Why is my 1883 Indian cent stamped 1888?

Sasha O. writes: Hi there, I found this indian head penny in a roll my mother gave me. This one is unusual because of the 1888 stamp on it. Can you tell me what is it’s significance and/or value?

This was stamped with the number “1888” by someone outside the Mint, that is, it is not a mint error. Stamped coins were often used for advertising purposes or as, for example, a hat or coat check token. There might have been many tokenized coins with different numbers to signify a specific place in a coat room where a hat or coat was stored. The recipient would return the token and redeem his/her clothing when one left the establishment.

Of course, this is just speculation. This kind of alteration goes under the heading of “Exonumia” and if one could identify its exact use, it would sell for $15 or so.