Historical information

This is a token made for William Jamieson of Warrnambool in 1862. Tokens were coins made in the 19th century to alleviate the shortage of currency coins in Australia. They usually had a 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) in the late 1850s. He was a Warrnambool Councillor (1862 to 1874 & 1877 to 1880 and was 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 Caledonian Society and the Bowling Club. He died in 1882.

Significance

This token is of great importance as it is an Australian token issued by W.W. Jamieson of Warrnambool in 1862 and so it is part of the fiscal history of Australia. It is also of great local significance as it comes from one of only two businesses in Warrnambool to issue tokens in the 19th century. 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 hand. This side of the coin has considerable staining. The other side has printing.

Inscriptions & markings

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