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The E-Sylum (11/28/2010)

Book Content

Vaughn Humberstone of New Zealand forwarded this note announcing the availability of his new book on New Zealand tokens. -Editor

Humberstone Merchants Making Money Between 1857-81, 46 firms in New Zealand issued tradesmen’s tokens to alleviate the severe shortage of Imperial copper and bronze coinage. These privately issued tokens represent New Zealand’s only indigenous metallic currency up to 1933.

Merchants Making Money, 2011, represents the first attempt to gather comprehensive biographical information on the 59 issuers of New Zealand tradesmen’s tokens. The 45 biographical articles included cover 51 of the token issuers, with significant information also provided on a further 6 issuers (only 2 remain completely unknown). Also covered are the 6 firms known to have struck NZ tokens.

Merchants Making Money, 2011, is 281 pages in length and is based entirely on original and fully referenced research, the vast majority of which is previously unpublished in numismatic literature. As such, this manuscript comprehensively rewrites what is known about this branch of NZ numismatics. Included are line drawings of the tokens, photographs of the token issuers and their shops, advertisements from newspapers and almanacs, 4 appendices and a 39-page bibliography.

Links with North America: Only two New Zealand token issuers are known to have set foot in North America; William Morrin (of Morrin & Co) was born at Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1826, and was married on 16 November 1864 at Calvary Church, buffalo, New York. Meanwhile, in the early 1880s Thomas Spencer Forsaith and his wife paid a long visit to the United States and Canada.

Morrin token New Zealand Forsaith token New Zealand

Although Merchants Making Money is unpublished, a series of articles using information from this manuscript are being published by Token Publishing Ltd in the Coin News magazine, the top-selling coin magazine in Britain (Auckland issuers, Viol. 45, No. 12, December 2008, Dunedin issuers, Vol. 47, No. 3, March 2010, Wellington issuers, forthcoming).

It is anticipated that the print run on Merchants Making Money, 2011, will be very small, if not virtually non-existent. Only a handful of earlier editions were ordered, and these all reside in research libraries.

E-Sylum readers who would like a signed copy can order from the author at at a price of $NZ30.00 per copy.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: UPCOMING BOOK: MERCHANTS MAKING MONEY, 2011 EDITION (

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