The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 37, September 15, 2019, Article 5


Author Manuel Ayala forwarded this information on his new book on Connecticut trade tokens. Thanks, and congratulations! -Editor

Connecticut trade Tokens book cover This book represents the first trade tokens catalog for the state of Connecticut. When I initially started this project I was surprised to discover that most of the states within New England region do not have trade token catalogs, whereas larger states to the west and south of us do. In my mind, this catalog had to be more than just a listing of all known tokens for the state – it had to encompass Connecticut’s history, its businesses and its people.

As I added tokens to this body of work, I also included as much information as I could such as the business’ name, its proprietor, the town and address where the business resided, and the years of operation. In doing so, I often found interesting facts about the owner or the town many of which I have documented throughout this work. It is my hope to show the expansive use of tokens in all types of businesses, their place in history and the communities that put them into circulation. My research introduced me to many people willing to share their knowledge and experiences, and on more than one occasion, I found people giving me a verbal walking tour of their town, streets and the owners whose establishments resided on them.

The catalog is 712 pages and it is fully illustrated covering tokens from mid-1800’s to the present. It has over 6,000 tokens or related exonumia identified. Each of the tokens described in this catalog are accompanied, when available, with color images of both the obverse and reverse sides. Each token is assigned a unique identification number and an estimated value scale. The tokens are fully described including ornamentation and minter’s name. All known varieties are depicted. Their composition, shape, border and edge details are fully described. In addition, there is a reference line that lists how many of the specific tokens I have seen and where I encountered them, such as other catalogs or online sites. Any historical information that was obtained is listed in the notes section found below the description.

Additionally, this catalog includes modern plastic tokens (1970’s), wooden nickels, wooden flats, advertisement mirrors, Mason tokens and encased coins. I have also added a section of identification tags which represent many of the industries in the state. Last but not least, I have included a mavericks section that identifies tokens that I have come across in my research that I could not attribute to Connecticut with any great assurance. The catalog is fully indexed which will make it easier for users to find those tokens listed.

About the Author:
Manuel A. Ayala, like many other collectors today, started collecting world coins at a young age – in his case 10 years old. He continued collecting world coins and eventually ‘odd’ and ‘curious’ currency until he graduated from Wesleyan University in 1984. Shortly, after graduating, his interests evolved into collecting tokens from his native home – Puerto Rico, which, unfortunately, were difficult acquire due to their scarcity and the exorbitant prices they demanded. He once again expanded his interests to Central and Latin American tokens. In 2007, after it was suggested to him that he write a catalog on Connecticut tokens, he proceeded to do some initial research on the subject. Now, after 12 years, the first catalog of Connecticut tokens is officially done and available. He is an active member of both NTCA and TAMS. You can contact the author via email at

Book Details:
Glossy hardcover
712 pages
8 ½” x 11”
Color on #80 glossy paper
Price: $110.00 (includes shipping, tracking and insurance)

Please send checks or money orders to: Manuel A. Ayala
116 Putnam Avenue
Hamden, CT 06517

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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