The 2009 Subscription $1 Silver Proof Coin recreates the design of one of the gold ingots produced by the Adelaide Assay Office to overcome the financial crisis in the Colony of South Australia in 1852.
With an economy in recession due to drought and unemployment, the crisis was compounded when the gold rush in Victoria all but emptied the Colony of its able-bodied men and its supply of ready cash. To alleviate this huge drain on the Colony, the Police Commissioner for South Australia, Alexander Tolmer proposed and then led gold escorts from the Victorian goldfields to bring the gold “won at the diggings” back to Adelaide where it could be processed, assayed and made into ingots to provide the necessary injection of funds needed by the Colony.
The Bullion Act No. 1, passed by the Legislative Council and assented to on 29 January 1852, allowed the Adelaide Assay Office to make assayed gold ingots which were to be exchanged as legal tender for bank notes.
Mr B Herschel Babbage was appointed Government Assayer on 5 February 1852 and the Adelaide Assay Office opened on 10 February 1852. The first delivery of ingots was made on 4 March 1852 and the last on 27 November 1852 when the Bullion Act was amended and bank notes were no longer able to be demanded in exchange for bullion. This then allowed “coin tokens” such as the Adelaide Pound to be struck and issued by the Adelaide Assay Office until it ceased activities on 13 April 1853.
Provided in a box accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity.
|Metal||Fine Silver 99.9%|
|Selective Plating||Gold 99.99%|