“Ships Colonies and Commerce” tokens

Kris writes: I am writing from Canada. I have a coin that has SHIPS COLONIES COMMERCE on one side and a brigatine on the other side. It looks like an oversize penny, about 1 inch in diameter. It has no date or country, province, etc. on it. Could you tell me the value of it and where it is from?

ships-colonies-commerce-token
“Ships Colonies and Commerce” tokens were emergency money that passed as a halfpenny. The issue circulated primarily in Prince Edward Island between 1830 and the 1860’s though they were also known in New Foundland and in lower Canada. The later pieces with a well defined sailing ship were designed by Thomas Halliday whose initial “H” appears on many varieties. An article in the January 1917 Numismatist , the monthly publication of the American Numismatic Association, by W.A.D. Lees, identifies 54 varieties of SC&C tokens.

There are also pieces that were struck by the New York firm of Wright & Bale. These tokens often show W & B N.Y. in exergue under the water line of the ship.

Values of these interesting pieces depend on type, variety and grade: Approximate value range: US $5 – 300.