Paranumismatica – Indian Token Coins

The coins appearing hereunder, relates to the Indian Token Coins of 1911 issued by Longman, presumably a British  company. As is apparent from the legend, they were produced in Germany. They bear the bust of King Edward VII who died in May 1910. They are made of card board. The denominations are Half Rupee, Quarter Rupee and 1/64th of a Rupee ( 1 Paisa). Although they are not identical but imitations of the coins, having the bust of Edward VII, in circulation during that period. The tokens depict the bust facing left. While One Paisa has a copper color, the other two coins have the appearance of silver.
On a reference being made to the RBI Monetary Museum and the Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, they expressed their unfamiliarity with any such tokens. Accidentally I came across an article dedicated to ‘Exonumia’ (Study of Tokens, Medals etc.), a term I was not familiar with,  in the Coin Encyclopedia web site. The term ‘Paranumismatica’, however, lends more comfort. I was amused as also enthused and thought of getting my token coins published there so that they come to the knowledge of a larger number of enthusiasts in numismatics.

Contact Sheet

Longman's Indian Token Coins

We are aware of  ‘play money’ in use in the U.S. and other countries where replicas of coins are created in plastic or metal for children to play with. They are available in any toy store. But in the Indian context, the above referred tokens do not seem to be ‘play money’.  During World War II there was shortage of all kinds of metal world-wide. But the World War I started only in  August 1914.  An important event during that year was the coronation of George V at New Delhi on the 11th December. Reasons for ‘Token Coins’ being introduced, through private enterprise during that period is unexplainable at the present state of our knowledge. Further more, the above tokens are not in a mint condition. They appear to have changed several hands as the wear and tear suggests.

Recently I  made a reference to the British Museum as well and the response received is appended:

Thank you for your enquiry. This is is not a token coin issued as part of the currency in colonial India, but an imitation produced either as a toy, or possibly for the collectors’ market. In either case, I would guess that it was issued in, and for use in, Great Britain rather than India. While I have not been able to trace a reference to Longman’s, it seems likely that they were a British company, which may well have produced other series of token coins as well. Clearly this one was intended as part of an Indian series, imitating a half-rupee of George V (1910-36).

Yours sincerely,

Gareth Williams

Duty Curator

We welcome contributions in this regard for enrichment of knowledge about the tokens under discussion.


12 Responses to “Paranumismatica – Indian Token Coins”

  1. Mitul Chawhan Says:

    I have Got 5 Such Pieces of Longman’s Token issue coins and was told this are the token money used in World War II due to shortage of money, i have 5 different varities Viz. 1/2 Anna 1911, 1/2 Rupee 1911 , 1/12 anna 1911, 1/4 anna 1911 and last one was 2 annas with king george V portrait and all made in germany. More information on this will be appreciated.thanks

  2. Evon Says:

    Well I have a token coin of Longman’s one rupee, 1907. Have not seen any coin similar to this one anywhere. ? Have seen 1911 but not 1907. Is the one I got a rare one ?.

  3. Evon Says:

    My email id is

  4. Luana Zobel Says:

    Fantastic knowledge throughout that page, anime consumes too much of my spare time.

  5. srikanth bhat Says:

    am haveing 1911 longmans token coin ..i want to sell it anyone intrested call me 0916240424

  6. Challenge coins Says:

    It is also suggested that the collector create a list in the ancient coins that he would love to get. He can record them according to his order of preference which will make his search for historical coins an easier undertaking. Incorporated on his listing should be the sum he is inclined to invest on a selected kind of coin. The listing can be beneficial whether or not internet or at an auction house, enabling him to handle his finances easily.

  7. PSR. RAJU Says:

    I have a token coin of Longman’s Two Annas , issued in the year 1907 with English and Urdu lettering . The other side King Edward- VII figure ‘ LONGMANS INDIAN TOKEN COINS , MADE IN GERMANY. The Coin/ Token is made of card board . Is it really circulated or issued …??? Pl send the information

  8. PSR. RAJU Says:

    The size of 1907 Two Annas is around 1.5 CMs which is in brown / yellow color.

  9. mahendra Says:

    I too have got the Edward and Geroge V cardboard coin with Germany on it.If we compare them with contemporary British India coins ,the finishing is fantastic and do not seem to be forgeries.But the use is still an enigma for me.However the info compiled by P.subramanyam is very informative.

  10. Vinay Vadke Says:

    i have big crown, half crown 2 shilling,one shilling,three pence,six pence,golden paper leard soverin in card bord token coin with edwardvii, i have also britesh india 1,2,4,annas and 1/4 copper annas with ed vii,and silver 2anna gorge v tottel 23 coins. my mo no 09825199094 ahmedabad, vinay thanks;;;;;

  11. Yashwant Mathur Says:

    कल 23/09/2011 को आपकी यह पोस्ट नयी पुरानी हलचल पर लिंक की जा रही हैं.आपके सुझावों का स्वागत है .

  12. RAJAN SHAH Says:

    I have also a set of SIX Coins minted in the year 1922. I want to sell them.
    The images can be seen at

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