Copper One Penny Token, minted by Stokes, Melbourne. Issued by J. Caro & Co, General Ironmongers, Christchurch, circa 1863. J. Caro & Co was established in 1860 in High Street, Christchurch. The founder, J. Caro, sold it to Solomon Nashelski and his nephew in 1864. The business traded as S&H Nashelski until 1876, when it became S. Nashelski. In 1880 it was sold to Edward E. Ashby and L. Bergh, and it became a limited liability company in 1899. The business was still trading in 1950. In addition to trading as ironmongers, advertisements suggest that, in the late nineteenth century, the company was in the building trade, actually constructing buildings as well as selling the fittings for them.
A round gilt copper token (34 mm diameter). The piece features the name, address and business of the issuer: J. Caro & Co. High Street, Christchurch. The reverse features a ploughman at work. The H of HIGH is weak and there is a die crack in an arc across the word HIGH. The ploughman has been deliberately made rough and the rim flattened above his head.
At centre within a line circle, J. CARO / & CO / HIGH ST. around above and below, GENERAL IRONMONGERS : CHRISTCHURCH :
A man operating a small animal drawn plough to right, the handles and reins shown; around above, TRADE AND AGRICULTURE; below in small letters the makers name, STOKES MELB
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 11 Jan 1978
circa 1863 AD
Caro, J. & Co. General Ironmongers, Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand, circa 1863
This is a late strike but exactly when and why it was produced is unclear. It is not part of the c. 1920 restrikes for collectors thought to be related to Chitty.
Obverse: J. CARO & CO HIGH ST. GENERAL IRONMONGERS CHRISTCHURCH Reverse: TRADE AND AGRICULTURE STOKES MELB
Type of item
34 mm (Outside Diameter), 12.92 g (Weight)
These late strikes were in the nineteenth century as George McArthur had examples and are therefore not part of the c. 1920 restrikes thought to be related to Chitty. The reverse die has been deliberately roughed on the ploughman unlike the McArthur examples eg NU 4604. Andrews 63 is described as a larger piece, his rubbing in his manuscript show it to have the characteristic die orientation, weak letter H and die crack of the later strikes. It is probably simply a piece struck without a collar.
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 62
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 39
[Book] Lampard, William H. 1981. Catalogue of New Zealand Coins Tokens Bank Notes., No. 309
[Book] Humberstone, Vaughn. 2010. Merchants Making Money.