I have recently started collecting brothel tokens. How can I tell the originals from the replicas?
Bob and Diana McShan
The incised stamped brass tokens are usually fake, says George Notarpole, a coin dealer in Mesa, Arizona. George once had a genuine brothel token from Colorado, with sophisticated stamping. Many of the French ones are clichés, being brass sheeting over paper cores, as they were cheaper to produce. These usually have a woman’s name on them. The neatest ones he ever had were old large cents that had the word cent modified to be more descriptive of a part of a woman’s anatomy. George tells me that Rich Hartzog of Exonumia.com is a good source to find out more about collecting brothel tokens.