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Unique Relics from Jalisco, Mexico


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A friend of mine showed me some relics today. He and his brother had found these with a White's detector on a ranch in Jalisco State, Mexico. They are quite interesting and I have never seen anything like them before. They have dates of 1905, 1870,1871, 1895, etc on one side and also mostly animals but there is one car. On the other side it seems to be a mixture of places, names and other words.

Has anyone seen anything like these before?

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Edited by mn90403
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Thanks Bob. Nice to see your post.

Are the dates on them anything to do with the date made? Some of them look identical in the lettering. At first I thought they were all handmade but now there are some that could have been poured into a mold?

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Guest Bedrock_Bob

Mexican money was based on an equivalent value of corn, fire wood, sugar, etc. These tokens are all inscribed with their value (vale) in corn (maiz), firewood (lena), sugar (azucar) just like a minted Mexican coin of that period. They are for all practical purposes a treasure of coins that have (or at least had) a lot of value. Wealthy landowners issued them to their workers instead of money and businesses gave tokens in change for silver and gold coin. There is probably a good story behind them. A really neat find! They are probably worth quite a bit if you knew the story to go with it.

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Guest Bedrock_Bob

Nice...man you sure know a lot BB...welcome back!

fred

Not really Fred. I can read the words on the coins though and that helps a bunch. Not much mystery when the token says "Good for a load of firewood" on it....

It is good to be back Fred. Looking forward to shooting the schitt with you guys!

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Guest Bedrock_Bob

These tokens are called "fichas". They are still used with farm laborers who are paid by the sack or box for picking vegetables or milking cows. For instance when a guy milks a cow on a dairy and returns the cow to the day pen he gets a ficha for the milking. At the end fo the day he turns in his fichas for his pay.

They are the same as keeping track of a laborer's progress in a log book. When laborers dont trust the foreman to keep good logs a token was issued for each unit produced. That way he had something tangable at the end of the day and he could prove how many cows were milked or loads of wood were loaded.

They were probably found at an old farm or ranch where many people worked for wages and did various labor jobs. I will see if I can get a few examples of modern fichas that they use here in the Mesilla Valley for piece work on the farms. My buddy tells me they often use bottle caps or pennies stamped with a certain mark.

Edited by Bedrock_Bob
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Hey Bob ... Glad to see you back ... missed you the last couple years it seems ... I have to second what Fred said ... OK ... you can read the coins, but don't underestimate your knowledge ... I learned a lot from your earlier posts ... not just on gold but some additional gun and reloading info as well as a few other areas. Looking forward to your continued posts.

Mike F

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Yeah, good to see you back, Bob... Pain in the ass sometimes, but always knowledgeable and interesting ... Welcome home!

Cheers, Unc

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When I first saw these I thought they could be some kind of home-made tokens or game pieces, and thought if I could only read Spanish it would be a start to a possible ID and Bob confirmed that and got it right, Thanks Bob and welcome back!

I did a little research after Bob's info was posted and found that in the Numismatics circles these tokens are dubbed as "Hacienda Tokens" , here's a couple links with more info, the first is a E-book, the second is from a Numismatic website,

http://www.scribd.com/doc/300631374/Hacienda-tokens-of-Mexico-by-O-P-Eklund-and-Sydney-P-Noe#scribd

http://coinsite.com/mexican-hacienda-tokens/

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