Crystal City (Texas USA) INS Internment Camp Grey Tokens

Crystal City gray back

Crystal City Internment Camp was opened in 1942 and eventually contained 3500 people.  The first internees were people of Japanese descent from the US as well as other south and Central American countries.  Later Germans and Italians were added to the camp.  The camp was segregated by nationality and each area had its own canteen.  The camp was closed in 1947.  There are actually two types of tokens, a set of gray and a set of red and green.  The gray tokens were issued in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cent, 25 cent, and 1 dollar.  These tokens do not specifically say Crystal City and may have also been used in other places like possibly Ellis Island.  The gray tokens are fairly scarce to find a complete set.  The red and green set is extremely rare.  They do say Crystal City and are a different design than the gray ones.  Previously it was speculated that the red wore off revealing the gray, but this is totally false.  The red tokens are in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cent, 25 cent, and 1 dollar.  The 5 dollar token is green.  There was one $5 green token in a Heritage auction in 2000.

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