Privately Minted Civil War Token. Can you imagine running a business or managing your personal purchases without coins? From 1861 to 1864 during the Civil War, coin shortages became so severe that merchants began to issue their own tokens which usually replaced the penny coin. The privately minted copper pieces were the size and shape of the standard cent. Many included advertisements for the issuing business on them. Others featured patriotic symbols or sentiments. Many were minted to look much like government issued coins. That wide variety makes Civil War tokens especially fascinating for collectors. You will receive one Civil War token of our choice of design in Fine or better quality.