Tag Archives: token

OHIO Doersam’s Clock Token

A request was made for information on this token. This information comes from Monte Dean’s book “Ohio Sales Tax Revenues: Stamps, Punch Cards, Tokens and Related Memorabilia.”

Mr. Monte Dean refers to the two different varieties of this token as OH-MM-1A and OH-MM-1B. The text below is from his book and published here with permission from the author. There is a photo of the OH-MM-1B elsewhere on this site (use the Ohio category link on the right side of your screen).

Doersam’s was a restaurant located at 161 North High Street in Columbus, Ohio and operated until closing sometime in the 1970’s. The reason for the clock design on the reverse of these tokens is because the restaurant featured a large clock at its entrance.

Of the 8 recorded sales of the OH-MM-1A the prices have varied considerably, primarily because of the categories those tokens were listed in on eBay. 7 of those sales occurred on eBay during the last 15 years, while one was listed in a standard fixed price list and did sell for the $125 asking price. The eBay prices had only one sale that would be considered “cheap” selling for $47. That was probably at that low price because it was in the Merchant Tokens section and did not mention anything at all about sales tax or Tax Pre-Paid. Someone spotted it and purchased it for what I consider to be an awfully good price.

The other 6 examples listed on eBay either had been categorized under sales tax tokens or at the very least listed the TAX PRE-PAID as a feature of the listing. In those cases the results were as follows:

Sold eBay 980201 - $101.55,

Sold eBay 000304 - $136.78,

Sold eBay 020911 - $98.90,

Sold eBay 041012 - $72.00 (beaten to death VG)

Sold eBay 051011 - $88.33,

Sold eBay 090904 - $83.50.

With the exception of the one that sold for $72.00 that had a wicked scratch across the obverse all of the others graded in the VF-30 to XF-40 range. I’ve never seen any example nicer than a weak Extra Fine, which indicates these did see some handling either as pocket pieces or in actual commerce. I’ve never seen or heard of one in anything close to uncirculated condition and if one did become available, I would certainly think that such an example would bring an even higher price than those seen above.

The OH-MM-1B caused considerable confusion for many years as it was listed as “same but canceled” in most early listings with no indication of how that cancelling was performed. In the American Tax Token Society Newsletter issue #86 of 940901 it was still listed as such with that information coming from the above mentioned book Ohio Merchant Tokens by Lipscomb. We did not see a photo or illustration of this piece until it was reported by Michael Florer in the ATTS Newsletter #150 of 100901.

Although we have known about this variety with the punched out TAX PRE- PAID for three decades, we only saw an actual example of it two years ago. This helps to confirm its R8 rarity rating.

The OH-MM-1B has only been exchanged 3 times that I am aware of. One exchange was by trade and twice by purchase with both sales occurring on eBay. In trades that involve more than one token, which this trade did, it is sometimes difficult to put an exact “trade value” on an individual piece when there are a number of items going in both directions. I would say a reasonable amount this token “fetched” as a trade item was right at the $100.00 mark.

The two sales on eBay were: 090913 for $111.00 and 100110 for $133.33.

There was another example available from a seller in Minnesota who was initially asking $175 for his example which was in okay VF-30 condition. That seller eventually lowered his asking price down to $100 but as of this writing no sale at that reduced price had been made.

It might appear strange that the OH-MM-1B does not far outdistance the selling price of its slightly more common brother, but the potential sale I mentioned above gives some good reason why it has not found a higher price than the OH-MM-1A. That reason is simply that many collectors who may already have the OH-MM-1A are just not interested in spending that much money on what is essentially a very slightly different duplicate of what they already own.

If these were $30, or perhaps even $50 tokens, then having both would probably be a lot more desirable. But since they often top the $100 mark, which seems to be a line in the sand for most STT collectors, few, if any, are willing to pay that higher price for something so much like what they already own.

If you don’t have one or the other and the OH-MM-1B does become available I’d say that anything in the $80-100 range is a darned good price. Going up into the $130- $150 area isn’t bad if it’s a nice condition example (XF-40 or better), but it really should be a super yummy looker to deserve that price.