Michael Byrne

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Franklin's Press Token

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Hi my fellow collectors . A while ago I won an auction of a token I thought I would never own. It's called Franklin's Press. The press is in the Smithsonian Institute.. When he was eighteen years old he went to Great Britain in search of work. Well he found it printing. Now there is discrepancy about this token. It's in the Red Book book and"The Provincial Tokens -Coinage of The 18th Century. By R Dalton and D.S.Hamer" those are the D& H number you see on every token but this one doesn't have it. It was made in Middlesex England and is on page 130. It should say 307a. 

Now this token made it to the Americas. That's why it's in the Red Book. As post colonial America. Not only that is called unique. Why well because they had some.with edge writing and some without.. However no matter what grade the price on both is the same. The one I will be putting up is an A/U 58. Now you would think there would be alot more in a better grade. Only sixty one in a higher grade. So if I'm right and my research says I am that's were this token was made but you will not see it with the proper label. Now it was a while ago so I don't remember how much I paid at the auction. I have seen them for a couple of hundred or a couple of thousand. Either way just to see one it's one of those I have to win this. I knew about it and even to this day I do not understand the label  in the slab I have have a book that pre-dates the red book by a couple hundred years. If they use the book or Adkins they will see it's not an  American token. I have been down this road before  I  will go down this road agan. 

I don't know what book they got there information from but I intend to find out and see if we can settle this like colectors. The reason it's not up now is because it gives three discriptions. Therefore with the conflicting evidence I promise I will have it posted. Face it this token is being held onto by sentimental collectors who own it. I would love to see the other labels. So there you have it. I wish I could post it but NGC is working on that. Thanks for the quick read but a very important one. Every coin and token come from a certain country. Let's get this tokens home right. I have an update I checked the N G C verification code. There are only 61 higher than this grade. The label reads as follows 1794 Plain Edge Token A/U 58. Nothing to do on were it was made. If I didn't know better they used the Red Book. Only. If they check my book and others it would say Franklin Press Middlesex Great Britain D&H 307a. That's the proper label. Not something that tells.absolutely nothing. That's just not right Mike.

Well I have an update in was able for you you to see it but not change where it was made. I did get Middlesex in with the D&H number 307a. So at least you know we're it was made. It never circulated in the U.S. And according to NGC verification app there are only 61 in a higher grade. So I have work a head. Thanks for your patience at least it's up. Mike

Hi this is an update. I just put up another token. For two reasons one it's beautiful. Two it was graded by P.C.G.S now over at the ANA I have stated  not  send your tokens there. This is a perfect example. At NGC they start the edge writing on the label. If you don't have a book before you send it write it down. At PCGS they don't even mention if there is edge writing. Edge writing tells you were to redeem it. It can also determine rarity. It's very important so please if you collect Conders send them to N.G.C. You deserve the best. Mike




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My RedBook does not call these American tokens. It says they are "English tradesman's tokens of the kind collected by English numismatists..." Quote: " The Franklin Press tokens did not circulate as money in America, but, being associated with a London shop where Benjamin Franklin once worked, they have long been included in American coin collections." Bowers also states that they were struck in England, and Breen attributed them to Lutwych's mint in Birmingham, England. (Breen did not always get things right, rhough.)

I am looking forward to seeing pictures of your token.

Edited by Just Bob

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High Just Bob. I respect what Mr. Bowers said and thank you for the reserch. But Benjamin Franklin not only worked there he lived there. The Token was made in Britain the book I quoted from is just that tokens and coinage of the 18th century Britain. Now they have all the information so there is no doubt. Now they did make tokens of some famous Americans. But they have the town Middlesex. It's not the only reference book. This is what's given me the problem of putting it up. They list three options but it starts with the U.S. And will not allow me to put through the location of the D&H number which it has. I listed the page number and it's assigned number. So to me as a Conder collector this token came from one place it was ordered by Follower. So to any Conder collector it is and always be a British token. Like i said last time it took me three months to get a token of Queen Victoria done  Look how long that! took This should take twenty minutes. When I first saw it for sale by a major company it was listed as British Token. So they got it right. It's because it's in the Red book I'm having this problem. I bet if I went the Woods Hibernia in the same problem. Made in England for Ireland they refused them and went them to the U.S. It's in the Red Book but has nothing to do with us. What you said and what's in the book is right. Try and get it posted as a British token. It just will not work. I thank you for your response but like I said they have done it before. I don't know why.But it's in there hands now. It will be curious as to what they say. That's why I have the the name of the book and page. Thanks for your response I appreciate it very muxh. The label has no reference to Britain figure that out. Thanks Mike. I have an update I did get the picture up and now.you will see there error. I did get Middlesex in there and the D&H number 307a  so I have made some headway. It's in all the the Conder books. I can't figure how they made that mistake. Patients were half way there. Mike


Edited by MIKE BYRNE

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Well these are two reasons Conder Token collectors don't trust third party grading. I have had famous Handel reverses out with the reverse as the obverse. Then you have the Franklin Press that label makes no sense and P.C.G.S.no edge writing it can mean a couple of hundred or thousand dollars why bothere. Now I hope you understand I just took these two out because there famous not even meaning to bring up a discussion like this. But there they are for everyone to see. Mike 

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Thank you very much. There is so much history about this token it's unbelivable. Benjamin Franklin came to G .Britain to purchase products for a press. The owner said I can make money using his name . So the token was born. It looks identical to the one in the Smithsonian institution. If you read about how he got there and became stranded there for a year and a half it worth reading about. Thanks for the compliment on P.Kempson. I was told by the auction house that the particular token went up £ 600 pounds in one night because it was in his collection. But unless I can see it with my eyes I can't really say yes it was. Have a great day and thanks. Mike

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Learned it the old  fashion way books. And reserch. Once I got into them I enjoyed them. I was just looking at one I might put up. Started in 1050 A.D. Now.it's still standing better and sronger. How can not get your interest. It gets mine. Take care Mike. And Thanks.

Edited by MIKE BYRNE

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