The donor (a local resident.) of this coin found this penny token coin in the sand dunes of Lady Bay, Warrnambool, in 2023. The coin could have come from a local shipwreck, passengers, or members of the community. Trade was carried out along the southwest coast of Victoria between Melbourne and Portland, with the Port of Warrnambool receiving passengers and goods by coastal traders, the steamboat that set off from ports every few days. One such vessel was the steamship SS Edina that made her first voyage from Melbourne to Portland in 1863.
For around a decade or so in the Gold Rush period in Australia there was a shortage of official government currency. It was acceptable during this time to use token coins minted by local businesses to be used within their store, much like the loyalty and rewards cards that businesses give their customers in modern times. The tokens were also a good way to advertise their wares and details.
The first token was introduced in Melbourne in 1848 and were used until 1868, when they became illegal in New South Wales. They were minted in Australia and overseas.
The token was issued by Robert Hyde & Co. who traded in second-hand goods such as old clothes, sheets, metal items and glass, which they resold to be re-manufactured, or "recycled".
A token such as this one identifies businesses existing in the post-Gold Rush period in Australia.
Round copper coin. Penny token coin bearing the Australian Coat of Arms and motto. The coin also has the company's name, location, nature of business and motto. The coin has grooves around the edge. It was made in 1861.
Inscriptions & markings
OBVERSE: Logo: (Australian Coat of Arms), Motto: "PEACE & PLENTY", Date: 1861
REVERSE: "ROBERT HYDE & CO MELBOURNE", "GENERAL MARINE STORE, SHIPPERS OF RAGS GLASS METALS &.C"
- flagstaff hill maritime museum and village,
- great ocean road,
- shipwreck coast,
- merchant token,
- australian token,
- trade token,
- gold rush,
- robert hyde & co.,
- general marine store,
- shippers of rags glass metals etc.,
- second-hand scrap,
- scrap goods