Copper one Penny 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.
A round copper token (34 mm diameter) giving the name, address and business of the mint (& issuer?) : Thomas Stokes, 100 Collins St. East, Melbourne, letter cutter, button, check and token maker. The reverse is from a stock Emu die: At centre an emu standing facing left in front of a rising sun with thirteen long light rays. Below on a scroll the motto ADVANCE VICTORIA (without the spread bouquet of rose thistle and shamrock emerging below scroll that occurs on other stock emu dies). Around above, VICTORIA . 1862, around below in two lines, T. STOKES _ MAKER / 100 COLLINS ST. EAST MELBOURNE.
At centre within a line circle in five lines, the first and last curved, T. STOKES / 100 / COLLINS ST / EAST / MELBOURNE around, LETTER CUTTER BUTTON CHECK & TOKEN MAKER : (Note there is no period after ST)
At centre an emu standing facing left in front of a rising sun with thirteen long light rays. Below on a scroll the motto ADVANCE VICTORIA (without the spread bouquet of rose thistle and shamrock emerging below scroll that occurs on other stock emu dies). Around above, VICTORIA . 1862, around below in two lines, T. STOKES _ MAKER / 100 COLLINS ST. EAST MELBOURNE. Border of 122 beads, the beak of the emu is cut by the 6th ray. It is numbered in the standard catalogues as: Sharples Emu 1 = Heyde Emu 1 = Andrews 17. Re-toned dark green
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Mr Alfred Chitty, 15 Mar 1976
Stokes (Mint), Melbourne, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1862
It is unclear if Stokes placed these tokens directly into circulation themselves or if they produced them to wholesale to other businesses as they are known to have done with Series 3 products.
Obverse: T. STOKES 100 COLLINS ST EAST MELBOURNE LETTER CUTTER BUTTON CHECK & TOKEN MAKER : Reverse: VICTORIA . 1862 ADVANCE VICTORIA T. STOKES MAKER 100 COLLINS ST. EAST MELBOURNE
Type of item
34 mm (Outside Diameter), 16.336 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 2 with Obverse F. Within this series there were eight obverse dies all employed with stock 1862 reverse dies. The different obverse forms are generally easy to identify. All have the legend T. STOKES / 100 / COLLINS ST. / EAST / MELBOURNE. With the exception of dies D and C (which is not known from an 1862 strike), all have a line circle around this legend - obverse D has MELBOURNE at the rim. The remainder have variations in the exact form of the surrounding legend: Obverse D: BUTTON CHECK & TOKEN MAKER Obverse E: CHECK & TOKEN MAKER (NU 35746 for the original die) Obverse F: LETTER CUTTER BUTTON CHECK & TOKEN MAKER : Obverse G: LETTER CUTTER - BUTTON CHECK & TOKEN MAKER : (NU 35742 for the original die) Obverse H: LETTER CUTTER SEAL ENGRAVER TOKEN MAKER . (NU 35733 for the original die) Obverse I: LETTER CUTTER . SEAL ENGRAVER . TOKEN MAKER Obverse J: LETTER CUTTER . SEAL ENGRAVER . TOKEN MAKER . Obverse L: MILITARY ORNAMENT BUTTON & TOKEN MAKER : (NU 35740 for the original die) Note: Obverse E has only been recorded on Twentieth century late work - concoctions. The die itself is in the museum collection NU 35746
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 522
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 234/8
[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. 144