This website presents the interests of The Token Corresponding Society and Token Congress with both groups sharing a common interest.
The word 'token' in this context means a coin or similar object which is issued for use in place of regular or official coinage. Over the years the scope of members' interests has widened to include a whole range coin-like objects which are collectively known as 'Paranumismatica'. I.e. outside the scope of formal Numismatics consisting of Coins, Military Medals and Medallions. Examples are listed on the left.
Until the last few decades mainstream coin collectors ignored paranumismatic items, but a few enthusiasts collected Trade Tokens from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Jettons, passes, tickets, checks, tallies, evasions and the like were treated as curiosities and often relegated to the dealer's 'junk box'. Collectors interests are now very wide and include items like key tags, weights, coinweights, badges, awards and of course modern machine tokens in various forms. Paranumismatics in known in America as Exonumia and the 18th Century Trade Tokens are called Condors, apparently named for the token issuer in Ipswich, Suffolk of the same name. Transport Tokens are collected by members of the American Vecturist Association.
The Token Corresponding Society was founded in July 1971, by means of a circular from the late Christopher Brunel and Jean M. White to a group of enthusiasts who collected tokens and agreed to publish a bulletin for circulation between themselves. The first TCS Bulletin was published in the following October. Membership reached eighty in the first six months.
Token Congress was initiated in 1982 by Brian Edge, to cater specifically for token collectors and organised along the lines of the well established BANS Congress, (British Association of Numismatic Societies). This initial Token Congress at Crewe was the start of an annual event and membership has grown ever since.