Copper Halfpenny Token, minted by Thomas Stokes, Melbourne. Issued by Crothers & Co, Tea Merchants & Storekeepers, Stawell, circa 1862. The three Crothers brothers, William, David and Hugh, arrived from Canada in August 1854. The brothers travelled the country (most likely trying their luck at the various gold fields) for ten years before deciding to open a store at Stawell. They opened their store in Main Street, Stawell in 1865. After a number of years David left the partnership and opened his own store in Melbourne. The other brothers continued their business until they retired in 1900. In 1910 William was living in Armadale, Hugh was in Stawell and David still running his own business, was in Oakleigh. They issued their tokens after they became illegal, the first penny and the halfpenny being issued in 1865, with the other two tokens issued in later years.
Previous Collections: Hon. William M.K. Vale
A round bronze token (26 mm diameter). The token features the name, address and business of the issuer: Crothers & Co., The Original Cash Store, Main St. Stawell, Tea Merchants, General Storekeepers. This token has been cleaned and varnished.
Across centre in two lines, CROTHERS / & CO. around above, TEA MERCHANTS around below, & GENERAL STOREKEEPERS.
Legend in five lines, THE / ORIGINAL / CASH STORE / MAIN ST. / STAWELL
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Honourable William M. Vale JP, 15 Mar 1976
circa 1862 AD
Obverse: CROTHERS & CO. TEA MERCHANTS & GENERAL STOREKEEPERS Reverse: THE ORIGINAL CASH STORE MAIN ST. STAWELL
Type of item
26 mm (Outside Diameter), 5.225 g (Weight)
The size of the tokens is based on the new British bronze coinage introduced in 1860. The quality of bronze available to Stokes, and therefore its colour, seems to have varied from sheet to sheet. As a result some tokens look like brass, some like bronze and others like copper. Collectors in the early Twentieth century often cleaned their tokens to get a better idea of the metal colour as Andrews gave different numbers to different metal colours. J. Sharples Dec. 2004
[Article] Sharples, John P. 1993. A Catalogue of the Trade Tokens of Victoria 1848 to 1862. Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. vol.7: p.1-77., V. 203
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 52
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 89