Hard Times tokens were minted privately, mostly out of copper, from 1832 to 1844, even though the actual depression that occurred during this period, for which the tokens are named, did not take place until 1837. The early tokens from this period often fall into the category of political or satirical issues, usually featuring commentaries on Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Seward, or Daniel Webster. Store tokens, also called merchant issues, featured advertisements; the ones from Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are the most common. And within the merchant issues are Feuchtwanger tokens, which are made of an alloy known as German silver instead of copper.


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