1968 uniface aluminum Anillo restrikes of 1952-53 Newhall Old West Association tokens — 5¢, 10¢, 25¢.
This is one instance where the copy is scarcer than the original.
The Newhall Old West Association took over the operation of Newhall's Fourth of July Celebration in 1948 and threw a big party at the French Village,
which was dubbed "Slippery Gulch" for the occation. The next year, Ernie Hickson, owner of the Placeritos Ranch (aka Monogram movie ranch in Placerita
Canyon), hosted the celebration and commandeered the "Slippery Gulch" moniker.
U.S. legal tender was verboten. To purchase booze, play the slots and participate in carnival-style games, revelers had to use trade tokens, specially ordered by Hickson
from the Los Angeles Rubber Stamp Co., aka Los Angeles Stamp & Stationery Co., which had been making saloon and other trade tokens since the 1880s.
Hickson's brass Placeritos Ranch tokens were struck by the thousands in each denomination — 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ and 50¢, which mirrored
the corresponding U.S. coinage in diameter.
Hickson's Placeritos Ranch hosted the July 4 festivities from 1949 to 1951. Following his death in early 1952, the Newhall Old West Association continued
the tradition and ordered up similar tokens in the same denominations, composition and sizes, but with "Newhall Old West Association Inc. / Newhall California"
on the obverse. They were used in 1952 and 1953 and possibly in 1954.
In 1968, when Los Angeles Stamp & Stationery went out of business, Anillo Industries of Orange, Calif., purchased its inventory, including
3,492 original dies used in the manufacture of trade tokens and medals, mostly of California issue.
Anillo intended to go into the token and medal business. It reportedly struck 25 sets of uniface (one-side-only) tokens and medals from the 3,492 dies, in aluminum,
to be mounted in salesmen's sample books. Only four books were made up, and it's likely that only four examples of each token and medal were actually struck.
Glue and black paper residue on the unstruck back of these examples indicate they were glued into one of the four sample books at one time. (The
books ended up being sold to token collectors for about $150 per set.)
Known Anillo restrikes of Newhall/Santa Clarita interest include the 1948 Placerita Gold Discovery medal, ordered by Ernie Hickson; the 1949-51 Placeritos Ranch (Fourth of July) trade tokens; and
the 1952-53 Newhall Old West Association (Fourth of July) trade tokens. All of the originals were struck in quantities of hundreds or thousands and all are quite common today
(although 50¢ denominations of both Placeritos and Newhall Old West are less so).
Just four each of the Anillo restrikes were ever issued, and it's unknown how many of the four still survive.
This is one of the four sets of Anillo restrikes of the Newhall Old West Association trade tokens; the 50¢ is missing, assuming it was restruck in the first place.
(It might not have been; it's not listed in the standard reference, "California Tokens" by Charles V. Kappen. But then again, neither is the original 50¢
piece, which does exist, albeit in smaller quantities than the other denominations.)