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Coins, Tokens, Medals

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 Posted 07/05/2020  09:25 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add polarboy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
What are the technical differences between coins, tokens, medals and anything else I may happen upon on my numismatic adventure?
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 Posted 07/05/2020  09:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Probably you will get consensus that coins are (or were) legal tender issued by a sovereign authority like a country (or national bank thereof).
Medals and tokens were not.
I think there is also a qualifier about the aspect ratio ... i.e., they are thin, though they can be many shapes (round, square, hexagonal, dodecagonal, scalloped. slightly cupped).

So, spherical or cubic or pyramidal objects that were used as a currency might not be considered coins. Though I don;t think that's your main point with the question.

Edited by tdziemia
07/05/2020 09:50 am
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 Posted 07/05/2020  12:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not sure if you mean anything specific with technical differences, but I'll give it a shot, and then you can tell me if I answer the right question

An overview of the differences:
- Coin: A tangible piece of material, usually metal, used as legal tender and issued by a governmental authority or on commission by such an authority.
- Token: A coin-like object, issued by someone else than a governmental authority (by businesses, corporations, towns, etc), with different uses: As coins (in practice as legal tender); as a means of payment for specific uses (telephone call, gas, electricity, arcade games, a pint, ...); as game money; as propaganda pieces; and more.
- Medal: Non-monetary object, usually issued for commemorative or celebrational purposes, or as an award or reward. Can be issued by anyone.

Tokens can also be called jetons (sometimes this term is reserved for pre-modern time tokens).

Then there is token money. That is any form of money with intrinsic value less than the nominal value. All modern money - be it banknotes or coins made of base metals - are token money. Coins of silver or gold were not (if the silver/gold content was high enough). Token coin is token money in the form of coins (or tokens).

Hope that was helpful!
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