Copper Halfpenny token, minted by Thomas Stokes of Melbourne, circa 1862. Issued by Thomas Stokes, Diesinker, Token Maker & Medallist, Melbourne. This token is one of the large number of anonymous tokens struck by Stokes late in 1862. Anonymous issues were manufactured employing two stock dies. Thomas Stokes migrated to Australia in search of gold in the 1850s, being unsuccessful he returned to his trade as a die-maker and button maker. In 1857 Stokes acquired a press from W.J. Taylor and began to mint large numbers of tradesmen's tokens. He also commenced the Australian Medallic Issues. In 1873 Stokes took a partner, Martin, and the business was re-named Stokes & Martin. In 1893 a disastrous fire damaged a large portion of the business, Martin had forgotten to renew the fire insurance policy, and the partnership was dissolved as a result. Stokes rebuilt the business as Stokes & Son. The business became a proprietary concern in 1911, re-named Stokes & Son Pty Ltd. In 1935 the business moved to Brunswick, and in 1962 Stokes became a public company, renamed Stokes (Australasia) Pty Ltd. Today the business is located in Ringwood.
Previous Collections: National Gallery of Victoria
A round copper token (28 mm diameter) giving the name, business and address of the mint. The obverse is a legend in eight lines the first and last being T. Stokes Melbourne while the six in the middle detail his areas of expertise: die sinker, seal engraver, letter cutter, check and token maker. The reverse provides additional information on the address, 100 Collins SAt. East, Melbourne and adds military ornaments & buttons, electro plating and gilding to the services offered.
Legend in eight lines, the first and last curved: T. STOKES / DIE / SINKER / SEAL ENGRAVER / LETTER CUTTER / CHECK & TOKEN / MAKER / MELBOURNE
At centre in four lines, ELECTRO / PLATING / AND / GILDING around in concentric circles, T. STOKES 100 COLLINS ST. EAST MELBOURNE MILITARY ORNAMENT & BUTTON MAKER :
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
circa 1862 AD
Obverse: T. STOKES DIE SINKER SEAL ENGRAVER LETTER CUTTER CHECK & TOKEN MAKER MELBOURNE Reverse: T. STOKES 100 COLLINS ST. EAST MELBOURNE MILITARY ORNAMENT & BUTTON MAKER ELECTRO PLATING AND GILDING
Type of item
28 mm (Outside Diameter), 11.142 g (Weight)
Stokes products which do not carry the name of an issuer but only reference to Stokes itself, are divided into four series: Series 1: has the wording T. STOKES or THOMAS STOKES MAKER MELBOURNE around the address in three lines 100 COLLINS ST. EAST plus one die where the central wording is ONE PENNY TOKEN in two lines. Series 2: has a description of the types of product, eg. BUTTON CHECK & TOKEN MAKER, around the name and address of the company, T. STOKES 100 COLLINS ST. EAST MELBOURNE. All but one die in this series has a line circle between the name and address and the products. Series 3: employs Stokes stock reverse dies for both sides of the token. In all cases one side has a Vine type, this is therefore called the obverse. Series 4: has an obverse legend in eight lines with the first, T. STOKES, and last, MELBOURNE, curved. This token belongs to Series 4. See Sharples JNAA, Vol 7, p. 63.
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 517
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 236
[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. 167