Great Depression Era Tax Relief Tokens

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by Anthus, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Anthus

    Anthus New Member

    These are some of the oddest coins in my collection. I'm thinking these have very little metal value, and any value comes from what a collector is willing to pay. The interesting part is, some of these coins are made of plastic, and even cardboard or wood (but I only have plastic and metal ones and one wood one). The large red one is plastic, and so it the one below it, and the small orangey one that says "OPA" seems like pressed wood coated in plastic.. The other ones are metal, but seem very light.

    These have the same thing on both sides unless otherwise stated. The large red one (which is a little bit smaller than a quarter) is "1 mill" for the state of Missouri. The next one over says "emergency school tax on purchase of 25 cents". The one directly below it is the same type of coin, but showing the other side. I'm not sure which is obverse, or reverse in this case cause. They also appear to be different materials, but they are both from the year 1935, and from NM. EDIT: Actually, the silver colored one is "1 mill", and the copper colored one is "5 mill". I'm not so sure on where the 3rd one is from, since what you see is all it says on either side. The fourth on up top is also another New Mexico one. The one with the hole in it is from Oklahoma, and says "Sales Tax" up top. The last one is an Arizona token. It has a shield on the other side, but I didn't scan it. I may scan the reverse of it later.


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  3. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class Poster

    These are state sales tax tokens.
    There were made to make change for the new sales taxes in some states.
    10 mills were one cent.
    The federal government asked the states to stop making them.
    I have a few of them that my father saved; he travelled as part of his job then.

    The OPA token is from World War II rationing.

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  4. cwtokenman

    cwtokenman Coin Hoarder

    I won't be able to be complete identifications without photos of the other sides, but I will tell you what I can about your tokens. Even though both sides may appear to be the same, it is very likely there are slight differences.

    Missouri 1 Sales Tax Token - These were made using various pairings of 4 dies, of which there are 10 known combinations. Die identification is made by examining the ring widths and the space between them, to the nearest .1mm (0.004"). There are 10 shades of red listed, not counting additional variation due to different batches, inadequate mixing, and aging. Transparency is another factor, ranging from opaque to various degrees of translucence to being water clear when held up to a light. Hardness is another variation, with some types hard enough to "ring" when dropped on a hard surface, while others will not. Depending upon determination of id number, the rarity ratings for these red plastic tokens range from R-1 (5001 or more) to R-4 (101 to 500 known). These tokens were manufactured from 1943 thru 1954, with a total mintage for all types of 536,400,000. They were manufactured by the Ingwersen Manufacturing Company and possibly also the J.H. Hennessy Company.

    New Mexico 5 mill token - There are 3 major obverse (side w/the eagle) die variations, and 2 major reverse die variations. It is made of copper, and is 16mm in diameter. These tokens were manufactured from 1935 thru 1941. Mintage and manufacturer(s) are unknown. All of the variations have an R-1 rarity rating except for 1 variety which is listed at R-5 (51-100 known).

    New Mexico 1 mill token - The same 3 major obverse die variations apply to this token also, but no variations are listed for the reverse. These variations are determined by the position of the eagle's head and the shape of the feathers. All of the variations are listed with an R-1 rarity. It is made of aluminum and is 16mm in diameter. These tokens were manufactured from 1935 thru 1941. Mintage and manufacturer(s) are unknown.

    Oklahoma 5 mill token - There are many possibilities here. Listed variations include thickness, shades of red, center hole size, and some of these fiber tokens can display some translucence. It is made of fiber, and is 23mm in diameter. These tokens were manufactured from 1941 thru 1943. Mintage is unknown, but they were made by the Osbourne Register Company. All of the variations have an R-1 rarity rating except for 1 variety which is listed at R-3 (501-2000 known).

    New Mexico 1 mill token - same description as other New Mexico 1 mill token.

    Arizona 1 mill token - This token can be one of 3 major die varieties, but there are also minor varieties which include letter thickness, the numeral can have a flat surface, or a rounded one, or be somewhere in between. It is made of copper (and some nickel and zinc), and is 16mm in diameter. These tokens were manufactured from 1937 thru 1940. Mintage ranges from 2,100,000 to 7,500,000 depending upon id number. They were made by the Osbourne Register Company. All of the variations have an R-1 rarity rating.

    OPA Red Point - I have a reference on U.S. Ration Currency and Tokens that has a tremendous amount of interesting information, far too much for me to relate it all here. The OPA tokens were issued in two colors - blue for processed foods, and red for meats, fats, fish and cheese. The letter combinations were included as an anti-counterfeiting feature. Thirty letters combinations are listed (for the red), all of which are common except for MM which is scarce, and MV which is extremely scarce. Dies are known to have been made for about a dozen additional letter combinations, but none have ever been reported as existing. It is hard for me to imagine that to buy certain items, such as tires, one had to apply to a government board, and approval of your application was by no means a certainty.

    My apologies for such a long post, but if you would like to attempt to obtain the identification numbers for your tokens, I will be glad to assist you further, and can ask you what I would need to know for each of the tokens.
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  5. primavera trevino

    primavera trevino New Member

    please tell me whatthese are eorth

    Attached Files:

  6. primavera trevino

    primavera trevino New Member

    are these similiar to ur topic
  7. thetracer

    thetracer Active Member

    Just this last weekend at the Tennessee State Numismatic Society meeting in Chattanooga, they were giving away those tax tokens for free to all who came to the show.
    Here are the ones I got TaxTokens.jpg
    Daniel B likes this.
  8. cwtokenman

    cwtokenman Coin Hoarder

    What you have are known as "red point" ration tokens, which served a different purpose than tax tokens. These were used during WWII to facilitate rationing by the government. They are differentiated and collected by the pair of letters on each token. Similar to these are the "blue point" ration tokens.
  9. cwtokenman

    cwtokenman Coin Hoarder

    As far as what they are worth, I would have to know the letter pairs, but typically most of the commons sell for about a dollar.
  10. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    "Tax tokens" are really US coins but we think of them as tokens despite the fact they were issued by the states and had a value. They were being used to make purchases which is why the Secret Service forced the states to cease using them.

    Most are quite common but there are several tougher ones and many scarce varieties. Most are elusive in Unc or Gem as most are AU and poorly made.
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