The last time anyone in NYC actually used a token was 13 years ago. For 50 years New Yorkers used these little round coins (that we would mistake for quarters constantly) to ride the subway until the Metrocard debuted and made them obsolete (as well as the token booths, which are slowly being erased too). At the time of the forced token extinction, the MTA had 60 million tokens in circulation. Tons of coins with no pocket or subway to call home. So where did they all go? Were they dumped in the middle of the sea like old train cars? Are they all in some sort of stock room, only sprung out when someone wants a souvenir? Well an article on Gizmodo today revealed what happened to the beloved subway token . 

According to the article, 45 of the 60 million leftover subway tokens were melted down and used for scrap metal. Out of the 15 million remaining, nine million are “sold to licensees as part of agreements to use the tokens for marketable items like cufflinks, watches, golf markers, etc.” While we were hoping for a more National Treasure like journey to the discovery of the leftover tokens, we are glad that this symbol of classic NYC has not been completely erased. You can also check some out at the New York City Transit Museum and find ones to buy on eBay.

For more on subway tokens, check out our History of The NYC Subway Token as well as a look into the Vanishing Subway Token Booths.

To find out the whereabouts of his sandwich, contact the author @ChrisLInoa