Telephone Brass Tokens

Master Ishar Abdul Latif, who specialised in Malay Sultanate tin coins, was working in Telekom Malaysia Berhad for many years. He confirmed to me that these telephone brass tokens were used in Malaysia telecom before.

Italian telephone tokens.Obverse.
(Dickson Niew Collection)
Italian telephone tokens.Reverse.
(Dickson Niew Collection)

Before there were telephone cards to use, telephone tokens were a widespread medium of exchange for people wanting to talk with someone across the street.

Most of them have taken the form of round tokens cut with alternating grooves, such as one on the reverse, and two on the obverse.

These tokens are interesting for two reasons:

First, the number under "TELEFONICO" indicates the year and month of use, with the first two digits giving the year, and the second two digits giving the month. The token showed above, "7711" was used in the 11th month of '77, or November, 1977.

Second, the symbol above "GETTONE" is a mintmark, consisting of 2-3 letters in a recessed shape.

Four mintmarks were used, there were:
Urmet Torino

Industria Politecnica Meridionale
Costruzioni Minuterie Metalliche

Today, I found  two pieces of  telephone brass tokens  and one of it was with the second  mintmark that I am looking for.

It is the IPM (Industrial Politecnica Meridionale) Mint Mark.
The token showed below, "7607" was used in the 7th month of '76, or July, 1976.
Italian telephone tokens.Reverse.
(Dickson Niew Collection)

IPM (Industrial Politecnica Meridionale) Mint Mark.


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