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Token - 1 Penny, George McCaul, Grahamstown, New Zealand, 1874 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 11410

Copper One Penny Token, minted by an unknown British mint. Issued by George McCaul, Grahamstown, 1874. George McCaul was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1835. When the gold rushes began in Australia he travelled to Adelaide and then to the gold fields. He tried his luck again in the early 1860s when gold was discovered in New Zealand, sailing to Gabriel's Gully, near Lawrence in Otago province. He moved on to the Hokitika fields when gold was discovered there. To get there, he had to cross New Zealand's South Island from east to west. Many men died during the journey. McCaul did not have any luck at the Hokitika fields either. After abandoning gold prospecting McCaul moved to Grahamstown in Thames, in the north of the North Island, where he returned to his trade as a plumber, gasfitter, tinsmith and coppersmith.
A round copper token (34 mm diameter). The piece features the name, address and business of the issuer: George McCaul, coppersmith, tinsmith, plumber and gasfitter, Grahamstown. The reverse features the view of a working gold mine with steam generating building and poppet head. This token has been cleaned and is holed.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 13.479 g (Weight)
Dimension Comment: holed

More information

Tagged with: coppersmiths, economic geology, gasfitters, gold mining, plumbers, tinsmiths
Themes this item is part of: George McCaul, Plumber & Tinsmith, Thames, New Zealand (1835-1932), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, Royal Mint, Melbourne Branch, Melbourne, Victoria, Branch Mints of the Royal Mint, Deputy Masters of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint, Closure of Melbourne Mint, Melbourne Mint during World War II, Establishment of Melbourne Mint, 1872, Melbourne Mint
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: New Zealand
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: 1874 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: At centre within a circular line border; George McCaul / COPPERSMITH / TINSMITH / PLUMBER / GASFITTER / GRAHAMSTOWN 1874, around with letters spread between beads, NEW ZEALAND
Reverse Description: At centre within a line circle, a scene of a poppet head with associated steam works, the building has a tall smoke chimney and a smaller steam pressure outlet. Two men are working on the platform at the middle of the poppet head. In exergue, ADVANCE THAMES GOLDFIELDS, around all a series of sixteen beads.
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: Round
Material: Copper
Issued By: George McCaul, Grahamstown (Thames), Waikato, North Island, New Zealand, 1874
Previous Collection: Royal Mint, Melbourne Branch
  1. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No. 359
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 164
  3. [Book], William Lampard, Catalogue of New Zealand Coins Tokens Bank Notes, Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand Incorporated, Wellington, 1981, No. 331
  4. [Book], Vaughn Humberstone, Merchants Making Money, 2010

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