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1623 Token? Can Anyone Help Me Identify This? Token? Coin?

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 Posted 10/15/2020  5:00 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Adam590 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Can anyone help me identify this? Is it a coin? A token? I am guessing it is French--I love the design! Was it really minted in 1623?

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 Posted 10/15/2020  5:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It is a French token, and yes it is minted in 1623. It was issued for the Royal Council (in 1623 that would have been for Louis XIII). Each year a new token was issued, probably in conjunction with their meeting (I don't know how they were used, maybe they were just distributed to commemorate the event). Depending on whether it is in silver or brass, the value is in the three figures or two figures range.

NIL NISI CONSILIO translates to "Nothing without the Council". MUNDUM LUSTRAVIT AB ORTU translates (freely) to "From the beginning it has spread its light across the world".
Edited by erafjel
10/15/2020 5:56 pm
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 Posted 10/16/2020  01:38 am  Show Profile   Check norantyki's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add norantyki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Agreed with @erafjel - to follow up, they were distributed to participants, with a few gold pieces struck for the king, Royal cabinet, etc., a greater number of silver pieces for higher ranking participants, and copper examples issued to lower ranking officials / entourage.

Although they were in reality souvenirs, jettons fulfilled a function in the highly complex accounting system that emerged in the 13th century, and was in use in various forms until the early 19thc. Basically they were moved around in a specially designed cabinet to track various accounts simultaneously. The best account of this system that I have been able to find is in the 'Handbook of Medieval Exchange' by Spufford, in which it gets its own chapter.
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