A UNIQUE coin has been donated to Chard Museum, striking a strong link to Chard and its trading history.

The coin was donated by a Norfolk coin collector and has caused a stir among the museum's council.

Micheal Mussel, museum press officer, said: "Strictly speaking it is not a coin but a trade token'.

"During the years between 1648 and 1672 there was a serious shortage of small denomination copper coins as Oliver Cromwell's commonwealth had failed to mint any.

"The result was that towns like Chard, with vibrant trading activities, needed to find some means of paying wages and enabling daily local purchasing to thrive.

"The town therefore produced its own small 1/4d, 1/2d and penny tokens with a distinctive Chard design, accepted locally without difficulty."

He added: "The striking feature of the design is one of the earliest uses of the Chard Town Seal."

"As far as the museum is aware, this is the first token of its type to reappear in the town."

"Anyone knowing of other examples is asked to contact Roger Carter at the Museum."

It is hoped the coin will be on display at the museum to display another part of Chard's history soon.