Collectors are drawn to Hard Times tokens due to the varied, often
charming designs and interesting subjects covered. Most subjects fall
under two categories: political subjects and merchant advertisements.
The 1837 “Illustrious Predecessor” Hard Times token is a collector
favorite that will be featured, along with many others, in Q. David
Bowers’ upcoming book, A Guide Book of Hard Times Tokens, which
carries the subtitle, Political Tokens and Store Cards 1832-1844.
This one, graded Mint State 65 red and brown by Independent Coin
Graders, was described by the firm as, “Among the finest we’ve ever
seen or could ever hope to see.” It brought $470 at Stack's Bowers
Galleries' March 26 Whitman Expo auction.
However, Hard Times tokens need not be expensive. A lot of eight
different common types graded average Extremely Fine, but with minor
problems, sold for $329, or around $41 per token.