The Cronebane Token
A shortage of copper currency in Great Britain and Ireland towards the end of
the eighteenth century, led to the private manufacture of tokens to the value of
one penny and one half penny. Because the quality and weight were of a
sufficiently high standard, they were accepted and used as general coinage.
The Hibernian Mine Company and the Associated Irish Mine Company which had mines
in west and east Avoca respectively, produced their own tokens. The "Cronebane
Token", produced by the AIMC and named after the townland of that name in East
Avoca, is probably the most beautiful of all the token coinage of that period.
The obverse of the token shows a bust of St Patrick and the reverse a crest and
shield of arms, which may be regarded as the Arms of the Company. The shield
incorporates crossed shovels, miners picks and a powder horn and is surmounted
by a windlass.
The first tokens were struck in 1789 at the Soho Works in Birmingham and it is
probable that some of the coins were manufactured from Avoca copper. There is a
local tradition in Avoca that tokens were manufactured in the valley, but there
is little evidence to support this suggestion.