Historical information

This is a token made for William Jamieson of Warrnambool in 1862. Tokens were coins made in the mid 1850s to alleviate the shortage of currency coins in Australia. They usually had the value of one penny and could only be used in the store or business designated on the coin. Two Warrnambool businesses had tokens made – those of William Jamieson and William Bateman, Junior. Born in Scotland, William Wilson Jamieson completed an apprenticeship in the ironmongery trade in that country. He worked in the ironmongery business in Melbourne before establishing ironmongery stores in Koroit and Warrnambool (Liebig Street). He was a Warrnambool Councillor (1862 to1874 & 1877 to1880) and Mayor (1866 to 1868 & 1872 to 1873). He was active in many local organizations including the Warrnambool Hospital, the Fire Brigade, the Mechanics Institute, the Villiers Building Society, the Bowling Club and the Caledonian Society. He died in 1882.

Significance

This token is of great importance as it is an Australian token issued by William Jamieson and Co. of Warrnambool and so is part of the fiscal history of Australia. It is also important as it comes from one of only two businesses in Warrnambool to issue tokens. It is today a rare token.

Physical description

This is a round metal coin (token) with, on one side, an image of a woman holding the scales of justice in one hand and a cornucopia in the other. The other side has lettering. There is a small dent on one side of the token.

Inscriptions & markings

Side One: ‘Australia 1862’ Side Two: ‘Liebeg Street W.W. Jamieson & Co. Storekeepers Warrnambool’ (N.B. Note the Warrnambool 1860s spelling of ‘Liebig Street’)