Morris Marks ran a pawnbroking and general store business on the corner of Queen and Wellesley Streets in Auckland, and while at that address he issued one variety of penny trade token. There is no information known on the date he established his business, but H.A. Robinson found that by 1882 he shifted his premises to Grey Street.
Marks' tokens were made of brass rather than copper, and were smaller than a standard penny. As a result, they were not popular with the public. Part of the basis for the acceptability of trade tokens was the fact that they were made from copper, and so had value regardless of their utility as instruments of exchange. By making his tokens from brass, which had less value as a metal, Marks may have got a brighter, shinier token, but he failed to recognise the full range of qualities the public appreciated in these unofficial coins. As a result, his tokens are quite rare.
According to the Museum Victoria catalogue, Marks issued his tokens circa 1880, making him one of the last of the Australasian token-issuers. His tokens were struck by Stokes and Martin, Melbourne.
Robinson, H.A. (9174). 'Auckland Tradesmen's Tokens', The New Zealand Numismatic Journal, May, p.141.