The Adam Park Project

Gaming Token

Item Information:

Catalogue Number: 17/11/006 Source: TAPP Archaeology Surveys Location: No.17 Adam Park Report No: Report No.3 Artifact Type: Coins and Tokens Production Date: 0007-04-19 00:00:00 Dimensions of Item: 25mm dia Copyright with The Adam Park Project

Other Description:

This 'coin' is inscribed with the words ‘GEORGIVS’ around the outside and it is 25 mm in diameter. The head is indiscernible however the reverse is clearly stamped with a ‘heater’ shield split into quadrants and surmounted with a crown. Little detail remains as to what is in the quadrants.

Historic Context:

The obvious candidate for this coin is the George III Half Guinea coin series that were circulated between 1762 and 1813. The ‘spade’ design reverse, used from 1787 - 1800, was designed by Chief Engraver, Lewis Pingo (1743 – 1830). The Royal shield was far more ornate on the earlier issues. The original 1761 obverse was designed by Johann Sigismund Tanner (c.1706 - 1775). But what would a George III coin be doing in the front garden at 17 Adam Park and what is more - it’s not gold! The answer is a little more mundane. According to Volume 11 Issue 6 of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society newsletter, in Australia, and some other former English dominated countries, gaming counters styled, crudely, on the George III Gold 'Spade' Guinea and Half Guinea were produced. These virtually worthless tokens are often mistaken for genuine. Like casino chips, the 'Spade' Half Guinea card-counters were used as a substitute for cash when gambling. The counter which is most commonly encountered in Australia is a relatively crude copy of the real thing and incorporates the reverse legend surrounding the spade design which reads, 'In Memory of the Good Old Days' ! Our example appears to have been clipped, possibly inferring it was an I.O.U on some gambling debt.

Comment Here:

Your email will not be published. Required fields are marked *