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General Information about Mavericks


A maverick is a token (or medal) that does not indicate its place of origin. As a cooperative effort, the members of the Token and Medal Society work to identify or attribute mavericks. The process is as follows. Members submit their mavericks to the Maverick Editor who photographs the token, transcribes the information on it, and writes a description of the size, shape, and material. Every issue, a quantity of mavericks are listed in the Journal. Then, as readers check the list, they research to find the origin of the tokens. These attributions are then published in a subsequent column.

The Maverick column started in 1965 and we now have over 16,000 mavericks in the database. In the early years of the column, there were no photographs, so there are some errors in descriptions that cannot be corrected. Also attributions were based on members' personal knowledge. Today, a reference to some sort of catalog, business directory, or the like is generally required to substantiate an attribution. Even then, it is not unusual to have a particular maverick attributed to multiple locations. Generally, at least one of those locations is incorrect. There are instances where a business may have had multiple locations or it may have relocated and kept the same tokens, but often it is a matter of an attribution that hasn't been properly researched. Some tokens, of course, may never be truly attributed. A case in point is a common name of a business such as "The Pastime". There were businesses of that name in hundreds of towns across the continent, so unless a maverick can be exactly matched to one that actually came from a Pastime in a particular town, it isn't 100% certain.

Due to the near-impossibility of attribution of certain types of maverick, the Maverick editor will no longer accept "initials only" or similar pieces. Research has shown that the names of proprietors of token-using businesses may be duplicated in far-flung corners of the continent. Not the same person, but the same name.

When a maverick is listed in one of the standard token reference books, like a state trade token catalog, that source is shown, even though that book may not have been used in the original attribution. It is recommended that researchers look at the state catalogs as there is often supporting information there.

Submissions to this list are limited to TAMS members, but attributions are solicited from anyone. If you can identify the origin of any of the mavericks listed, e-mail the Maverick Editor with the attribution and a reference that can be verified.

Maverick list format:




TAMS Number


Obverse description: lines are separated with / marks, incused lines are designated (Inc) and incused sides are designated (All Inc). Pictorials are enclosed in parentheses.


Reverse description: same convention as obverse






Sn=Scalloped w/n lobes

Cb=Cardboard (with color of writing/background)
Fi=Fiber (color)
Ni=Nickel (Wm)
Pb=Nickel plated br
Pl=Plastic (with color of writing/background)
Wm=White metal (Ni)


Attribution; References used or where the piece can be found listed (notes and/or details of business)

If multiple attributions have been made, they appear on lines 5 and up with [1, 2, etc.] at start of lines.


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