Hard times tokens are a collectible I have recently become interested in. Here we have an example of a 1837 Hard Times Token on its front it has a phoenix rising out of fire about which says substitute for shin plasters.
On the phoenix appears the date of NOVR 1837. So this was issued during the panic of 1837 and used as small money because government issued coinage was so scarce. The causes for this I’m aware of stem from a hot bank lending market for western lands and President Andrew Jackson’s administrations attempt to cool it by requiring real estate transactions to be settled in only gold and silver. I guess you might say it culminated on May 10, 1837 when banks in NYC made a decision not to honor commercial paper in full for specie (which was gold and silver). This time period started from in the mid to late 1830s and extended into the early 1840s. It was a difficult period economically in American history and is known as the hard times.
Now have a look at the reverse side:
It has the date of May Tenth 1837 which was the day that NY banks would longer allow commercial paper to be redeemed for gold and silver.