North West Company token

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If you are an avid coin collector you should not read this post, it will likely give you apoplexy. You've been warned.

Brief bit of history. The North West Company (NWC) aka Nor'Westers competed directly with the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). Formed in 1779 in Montreal it initially stayed clear of Hudson's Bay Company's territories that were given to them exclusively by the King. Even though NWC had London financiers, NWC in a short time ignored the order to stay out of HBC's territory. And NWC became a much more profitable company than HBC. So much so that the North West Company offered to merge with Hudson's Bay Company offering them 33% of the combined shares. Eventually a shooting war broke out between the two.

In 1820 the North West Company had tokens stamped being equal the the value of one beaver plew. Most were made out of brass, a few out of copper. They were given to both the Indians and Trappers in lieu of trade goods, the idea being an Indian or Trapper could purchase goods at a later time from any of NWC's "Factory's". Nearly all of them had holes drilled in them and were hung around the neck. The reason they were only struck in 1820 is because the English government essentially forced the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company to merge in 1821- which they did. The new company retained the name Hudson's Bay Company because that was the charter name the land grant was under.

Less than 100 of these tokens are believed to have survived. Being as I was born in 1755 and, after having fought in the Revolution, hunted, traveled and trapped all over western North America, doing business with the North West Company, the Hudson's Bay Company, the American Fur Company, and numerous others, I managed to hang on to one of these tokens and wear it to this day.

NorthWestCompanyToken1820.jpg
 

Rató:rats

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Love that.
Did you age a replica or is it original?
Here’s a HBC one probably struck after the merger
It’s for 1 N B
New beaver maybe?
I usually hear the term made beaver so perhaps a new beaver was a kit?
Your guess is as good as mine
023A5E21-03E5-4EAF-85FC-0A5E4D950626.jpeg
 
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It's the real deal. I busted it out of a PCGS case not two hours ago.

Made Beaver originally meant beaver hides that had been worn by the Indians for enough time that the guard hairs (which normally would need to be plucked) have been rubbed off from long contact with the Indians skin. A Made Beaver was worth more the a fresh Beaver hide (less work to prep for the hatters). Eventually all the Made Beaver was traded for but the name stuck for premium pelts.

Don't have any HBC tokens yet (is that yours?), but my eye is out for from the correct time frame to match my time period.
 

Notchy Bob

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Love that.
Did you age a replica or is it original?
Here’s a HBC one probably struck after the merger
It’s for 1 N B
New beaver maybe?
I usually hear the term made beaver so perhaps a new beaver was a kit?
Your guess is as good as mineView attachment 115787
Dang... Where did I read about this? Somewhere, a couple of years ago, I found an article about the HBC tokens. The "NB," as I recall, was supposed to be "MB," for "made beaver," but the contractor who struck the coins made an error, and the Company elected to use the tokens anyway.

I'm going to have to look that up.

Notchy Bob
 
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Dang... Where did I read about this? Somewhere, a couple of years ago, I found an article about the HBC tokens. The "NB," as I recall, was supposed to be "MB," for "made beaver," but the contractor who struck the coins made an error, and the Company elected to use the tokens anyway.

I'm going to have to look that up.

Notchy Bob
Notchy Bob, you are correct. Thanks for pointing that out. :)
Coins and Canada - Hudson's Bay Company: One-quarter Made Beaver Token - Articles on tokens and medals of Canada
 
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Dang... Where did I read about this? Somewhere, a couple of years ago, I found an article about the HBC tokens. The "NB," as I recall, was supposed to be "MB," for "made beaver," but the contractor who struck the coins made an error, and the Company elected to use the tokens anyway.

I'm going to have to look that up.

Notchy Bob
Shoot, I thought it was for Notchy Bob!
Jay
 
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