineteenth century British copper tokens.  There are several different minor varieties depending on the graining of the edge and die orientation.  This particular variety had a rusted reverse die.  This token is the easiest token in the series to locate but is still considered rare.  Regardless of the edge type there are probably not more than a dozen currently available to a collector, which probably means two dozen extant.11  Both the obverse and reverse dies are muled with other dies of this period and form the basis of the series. 


Druid / Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney
Penny Token

Druid / Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney
Penny Token


    Year  Number  Withers  Davis   Pridmore  McCammon  Atkins  
    1813    2      2043    241-7      65        T5       52      
     For the next token, the reverse is similar to the first token.  However on the obverse, there is a druid's head with the legend “PURE COPPER PREFERABLE TO PAPER.”  During this time copper was thought to be a good investment and there was a distrust of paper.12

     If you are familiar with late 18th century tokens, then you are aware that the druid's head was a popular design.  Ken Elks states, “This design can be traced to the Parys Mines Company.  Starting in 1787, this company manufactured a penny, halfpenny and farthing tokens, primarily to pay their workers at their copper mines on the Isle of Anglesey.  These tokens all bore the veiled head of a druid on the obverse and their cipher PMCo on the reverse.  Not only were these the first such tokens but also the ones produced in the largest numbers, some 250 tons of pennies and 50 tons of halfpennies.  The farthings were only issued in relatively small numbers; some of the later ones with different reverse designs were concoctions made especially for collectors.  All the coins were manufactured at a private mint set up in Birmingham, owned by the Parys Mines Company.”13

     This particular example of this very rare token is from the McCammon collection.  There are probably less than four of these tokens available to collectors.


Wreath / Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney
Penny Token

Wreath / Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney
Penny Token


    Year  Number  Withers  Davis   Pridmore  McCammon  Atkins  
    1813    3      2045    242-13     66        T7       51     
     The third token is also a very rare token.  The reverse is similar to the last two.  The obverse has the inscription “ONE PENNY TOKEN” in three lines inside an oak wreath.  Note that the spelling of Guernsey is the English version as opposed to the French Guernesey.  The French spelling, Guernesey, was found on their coins from 1830 through 1949. 

Druid / Commerce
Penny Token

Druid / Commerce
Penny Token


    Year  Number  Withers  Davis   Pridmore  McCammon  Atkins  
    1813    4      1636    241-8   Rejected     T9       --     
     The fourth token is also rare and it might not have any direct connection with the States of Jersey.  The obverse is the druid design.  The reverse has a female (Commerce) seated on a bale of merchandise holding an olive branch in her right hand and a cornucopia in her left.  In the distance, a ship can be seen.  There are at least two examples known to have been struck over T6, which was definitely used in Jersey.


Prince of Wales Plumes / Commerce
Penny Token

Prince of Wales Plumes / Commerce
Penny Token


    Year  Number  Withers  Davis   Pridmore  McCammon  Atkins  
    1813    5      1681    242-12     68        T10      --       
     The fifth token is a rare mule token, which could have circulated in Jersey.  Like most of the other Jersey copper tokens of this period, they were engraved by Thomas Halliday, a die engraver and token manufacturer of Newhall Street and Hagley Row, Birmingham, England.14  The obverse is the Prince of Wales plumes design.  This seems to be a favorite design of his, given the fact that he used it on several English tokens of this same period.  The reverse is the same as the previous token.  Thomas Halliday also worked for the Messrs. Morgan & Company, Die Makers, Medallists and Token Manufacturers.  Mr. Henry Morgan advertised in the newspapers of the day and it is quite likely these copper tokens were ordered through and supplied by the Morgan firm, but possibly were “handled” by Thomas Halliday.  You can read more about Mr. Morgan entrepreneurship in James O'Donald Mays' book, Tokens of Those Trying Times.

     For token number six, the obverse has a profile of George III laureated.  The legend reads as “JERSEY BANK TOKEN 1812.”  The reverse has in the center “ELIAS NEEL JERSEY.”  The legend is “A BANK OF ENGLAND NOTE FOR 240 TOKENS.”  Elias Neel, a banker in St. Helier, issued this token.  The die sinker of the token was Halliday while the manufacturer was Thomason.15  Unfortunately, this token has not been seen since 1834.  This and the next three tokens are considered to be part of the Jersey bank token sub-series.  They are all extremely rare and are hardly ever seen outside of captivity.

     For token number seven, the obverse has a draped and laureated bust to the right of George III, with an H on the truncation.  The legend is simply “JERSEY BANK 1813.”  Halliday engraved this die.  On the reverse, there is a robed female figure seated to the left on a bale, holding scales and a cornucopia.  Typical of these coins, the female represents Justice and Plenty.  The legend is “ONE PENNY TOKEN.”  There is only one known specimen available to collectors.

     For token number eight, the obverse has a draped and laureated bust to the right of George III, with no H on truncation.  There are seven leaves in the wreath.  The legend is “JERSEY BANK 1813.”  Halliday also engraved this die.  The reverse is the same as token number seven.



1813 Jersey Bank
Penny Token

1813 Jersey Bank
Penny Token


    Year  Number  Withers  Davis   Pridmore  McCammon  Atkins  
    1813    9      W2039                                ---    
     The obverse of the ninth token also has a draped and laureated bust of George III to the right, with no H on truncation.  There are nine leaves in the wreath.  The legend reads “JERSEY BANK 1813.”  This die was also engraved by Halliday.  The reverse is also the same as token number seven.

     The obverse of the tenth token has a laureated and draped bust to the right of George III, within a wreath of oak.  The reverse is similar to the Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney tokens. Once again, the die was engraved by Halliday.


Druid / 1814 Commerce
Penny Token

Druid / 1814 Commerce
Penny Token


    Year  Number  Withers  Davis   Pridmore  McCammon  Atkins  
    1814    11     1635    241-9   Rejected     T11      --         
     The eleventh token has the druid's head obverse.  The reverse has a robed female figure, Britannia, seated to the left on a bale of merchandise, holding in her right hand a sprig of olive, and in her left a palm branch; a shield at the side.  The legend is “COMMERCE” and in the exergue is the date 1814.  Halliday engraved this die. 


     The twelfth token has a robed female figure seated to the left on a bale of merchandise, holding an olive branch in her right hand and a cornucopia in her left hand with a ship in the distance.  The legend reads “COMMERCE.”  Halliday engraved this die.  The reverse is similar to the first token with the Prince of Wales' feathers emerging from a coronet.  The motto on the ribbon is “ICH DIEN” and under the crest is the date 1813.  The legend is “TO FACILITATE TRADE.”  Once again, the die was engraved by Halliday. 

     The last token, number 13, for the obverse has a female, Justice, standing holding an olive branch and scales within a wreath of olive and palm branches.  In very small print the words “SHEFFIELD PENNY TOKEN” is beneath the female.  The reverse is similar to the first token with the Prince of Wales' design.









The British Royal Mint, which opened at the Tower Hill location in 1811, struck Jersey silver tokens in 1813 and 1814.









The Obverse of the 1813 Half Penny Token









The Reverse of the 1813 Half Penny Token

From the Guernsey Jersey Magazine 1837 Volume III
edited by Jonathan Buncan


Guernsey Jersey Magazine page 1

From the Guernsey Jersey Magazine
(continued)


Guernsey Jersey Magazine page 2

From the Guernsey Jersey Magazine
(continued)


Guernsey Jersey Magazine page 3

From the Guernsey Jersey Magazine
(continued)


Guernsey Jersey Magazine page 4

From the Guernsey Jersey Magazine
(continued)


Guernsey Jersey Magazine page 5

From the Guernsey Jersey Magazine
(continued)


Guernsey Jersey Magazine page 6







An 1813 Jersey Bank One Pound Note







The Obverse from an 1813 Three Shillings Token







The Reverse from an 1813 Three Shillings Token



An 1813 Proof 18 Pence Token



1.  Richard Sainthill, Olla Podrida; or Scraps, Numismatic, Antiquarian, and Literary (London, 1844), p. 27.

2.  Societe Jersiaise Numismatic Section, Royal Mint Documents 1812-1814.  Occasional Papers No. 4.

3.  Lieutenant Colonel W. Marshall-Fraser, "The Coinages of the Channel Islands," Societe Guernesiasie, Report and Transactions, 1948, p. 321.

4.  Jersey Heritage Trust L/F/95 General Don Collection L/F/95/B/21 Letter from Lieutenant General George Don, Government House to Viscount Sidmouth concerning the States of Jersey's desire to issue a local coin stamped with the arms of the Island, includes a copy of the act of the States 1812.

5.  Jersey Heritage Trust L/F/95 General Don Collection L/F/95/B/29 Letter from Lieutenant General George Don, Government House to 'My dear Sir' concerning a memorandum relating to Jersey Revenues about the import on spirits; also concerns the possibility of Guernsey producing coinage of £10,000 and the passing of an act in Jersey for additional coinage, and quarantine on all vessels arriving from the Mediterranean in 1813.

6.  Lieutenant Colonel W. Marshall-Fraser, "The Coinages of the Channel Islands," Societe Guernesiasie, Report and Transactions, 1948, p. 309.

7.  Lieutenant Colonel B. Lowsley, The Coinages of the Channel Islands (London:  Victoria Printing Works, 1897), p. 36.

8.  Fred Pridmore, The Coins of The British Commonwealth of Nations, Part 1:  European Territories (London:  Robert Stockwell Ltd., 1960), p. 45.

9.  James O'Donald Mays, Tokens of Those Trying Times, A Social History of Britain's 19th Century Silver Tokens. (Hampshire, 1991) p. 160.

10.  Sir Joseph Banks - Papers, 1767-1882.  Papers concerning coinage and the Royal Mint, 1787-1813.  State Library of New South Wales (see Series 84.21 frames CY 3684 / 220 and CY 3684 / 221).

11.  Private correspondence between H. K. Fears and Paul Withers.

12.  A. L. T. McCammon, Currencies of the Anglo-Norman Isles (London:  Spink & Son Ltd., 1984), p. 194.

13.  Ken Elks, Coinage of Great Britain. Celtic to Decimalisation, Part 9, Provincial Token Coinage. http://www.predecimal.com/p9tokens.htm.

14.  W. J. Davis, The Nineteenth Century Token Coinage of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and The Isle of Man, to which are added Tokens of Over One Penny Value of Any Period (London:  B.A. Seaby Ltd., First Edition 1904), pp. 241-242.

15.  R. C. Bell, Copper Commercial Coins 1811-1819 (Newcastle, 1964), p. 157.







An 1815 Jersey Bank One Pound Note



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