Coin and Paper Money Collecting/1863 Cent


I found in a group of cents a 1863 that clearly says on the back side, "NOT ONE CENT"  I have compared it to another 1863 Cent that I have and it looks identical except for the word NOT above the ONE CENT  Have you ever seen anything like it?


Your description, these are tokens, issued by private merchants. These were used for change. During the war, people started to hold gold and silver coinage and then copper coins were taken out of circulation.

There are two types of civil war tokens, merchant, often with the name, address of the business and a design of what the person sold or dealt with, and patriotic, often with a war related theme. Most were made of copper, and exchanged for one cent in merchandise or value. They came in two sizes, large cent and small cent. Many had "Not One Cent" on one side and the design was very similar to the Indian cents struck during that time.

Millions of tokens were struck, and there are over 10,000 different varieties and die combinations of these made during our civil war (1863-4). The tokens are ranked in rarity for common, R-1 (over 5,000 remaining) to R-10 (unique, 1 known). Rarity and condition, along with metal type are the determining factors as to the value of your token. Common circulated R-1 and R-2 tokens trade regularly in the $15-$20 range, with Uncirculated examples bringing up to $60-$75.

There is a specialized group who collect and deal specifically with this type of token. The link:

Another link listing tokens and there prices:

You may want to check eBay listings in the exonumia category under coins and currency from time to time to see if a token like yours is listed and what it is going for.

Please remember to go to the experts site to rate this answer. Check the nomination box on the rating page below any comments you may have.

Thank You and Good Luck in your collecting.  

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ronald Fern


I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.


Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.


Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

©2017 All rights reserved.