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It was during this decade that some banks and chambers of commerce in the United States issued wooden nickels with expiration dates to mitigate difficulties faced by merchants in making change at times of instability.
Common views published on the Internet concerning the origin of the wooden nickel are patently incomplete, often making it an innovation of this late date that arose in response to such banking difficulties. Commemorative nickels are then supposed to be an outgrowth of these legitimate wooden nickels. However, collectible wooden nickels have been mentioned in print since at least 1888.
In more recent times, wooden nickel trading has become more popular. Individuals can have their own personalized token made and then trade with others who also have had their own made. This is especially popular in geocaching.
In popular culture
An American adage, "Don't take any wooden nickels" is considered a lighthearted reminder to be cautious in one's dealings. This adage, too, precedes the use of wooden nickels as a replacement currency, suggesting that its origins lie not in the genuine monetary value of nickels but rather in their purely commemorative nature.
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