Thursday, February 6, 2014

2/6/14 Report - Arcade and Amusement Tokens Metal Detected On The Beach

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Sample of Game Tokens Dug From Florida Beaches.

Going left to right and top to bottom.  1.  Castle Park, 2. Circus Playhouse, 3. Cloverleaf Game Room, 4. Coin-it, 5. Flippers, 6. Freedom, 7. Fun-N-Games, 8. Malibu Grand Prix, 9. Playdium, 10. Race-O-Rama, 11. Riverboat Playhouse, 12. Twilight Game Arcade, 13. Time-Out, 14. Unnamed, 15. Unnamed.

I bet some of you have used tokens like these.

Those are just some examples.  I sold a number of them.  Many collectors like near mint rather than dug tokens though.

Of course this is only one kind of token that you can find.  Merchant tokens, like the nice old one that William M. found and that I showed yesterday is another kind.  Casino tokens are another type.  Then there are the good luck tokens, etc.

Other Side of the Same Tokens.  
In the same order.
There are a lot of interesting things you will find on a beach beside coins and tokens.  You might find dog tags both military and animal.  Advertising tokesn for cafeterias or turnpikes, and on and on.

I'll probably show a few examples of some of the other types tomorrow.

I used to find a lot of Good for One Drink tokens at one particular resort.  I wonder what happened to them.  Hiccup!  Just kidding on the hiccup.

These particular tokens aren't valuable although some of them might be sold for a few cents or dollars.  Some of them might have another kind of value though. 

One type of value that they had at the time they were found is that some of them could still be used.  You could take them to the arcade and put them in a machine and have a game or two if you found enough of them.  But that is not the kind of value I want to focus on either.

I think that all of those that are pictured, even though they are not very old are at least over twenty years old now.  Most of those were detected years ago.  Some are older than others.  But the one thing about them, is that they are all marked and refer to places.  They give information and point to a location.

If you look through that group, some of the arcades or amusement centers no longer exist.  One was along I - 95 and destroyed quite  a few years ago, for example.  It might now be a very good coin detecting location if you can get access to it.

I often say, finds are not just objects, sometimes they can be good clues too.  Finds can have a lot of value as clues if you take a good look and do the necessary research.  That is how finds come alive.

One nice thing about coins, medals and tokens is the amount of information that is to be found on them if they are in decent shape.  They often provide the information you need to find the who, what, where, when and how.

The beach is a natural tumbler that works continuously.  When storms come along new things are dragged into the tumbler and things that were covered are thrown up onto the beach.  Almost anything in that tumbler will deteriorate and eventually be totally destroyed.  

Some items might last longer than others depending upon what it is made of and how long it is in the active part of the tumbler, but eventually most items will disappear.   

Archaeologists seem to assume that items will be preserved as long as they remain in the ground.  That isn't always true, especially those items that are on the beach.

You know how many items I post that are mystery items, or as I call them, whatzits.   It can be hard to get a positive ID on items that never had much information on them or if the information has been ground off over time.  Many items will never be identified.  

As I mentioned the other day, on the National Geographic program about the Anglo Saxon hoard they said they might never be able to answer all the questions about where they came from or how they came to rest in the field.  I suspect that is true.

Items that remain in the beach tumbler are in danger of disappearing altogether and most certainly are in danger of deterioration in a relatively short time.  Of course there are some items that will endure a good while. 

I've shown how modern coins such as nickels, dimes and quarters can be bent in half and we all know how silver coins can lose all detail so that you have no clue to what they once were.  The forces in the tumbler can be dramatic.

Although these types of tokens are not real old and they aren't worth much if you wanted to sell them, they were once constructed, used, probably by many people, and eventually lost, and they still can be interesting if you take the time to get to know them better.

They might also tell you something about beach conditions and where other things are likely to be found on the beach on any particular day.

I'll probably show some other kinds of found beach tokens tomorrow,  probably some transportation tokens and some other kinds, and maybe a few older ones.

See if you can help William find out more about the S & M Farms that is advertised on his older token that I showed yesterday.

Here is a very good web sites that will help you research tokens, not just gaming or arcade tokens.  They have quite and extensive variety.   You can narrow your search through the database in many ways.  Give it a try.

On the Treasure Coast we've had some very nice beach weather, with a few rain showers.

The surf is around three or four feet.   The tides have flattened out.

The wind will be from the North this morning.  I''m not expecting any real changes.

Happy hunting,