Okay, so it’s not a Liberty Seated dime as we know them, but it’s still among the neatest and definitely one of my favorite items among all my exonumia pieces. This jeton is struck in white metal, and the steel gray devices and crinkly reflective fields form a pleasing cameo contrast. If I had to apply a grade it would be AU. A faithful reproduction of Gobrecht’s Liberty Seated motif makes up the obverse of this undated piece, with COMPOSITIONS – SPIEL – MARKE appearing around Liberty’s figure. The reverse features an eagle most similar to that on the reverse of the Capped Bust dimes of 1809 to 1837, with arrows in the eagle’s left talon and a branch in its right talons. COMPOSITIONS – SPIEL – MARKE appears around the eagle, and JETON appears below. The diameter and thickness are about that of a dime of the era, and the edge is partially reeded in places. My cost code tells me I paid $15 for this piece, and I’m glad I did. I’ve never seen its duplicate anywhere, and I’ve looked in a lot of dealer’s cases over the years.
When I first bought this piece decades ago, I kept it on my “coin shelf” where I keep my numismatic library and all other things numismatic in our house. At some point I went looking for the token and couldn’t find it. Had I misplaced it or taken it to a coin show and laid it down somewhere, never to be seen again? The loss of the token rankled for years. But, this tale has a happy ending. In 2001 when we were packing to move to our new home, I moved the “coin shelf” and lo and behold, the token was sitting on the floor behind the shelf! The original sense of loss I experienced is no doubt familiar to coin collectors everywhere, and to have my errant – and perhaps unique — spiel marke come home was even more rewarding to me than the day when I first purchased the little token all those years ago.