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Mattole Free State coins

Mattole Free State coinWorld Coin News reports the production of silver coins commemorating the “Mattole Free State.” The coins are stamped with the denomination of “10 petols.”

The author is unsure, but assumes the coins were made in association with the Mattole Wildlands Defense. Maybe fellow blogger John Doe #86 knows something about it.

A quick Google search shows the coins come from the Mattole Self-Sufficiency Project. Their website says the coins are worth an ounce of silver.

From World Coin News:

The good news is that barring a catastrophic earthquake or a forest fire of epic proportions Mattole will still exist for some time to come. The region of the so-called Mattole Free State encompasses the Mattole and Bear rivers in the vicinity of Cape Mendocino, all within Humboldt County.

The bad news is that Humboldt County is in California. This means the “petol” is a fantasy denomination issued in the name of a fantasy state that cannot legally issue its own coins. These are not tokens either, but medals. In dealer jargon, they are silver rounds that will follow the value of the spot price of silver unless someone decides to make a market in them otherwise.

This site calls it a “fantasy coin.”

  1. April 1, 2008 at 11:44 am

    great idea…

  2. April 1, 2008 at 11:58 am


  3. April 1, 2008 at 12:07 pm


  4. April 1, 2008 at 12:08 pm


  5. April 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Oh, well. You’ve missed a couple things on the Herald, too, Hank. Guess we’re even.

  6. Anonymous
    April 1, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    We will never allow the Mattole to secede from the Great County of Humboldt.

  7. Anonymous
    April 1, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Let’s see. And what are they going to buy from one another with those (pretty) coins? They are a fantasy any way you look at it, but they are attractive coins.

  8. ekovox
    April 1, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I still have some Sharkey’s Arcade tokens. I wonder if I can spend them in Honeydew after the fall of this current American empire?

  9. April 1, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    You’d probably be better off trying them in Rio Dell.

    I told you about my Sharkey’s scam, didn’t I?

  10. April 1, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    So Heraldo, might this inspire you to create a coin designed to create awareness for the need to save the Eureka Waterfront?

    I bet you would have so many ideas for a design.

    If anything, it would be funny.


  11. mattolian
    April 1, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    The Mattole Self-Sufficiency Project is not in anyway related to the Mattole Wildland Defense, other then a few “defenders” attending their potlucks. Nothings wrong with idealism, as long as you don’t take yourself to seriously. Perhaps we should think outside the watershed and mint our own Jefferson State currency?

  12. ekovox
    April 1, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    “think outside the watershed”

    There’s a bumper sticker if I ever saw one.

  13. fyi
    April 1, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    so let me get this straight: a beautiful coin made of genuine silver, which therefore has an inherent value virtually anywhere on the planet, is just a “fantasy coin,” whereas a piece of green paper with a portrait of a dead president on it, which is based on nothing but our collective belief in a financial system teetering on the brink of collapse – that is “real” money? really? i don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ll take the silver coins over the soon-to-be-worthless paper anyday.

  14. Anonymous
    April 1, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    you buy those coins and i’ll keep buying blue chips. lets compare notes in 5 years.

  15. fyi
    April 1, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    sounds good to me. of course you can always use those stock certificates to start the fire as you are burning your last few sticks of furniture for heat in a few years, when the petro-collapse is well underway. enjoy!

  16. ex republican
    April 2, 2008 at 7:54 am

    When the spit hits the fan why is a piece of silver going to be worth more than a piece of paper? I believe the only metal that will be worth something will be LEAD.

  17. Anonymous
    April 2, 2008 at 7:57 am

    and what can you use those coins for?

  18. fyi
    April 2, 2008 at 9:37 am

    good point, 7:54. if things got REALLY chaotic, neither paper currency nor silver coins are going to be worth much. but in any currency crisis short of a complete apocalypse, precious metals will retain some value as a means of trade. this is how it has always gone in the past, when the currencies of large empires became virtually worthless overnight.

  19. Iconoclast
    April 2, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Mattolian says: Nothings wrong with idealism, as long as you don’t take yourself to seriously.

    Too late. you should have advised your fellow Mattole egotists about 20 years ago, but now your egos are so swollen, you can’t see. Put those silver coins over your eyes, lie down, and let the river bury you in sediment.

  20. fyi
    April 2, 2008 at 10:05 am

    or, make a funeral pyre of green paper with pictures of dead presidents, and burn, baby, burn!

  21. mattolian
    April 2, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Inconoclast obviously has an axe to grind. Seriously, why are you so angry? Perhaps you’re casting your own riparian death wish on others? Believe it or not, people in the Mattole are as varied as the rest of the county. Who would of thought someone out in the hills casting their own currency could provoke such hatred!

  22. April 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Well now! I never thought the coins would be such a hot topic.

    The Mattole Self Sufficiency Project made the coins but the Mattole Forest Defenders coined the phrase back in the winter of 00′-01′ during intense confrontations in the deep woods and high ridges of the North Fork Mattole.

    I have one of the coins and plan to keep it for it’s sentimental value. However, these coins are solid silver and do have monetary value. Thats no fantasy.

  23. April 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    To be more clear, the confrontations were with the Humboldt County Sherrifs and Pacific Lumber employees. This involved occupying logging sites, dodging Sherrifs, climbing trees and blockading the main access road on our part.

  24. Anonymous
    April 2, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I think it’s perfect. A man and a sheep. Fits with what really goes on the rural parts of the county.

  25. April 2, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    The Mattole Self Sufficiency Project made the coins but the Mattole Forest Defenders coined the phrase back in the winter of 00′-01′

    Do you mean coined the phrase Mattole Free State? I think that’s what you mean.

  26. ex republican
    April 3, 2008 at 7:51 am

    I forgot about silver bullets for wherewolves and vampires. And one can only dream about shooting a gold alloy bullet.

    And I was always told they were just “helping” that sheep thru the fence.

  27. mattolian
    April 3, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Heraldo , you are correct that the “defenders” coined the word Mattole Free State. The Mattole Self Sufficiency Project is not related to the Mattole Free State or forest defenders.

  28. April 3, 2008 at 9:40 am

    It’s not clear if the Mattole Self Sufficiency Project was worried about being connected with forest defenders, but if they were, why did they stamp “Mattole Free State” on the coins?

  29. April 3, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Yes, the phrase “Mattole Free State” was coined by Mattole Forest Defenders. The coin was not. Sorry for the coinfusion.

  30. mattolian
    April 3, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Agreed. I imagine the name entered the local lexicon and was used because it succinctly described both the ideas of a local currency and self sufficiency; not as an endorsement of EF!/defenders. I supposed anyone could simply ask the MSSP.

  31. April 3, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Why are you trying to make the point that the phrase on the coin has nothing to do with the MFD (which I was a part of) and is not in support of their efforts when you really don’t know? Do you have something against forest defenders?

  32. mattolian
    April 4, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Good point. It’s fairly obvious that most progressives in the Mattole and the rest of the county share some of the same goals as forest defenders. Preserving old growth and contiguous forests aren’t just for those who do direct action. Yes, the name was created on Rainbow and there’s some cross pollination, but i don’t think the folks who created the coin would replace the term Mattole Free State with EF! or Forest Defenders. In fact, i know some folks involved with the MSSP who don’t support EF! tactics and i know of a few who do. Mattole Free State pretty much sums up a free, autonomous and self sufficient valley. Ultimately, who cares? Controversial slogans on coins in nothing new, Novus Ordo Seclorum!

  33. April 5, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for the reply, it helps me a lot to see where you are coming from. I don’t think it would be appropriate to replace the name on the coin with EF! or Forest Defenders either.

    I care because it’s a cultural legacy stemming from some things that are very important to me, the health of the land, the freedom of the people, and the willingness to take a stand to defend these things.

  34. April 5, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    History repeating itself. Back in 1980 when cannabis indica was briefly recognized as legal in Humboldt County from a “species defense” court case won some of us enterprising entrepreneurs formed California Kush, one product of which was going to be gold leaf coins, perhaps using real gold leafed cannabis indica leaves sandwiched in a plastic coin like a casino chip.

  35. April 7, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I know a lot of forest defenders who don’t consider themselves EF!ers because of non-local EF! tactics and a lone local loco EF! spokesperson. This does not stop affinity groups from gathering together and participating in order to protect our forests. The names may change, but the intentions stay the same.

  36. October 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Someone was lamenting that we need something similar to this that represents the State of Jefferson. Dec-2008 was when Jefferson Rounds became available, either at select retailers or directly from the minter in lots of 100+ each. If interested, the jeffersonrounds.com website explains more.

  37. Amanda
    February 7, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I have a “2008 1 Petol .01 oz .999 fine silver mattole-free state coin” and I can’t find it anywhere online! All I find is the 10 Petol coin. Does that mean it’s rare? It has some type of plant of it, along with a potleaf to the right of it. And it’s also a 2008 coin, not a 2007.
    What’s the worth of it?

  38. Suanne
    June 30, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    Anybody know the history on these coins? I’m finding very little, to no information.

  39. Franklin
    January 14, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    That is the same question I have Amanda, I have 1oz,10petols,5 petols,2 petols,.and brass 1/2 oz coin as well.2011,2007,2008 wanna find value? Just may be interested in selling if i could find out more info.

  40. Anonymous
    February 13, 2023 at 11:46 pm

    Anyone who doesn’t believe in them can give their coins to me.

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