SHOP OUR ANNUAL CYBER WEEK SALE NOW... 25% OFF ALL YEARLY SUBSCRIPTIONS!  Ends December 4. Discount will appear in your cart when you add items.
CYBER WEEK SALE...25% OFF YEARLY SUBS!  Ends December 4.

December 1, 2020

Industry
News

Vital rare coin & paper money industry updates

A Token From The Sugar Cane Train

Heritage Auctions · Sep 28, 2020
Press Release Auctions U.S. Coins

There have been many times in American history when the coins produced and available in parts of the United States have simply not been enough to accommodate the needs of trade and commerce. Rather than being forced to rely upon the barter system, ingenuity has led to the striking of tokens to fill in the gaps of commerce with a coin-like substitute.





There have been many times in American history when the coins produced and available in parts of the United States have simply not been enough to accommodate the needs of trade and commerce. Rather than being forced to rely upon the barter system, ingenuity has led to the striking of tokens to fill in the gaps of commerce with a coin-like substitute. Civil War Tokens, Encased Postage, and Hard Times Tokens are all great examples, as are the Hawaiian tokens produced in the 1870s and 1880s on the Hawaiian Islands.

Soon after Captain Cook arrived on the Hawaiian Islands and visited what was then the Kingdom of Hawaii, sugar cane became a major export. The sugar industry completely altered Hawaii's economy and made a select few very wealthy, while also producing challenging agricultural work for others. The influence of Americans on the Kingdom of Hawaii's government can also be traced back to US plantation owners and their interactions with King Kamehameha and his government.

It is against this backdrop that Hawaiian tokens were produced. Heritage Auctions will be offering an 1879 12 1/2 Cent Token from the Kahului & Wailuku Railroad in the upcoming October US Coin Auction #1320. These copper tokens were produced by railroad owner Captain Thomas H. Hobron to pay railroad workers and could be redeemed at his general store in Kahului, Maui. They also circulated more broadly on the islands. Hobron's railroad line carried sugar cane from regional mills to the port of Kahului for export (where modern-day Maui's airport is located today.)

These tokens are very popular with collectors today and are listed in the Redbook, or Guidebook to US Coins, that appears on virtually every collector's bookshelf. They are a part of both the monetary history of yesteryear and also Hawaiian history. Whether you enjoy visiting Hawaii, live there, or just are interested in studying financial history, these are great pieces! The example that Heritage is offering is graded AU53 by NGC and can be seen here:

https://coins.ha.com/itm/other/other-collectibles/1000-ms-au53-ngc-ngc-census-0-0-pcgs-population-0-0-/p/1320-45001.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515



Comments

  • No Comments

    You can be the first person to comment on this story!


Leave a comment

Please sign in or register to leave a comment.

Your identity will be restricted to first name/last initial, or a user ID you create.
Register   

Heritage Auctions



Heritage Auctions is the largest collectibles auctioneer and third largest auction house in the world, as well as the largest auction house founded in the U.S. We are also the undisputed Internet leader in our field, with more than 1 million online bidder-members registered on HA.com. 

related news
directory listing