The Hudtwalcker Token
From the 17th to the early 19th century in the British Isles and North America, tokens were commonly issued by merchants in times of acute shortage of coins of the state. These tokens were in effect a pledge redeemable in goods, but not necessarily for currency. These tokens never received official sanction from government but were accepted and circulated quite widely.
Most such tokens show the issuer’s full name or initials. Where initials were shown, it was common practice to show three initials: the first names of husband and wife and their surname. Tokens would also normally indicate the merchant’s establishment, either by name or by picture. Most were round, but they are also found in square, heart or octagonal shapes.