18th Century Gaming Tokens (Fake brass 'Spade' guineas)
Exonumia are numismatic items other than coins and paper money. This includes ‘good for’ tokens, medallions and gaming tokens known as ‘jetons.’ A jeton is a token or counter, typically used as a card or gaming counter. Nowadays casinos use plastic discs as their gambling chips. In the eighteenth century when gambling clubs were very fashionable and popular, there were many different designs produced, mainly in crude imitation of guineas or half guineas. The word jeton comes from the french jeter meaning to throw, as one would throw one’s chips onto a roulette table.
Many jetons were made with the names and addresses of businesses as novel advertising pieces, the intention being that few people would throw away something which looked like money, so the "coin" would be a long-lasting advert.
The ‘spade’ type of guinea or half guinea were issued from 1787 to 1800 most of these designs of jeton were made in during and immediately after this time. Many had contemporary dates printed on them or predating the year they were made.