Tokens (metallic coin- or medal-like products with the diameter of not over 35 mm) have been minted at the Saint-Petersburg Mint since the end of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th centuries to celebrate Russian jubilees: 100th anniversary of A.S. Pushkin’s birth, 100th anniversary of Patriotic war etc.
In the USSR tokens were applied to pay for a trip in the metro, to buy food at vending machines, in the public nutrition system of restaurants. The Leningrad Mint struck such tokens in great numbers. Today the Mint regularly executes orders for token production.
The token as an artistic product of a small size is used to commemorate a certain event, a public or private celebration more and more often. Besides, it has become a tradition to add special tokens with the image of the Mint to numismatic sets of commemorative coins. Such tokens are a collectible item.
New kinds of tokens suitable for the latest generation of paying machines are being developed at Goznak. They may become a transient stage between metallic tokens and plastic cards.
According to their functions, tokens may be divided into:
- Advertising and security
Metro tokens are attributed to the payment category. For the 50th anniversary of the Leningrad metro the Saint-Petersburg Mint issued special tokens which are kept by the citizens as commemorative ones.
Payment tokens may have a function of money replacement within the territory of a certain organization or an enterprise. Entering their territory, the visitor exchanges currency units to the offered tokens according to the denomination stated on the token. Such tokens may be used in the canteen, to pay for billiard, bowling etc.
An example of such an order executed at the Mint in 2004 are tokens of Ferum Club.
Advertising and security tokens
Advertising and security tokens may be used as stamps or inserts into the product packing. Their presence protects products from counterfeiting and improves the manufacturer’s image. Besides, the manufacturer’s logo on the token serves advertising aims. The advertising and security tokens may be applied by large manufacturers of beverages, tea, boxes of candies and other products sold in packing. Tokens traditionally added to sets of commemorative coins produced by the Mint may be referred to this category.
Tokens of “Continent” Company are a sample of such an order.
Jubilee tokens are issued for the jubilee of a company, a city, a monument, a creative team etc. such tokens may be used by any companies, firms and banks and spread at presentations and other events.
Tokens for the 140th anniversary of the Leningrad Zoo and a token dedicated to the 190th anniversary of foundation of Goznak are an example.
Commemorative tokens are issued to commemorate most important events of a country, a city, an enterprise, an architectural complex or a monument, a creative team. Commemorative tokens may be used at ceremonial and cultural occasions to publicize historical events.
Tokens of “Watermark” and “COINS” international conferences are an example.
Souvenir tokens with the images of city landscapes, monuments and architecture are issued for tourists who take it with them to remember their visit to the city. The tokens may be sold separately and in sets.
Tokens of the “Symbols of Saint-Petersburg” series, a set of tokens “The 300th Anniversary of “Admiralty Shipyards” of cupronickel and tombac are an example.