US Coins

Inside Coin World: Strawberry pickers tokens

Strawberry pickers in Missouri in the 1890s and early 20th century received tokens indicating the amount of berries they had picked.

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Tokens to Collect: Strawberry pickers checks

In the early 20th century, produce growers often kept track of workers’ production by giving them “pickers tokens,” with each token representing a certain amount of produce picked. Typical of these were strawberry pickers tokens, writes Jeff Starck in the “Tokens to Collect” column in the Nov. 26 issue of Coin World.

In the Missouri Ozarks in the 1890s, strawberries became big business, requiring larger numbers of “pickers.” Traditionally, workers were not paid an hourly wage but instead were paid by the amount of strawberries they picked. The workers received tokens that represented the number of boxes picked, which then could be redeemed for pay. That practice was eventually outlawed.

Today, strawberry picker tokens are avidly collected. To learn more about the tokens and the strawberry business, read Jeff’s article, found exclusively in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

Coin Values Spotlight: 1883 Liberty Head 5-cent coins

The first version of the 1883 Liberty Head 5-cent coin, lacking the word “cents” on the reverse and bearing only the Roman numeral V as its denomination, is infamous as an example of how not to design a coin. Pieces were gold-plated, given a fake reeded edge and passed as gold $5 coins.

Chris Bulfinch looks at the collector market for these coins and their replacements, the 1883 Liberty Head, With CENTS 5-cent coin. The latter, while struck in much larger numbers than the No CENTS version, actually bring higher prices because fewer of them were saved than of the first version.

To learn more about the coins, read Chris’ column, found only in the digital and print editions of the Nov. 26 issue of Coin World.

About VAMs: 1878-CC Morgan dollar, VAM-15

The VAM-15 die marriage for the 1878-CC Morgan dollar was first reported in 1973, writes John Roberts in his “About VAMs” column in the Nov. 26 issue of Coin World.

It is best identified by a die gouge passing through Liberty’s lower lip on the obverse. In addition, a series of die gouges appear stitched along the lower edge of the jaw. Additional gouges are found in and above the first two letters of LIBERTY.

One other prominent feature is found on the obverse. To learn what that is, read John’s column, found only in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

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