BIG PROBLEMS CAUSED BY SMALL CHANGE
Here's a story that gives us something of an idea about the economic and social conditions existent in Australia in the mid 1800's that lead to the introduction of tradesmen's tokens - Argentina is going through a real small-change shortage at the moment.
Argentina's had more than it's fair share of currency woes in recent years - I think it was around 1999 when the value of their peso dropped through the floor and cut the average Argentinian's personal wealth to ribbons in an instant. I don't know if their current problems are caused by a simple lack of production or by scrap metal dealers making a mint by melting down huge quantities of coins in order to profit from the bull market in base metals, but whatever the cause is, once you read that story you can see some Australian merchants back in the 1850's decided to take matters into their own hands and issue copper tokens to their cleintele.
Take a look at our current range of tokens in our online store, there are some fascinating pieces among them.