Lead, 1/2 Ounce Token, minted by Stokes & Sons in Melbourne, in 1918. It is a copy of the reverse of the 1 ounce gold coin created for the Kangaroo Office in 1853 by W. J. Taylor of London. This token was struck during visit of Numismatics Society of Victoria (NSV) to the mint in 1918.

W. J. Taylor and his business partners established the Kangaroo Office to take advantage of the explosive economic growth in Australia following the discovery of gold in 1851. They hoped to buy gold at greatly reduced prices from the gold fields and then release it at full value in the form of quarter-ounce, half-ounce, one ounce and two ounce gold coins. However due to the time required to travel between London and Melbourne, once the Kangaroo Office was ready for business in 1854, an increase in the number of British sovereigns, had seen the price of gold rise, and the potential profits for the Kangaroo Office sharply decline. Not deterred, in late 1954 Taylor prepare dies for a series of pattern copper tokens that it was hoped could be produced in Melbourne by the Kangaroo Office for circulation within Australia. It appears that this did not succeed, and in 1855 Taylor began to create shilling and sixpence patterns in silver. However the Kangaroo Office again failed to obtain authority to strike and circulate these silver tokens and in 1857 the Kangaroo Office closed.

Obverse Description

At centre a kangaroo seated facing right; above, MELBOURNE; in exergue, W.J.TAYLOR MEDALLIST / TO THE GREAT / EXHIBITION / 1851

Reverse Description

At centre within a broad machined rim a large numeral 1; impressed into the numeral, ONE OUNCE; around impressed into machined rim, PURE AUSTRALIAN GOLD ONE OUNCE

Edge Description


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