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Blue Sheet > Australia > Gold > Adelaide Assay Office > One Pound > Adelaide Assay Office
Adelaide Assay Office
Type IAdelaide Pounds ReverseAdelaide Pounds Obverse
Weight8.77 gramsSize23 mmThe discovery of gold in the colonies of New South Wales and Victoria caused heavy migration from the other colonies and the rest of the world, with individuals pursuing the chance of achieving great wealth through the discovery of gold. This migration had caused voids in their home economies with reductions in workers, jobs and of course they had withdrew their savings in gold coin, causing a number of problems for banks (as they could no longer keep their banknotes in circulation as they required gold reserves). South Australia was hit particularly hard by this with an estimated 16,000 people, half the male population of South Australia having left for the gold fields, and by 1852 it had seemed that total economic collapse was unavoidable.
While gold could be transported to the Royal a facility that produces coinsmint in London and exchanged with gold coin, the urgency of the problem called for an urgent solution and it would be another 3 years before a branch of the Royal Mint would be opened in Australia. The South Australian government therefore authrorised the Adelaide Assay Office to produce, from Victorian gold, initially ingots, and thereafter tokens, both of which were authorised to be held as reserves by banks thereby saving the local banks from withdrawing their banknotes (Museum Victoria, 2010).
This move would not be considered legal until they had approval from the British government but the urgency of the situation saw them start the operation while approval was requested. The British government declined the request but by the time this message was received, the Adelaide Assay Office had already struck almost 25,000 tokens, each with the face value of 1 pound, after which the assay office was shut down, having saved the local economy.
While A cylindrical punch with an inverted impression of a coin's design used to strike the coindies used to strike sovereigns and half sovereigns were made in London and then later in Melbourne, due to the urgency of the situation, the A cylindrical punch with an inverted impression of a coin's design used to strike the coindies for the Adelaide assay tokens were prepared locally by Joshua Payne. A cylindrical punch with an inverted impression of a coin's design used to strike the coinDies were prepared for the One Pound token and the Five Pound token though no original Five Pound specimens are known.
The first One Pound design, dubbed the Adelaide Pound Type I, features a beaded inner circle on the The tails side of the coinreverse and a crenulated inner circle on the The heads side of the coinobverse. This hand produced A cylindrical punch with an inverted impression of a coin's design used to strike the coindie was imperfect and subsequently cracked presumably after striking the first circulation strike as no circulation strikes without the A crack on the die which produces a raised line on the die it produces, or on the coins it strikesdie crack are known. The A crack on the die which produces a raised line on the die it produces, or on the coins it strikesdie crack occurs through 'D' of 'DWT' from the rim to the inner circle.
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