About Jetons

Jetons were used for making calculations. On a table or a piece of cloth lines were drawn and on the lines the calculators put the jetons. The calculated value depended on the place where the jeton was put. This use was in the 12th up to the 16th century. Because of new calculation methods and the use of pen and paper, this use finished around 1600.

The historical jetons were made for the chambers (rekenkamers) where the taxes were calculated.

The first chamber in France was raised in 1318. Philips de stoute (Philippe II Le Hardi) , count of Burgundie, raised a chamber in Rijsel (Lille) in 1386. His son Jan zonder Vrees (John without fear) raised a chamber in Brussels. The first Dutch chamber was raised in The Hague in 1447.

In the 2nd half of the 16th century they started to put political decorations on the tokens. After a while, this became so important that even though the jetons were not used for calculation anymore, new jetons were introduced regularly.

In the middle of the 17th century the jeton became more and more a token for playing games; those tokens were mainly produced in Germany, Neurenberg and were of smaller size.

Not all the jetons, published by Dugniolle are for calculation purposes; some are presentation-pieces or for identification.

The jetons were not only used for calculation, but also presented by the reigns to servants and priests as a gift.

The calculators received in the 16th century every year 144 new jetons. The chiefs received a set of silver jetons in a silver case, although they were not used for calculation anymore. In the north provinces, this use ended slowly starting in the late 17th century, but the chiefs received the same value in money after that. For example: in 1723 in Holland the 12 chiefs received each 81 guilders as compensation.

A big part of the jetons came in circulation and were used as money. As a result many jetons are heavily used and worn and these have no value for the collectors. The jeton had about the same size and weight as an Oord (2 duits).