Baudouin I (1951-1993)
|Type||Trade tokens › Local administration token|
|Value||50 Hesseleir (50 BEF)|
|Orientation||Medal alignment ↑↑|
|Demonetized||14 October 1981|
Numista type number (https://en.numista.com/help/what-is-the-n-number-visible-in-the-catalogue-33.html)
Marc Willemans; 2019. Gemeentepenningen, Medailles, Jetons en Fantasie-Biljetten van Belgie (1979-2019) = Municipal Tokens, Medals, Tokens and Fantasy Banknotes of Belgium (1979-2019). Self-published, Lokeren.
HARSELE 1281-1981 HERSELT
GELDIG van 11-10 tot 14-10-81
Municipal tokens were born in Flanders in 1980.
The first that came into circulation was the 25 Franc of Leuven and was given the name "Lovenaar".
The city of Leuven had launched the idea that a medal could/should be minted for the city.
This was valid for a limited time and only exchangeable at the local dealers.
Most coins went straight into the collection of numismatists or private individuals who thought it was a nice must-have.
Due to the law of supply and demand, the value of this occasional coin rose rapidly
and reached a value of around 1,000 Francs (= 25 EUR) in a short time.
As a result, few coins returned to the city treasury.
Soon the "Lovenaar" was imitated in other cities and municipalities that also saw their chance to generate extra income.
A few months later, Ghent struck 2 pennies (Gravensteen & St. Baafsabdij).
In the same period, a few 25 Francs coins were minted for the coastal cities and the West Flemish interior.
More and more cities and towns had seen an additional source of income in minting such. The material from which they were made and the cost of striking them was low, and few tokens were returned.
= Pure profit for the City Treasury!
Then began what everyone had feared... An issue of masses of new tokens.
Whereas in the beginning a new one was only issued every 2 months, commemorative tokens appeared in the streets in many municipalities.
At its peak in 1981, sometimes 3 new ones came out a week…
As if that were not enough, the amount of the token was increased from 25 francs to 50 francs, in 1981 the price was already 100 francs.
The cost of minting the tokens remained the same, but the profit for municipalities and cities was suddenly much higher.
Many collectors dropped out because of too expensive and too many different issues.
Local clubs and organizations of local fairs and parties had suddenly seen an extra source of income. They also started to mint coins en masse, albeit sometimes in limited issues, so that the issue price remained the same, but its value increased rapidly due to its rarity. Again the big profit went to the clubs because again, following the example of the cities and municipalities, almost no coins were brought in. In 1981, sometimes up to 20 new pieces were issued in a month. As a result, even more collectors dropped out.
At the end of 1981, almost no new issues were recorded and the world of municipal tokens actually collapsed.
I would like to add here that each and every one of the coins were gems in terms of images. In the municipality of Tubize, for example, a coin with the portrait of Maria Thérésia was issued. If you don't look at the alloy you would think you are holding a coin from the Austrian period.
Due to the discontinuation of their collection by many numismatists at the time and the no longer issuing such commemorative coins, the interest and therefore also the value of the coins has fallen sharply. Many young collectors are not familiar with these coins and their underlying story.
What is striking is that the interest has increased again in recent years. Many collectors look for such coins because the cost is usually low and the images are very beautiful. The disadvantage is that the alloy (steel) usually starts to rust quickly due to damp conditions and it becomes difficult to find these coins in beautiful condition.