Token, Store

A bronze token for J Hurley & Co. The obverse features a robed female figure sitting by a horn of plenty and a beehive with sheaves of wheat and parcels in the background. A sailing vessel is visible in the background and the woman is holding an anchor in one hand. "J. HURLEY & C. WANGANUI / NEW ZEALAND / CONFECTIONERS, BAKERS & GROCERS / SHIPPING SUPPLIED / ESTABLISHED 1853 " is marked on the reverse. "TODMAN / LONDON " is marked in very small letters on the obverse near the edge.
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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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