US Coins

Value-added traits

The Kitsap Transit token, left, was found secreted within a roll containing U.S. quarter dollars. The 1941 British halfpenny, right, was discovered hidden in a roll of Presidential dollars.

Images courtesy of the author.

Since I live in Kitsap County in Washington, the discovery of a Kitsap Transit half-fare transportation token in a roll of quarter dollars is not a particularly surprising event. In fact, this particular token, dated 1994, can still be used as a reduced fare token on our local buses.

The numismatic value of this piece as well as its worth as a current transportation token is about $1. So, what’s the big deal?

While I was using the Internet to gather up information about this token, I discovered a few things.

The first is that it was a little difficult to find a meaning for the initials seen on the token. After digging around a bit, I was able to determine that the acronym KCPTBA on the token stands for Kitsap County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority, which is the official name for what is known popularly as Kitsap Transit.

I then discovered that two types of half-fare tokens were issued in 1994. The version shown here has a smooth, solid partition between the central design and the outer portion of the piece that contains the identifying information, 1994 KITSAP TRANSIT 1994 KCPTBA. A second version has three evenly spaced slots cut into the partition between the center and the outer portions of the token.

The value of this token lies more in the discovery of some really helpful websites than in the monetary value of the piece itself. The American Vecturist Association,, is a great website devoted to the collecting of car wash, parking or transportation tokens. Founded in 1948, the AVA is, to my knowledge, the oldest American organization of token collectors.

Richard’s Token Database, found at and begun by Richard Greever, is a website where you can do searches pertaining to all kinds of tokens as they are cataloged by state, county or city. The numbers and types of tokens found on this website are amazing.

Found in a roll of small-sized dollars, the illustrated 1941 George VI halfpenny of Great Britain was struck in bronze with a diameter of 25.4 millimeters and a weight of 5.7 grams. This coin has a reported mintage of 45.12 million pieces, so it is not scarce, but finding it in a roll containing Presidential dollars really took me by surprise.

The inscription on the obverse reads GEORGIVS VI D G BR OMN REX F D IND IMP, which is translated as George VI by the Grace of God, King of all the British territories, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

The reverse of the coin features a representation of a ship (Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind) sailing left with HALF PENNY above and the date below.

Bill O’Rourke is a collector who has spent the past several years searching coin rolls in pursuit of his hobby.

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