Historic coffeehouse tokens

In the middle of the 17th century, there was an acute shortage of small changes in circulation in the United Kingdom. To ease the situation, several business establishments especially the ones whose conduct depended on the use of change such as merchants, taverns and coffeehouses took the liberty of printing their own tokens.

A London coffeehouse token from mid 17th century

The pictures on the the tokens that were printed by the coffeehouses were usually inspired by oriental and coffee related facts such as the head of a Turkish sultan or an ibrik.

These tokens were popular tools in business transactions until they were banned by the government in 1674.

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