In numismatics, token coins or trade tokens are coin-like objects used instead of coins. The field of token coins is part of exonumia and token coins are token money. Tokens have a denomination either shown or implied by size, color or shape. “Tokens” are often made of cheaper metals: copper, pewter, aluminium, brass and tin were commonly used, while bakelite, leather, porcelain, and other less durable materials are also known.
A key point of difference between a token coin and a legal tender coin is that the latter is issued by a governmental authority and is freely exchangeable for goods. However, a token coin typically has a much more limited use and is often issued by a private company, group, association or individual. In the case of “currency tokens” issued by a company but also recognized by the state there is a convergence between tokens and currency