Token, Store

Production date
Circa 1874
A copper token for George McCaul. The obverse features text within a circular line border. " George McCaul / COPPERSMITH / TINSMITH / PLUMBER / AND / GASFITTER / Grahamstown / 1874 " is marked on it. " .N.E.W. Z.E.A.L.A.N.D. " is also marked near the edge of the obverse. The reverse features an industrial scene at the centre. Two men are working on the platform at the middle. " ADVANCE / THAMES GOLDFIELDS " is marked near the bottom.
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Object detail

Production date
Circa 1874
Subject person
Credit line
The supply of money during the early part of the nineteenth century was far less certain than it is today. The Government did not consider it was their responsibility to ensure that there was an adequate supply of coins, they believed that function belonged to the banks. One solution that was tried was for individual merchants to issue their own tokens, usually with a face value of a penny or halfpenny. These had the advantage of being relatively cheap to produce as production costs were below nominal face value, and they were often lost or never presented. They also worked as a valuable means of advertising the business. A number of New Zealand merchants produced their own tokens between 1857 and 1881,
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