Fake and fantasy tokensBy

Fake and Fantasy Tokens

Marked L.A. Stamp

All collectors and dealers should be aware that any piece with the words "L.A. Stamp" on it is a fantasy (no original ever existed). The words loosely resemble the legitimate mark of the Los Angles Rubber Stamp Company which signed many of its pieces "L.A. RUB. STAMP CO". Use of the false marking on the fantasies was obviously to suggest an appearance of authenticity related to the authentic firm. Most of the fantasy pieces also have misleading dates such as "1884", "1879", "1915" and others.

The fantasy L.A. Stamp piece have plagued buyers for over 20 years. Over 30 fantasy L.A. Stamp pieces are known. They feature many of the most popular subjects with collectors including Coca-Cola, railroads, whiskey, military themes and American Indian affairs. Most advanced token collectors are aware of the L.A. Stamp pieces but collectors who buy according to subject matter (ie. Coke, railroad, etc.,) seldom realize the pieces are modern.

No one shape or style categorizes the L.A. fantasies. As you can see from the samples shown, many different blanks and techniques were used. Materials include lead, copper, brass and white metal.

David E. Schenkman has written extensively on tokens and medals for the TAMS Journal, the official publication of the Token and Medal Society.

All tokens in this article are marked L.A. Stamp. Shown about 1½ times actual size.

OBV=obverse REV=reverse MAT=material

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Fig. 1 Fantasy token marked L.A. Stamp (arrow). Token shown slightly more than twice actual size.

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OBV: 1879-FIREARMS TO BE RETURNED AT RAILROAD GUARDS OFFICE-No....... - U.P.R.R.

REV: blank

MAT: lead

SIZE: 31x33mm

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OBV: INSURED -$100 MAX-1884- UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD

REV: blank

MAT: brass

SIZE: 30mm

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OBV: U.S DEPT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS-APPROVED-A1 CONDITION-FORT SUMTER-MILITARY HOSPITAL

REV: blank

MAT: copper

SIZE: 33x33mm

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OBV: GREEN RIVER WHISKEY-ONE QUART FREE-OFFICAL COMPANY TOKEN

REV: blank

MAT: copper

SIZE: 32x32mm

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OBV: PAID AT STAGE DEPORT YUMA ADAMSEX

REV: blank

MAT: copper

SIZE: 37x38mm letter D cut out

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OBV: DRINK COCA-COLA, GOOD FOR ONE FREE BOTTLE 1915-1916

REV: Coca-Cola bottle

MAT: copper

SIZE: 31mm

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OBV: TEN DOLLARS-U.S. PAYMASTER-ON DEMAND

REV: blank

MAT: lead

SIZE: 32mm letter B cut out

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OBV: HAND THIS TO BARTENDER AT ANY BAR IN THE GROUNDS OF THE TRACK-VALUE 15 CENTS-KENTUCKY DERBY (date 1903 upper right corner)

REV: blank

MAT: brass

SIZE: 35mm

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OBV:BUTTERFIELD STAGE LINE-TRAVELLING SALESMAN-NO CHARGE-CONTRACT PRICE-FIFTY DOLLARS PAID

REV: blank

MAT: brass

SIZE: 28x40mm letter J cut out

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OBV:CALIFORNIA STAGE LINE-SINGLE ROOM-FOOD & BOARD-SERVES THE WESTERN CITIES

REV: blank

MAT: lead

SIZE: 32mm