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Castlemaine clay coin currency introduced to reinforce town’s economy


May 8, 2022

Castlemaine in main Victoria, popular for the gold that was collected around the area in the mid-1800s, may now be understood for a far less unique source of wealth: clay.

A group of the town’s artists has actually introduced its own clay currency to be utilized as part of a financial experiment.

Called the “silver wattle” after the native plant, about $ 10,000 worth of the currency has actually been produced in 2 denominations.

One variation is printed with the number 1, which is comparable in worth to $ 10, and the other bears a 5, which deserves $50.

Artist Dale Cox stated the the concept was to keep cash being invested in your area rather of being siphoned off by corporations or heading into foreign savings account.

” Not from a top-down authority, like a Queen or from a state authority, however from the ground underneath our feet and from the environment we’re embedded in, the location we’re from.”

man paying for pies with clay coins
Artist Dale Cox utilizes the silver wattle coin to buy some pies for lunch from Johnny Baker in Castlemaine.( Sarah Lawrence: ABC Central Victoria)

Companies back brand-new currency

8 companies have actually signed up with the financial experiment– consisting of The Taproom, Cabosse and Feve Chocolates and Tortoise Espresso– to acknowledge the coins as genuine currency.

Johnny Baker, who runs a bakeshop in Castlemaine where the coins can be utilized, stated he liked the idea and wished to support the task.

Mr Cox stated the artists were not worried about any difficulties they might deal with from Australia’s financial authorities.

” The task is such a little scale and it’s truly simply an art experiment, that no big quantities of earnings will be lost to the tax department and it’s truly simply a trial,” Mr Cox stated.

woman sitting holding a silveyr wattle plants and coins in her hand, smilingwoman sitting holding a silveyr wattle plants and coins in her hand, smiling
Artist Jodi Newcombe is likewise associated with a Castlemaine exhibit based upon the concept of currency. ( Sarah Lawrence: ABC Central Victoria)

‘ Ecology and economics’

Castlemaine isn’t the top place on the planet to explore its own currency, nevertheless most locations utilize digital currency or banknotes.

Artist Jodie Newcombe stated the coins had actually been produced from in your area gotten clay.

” It’s really long lasting, we have a few of the old antiques of human civilisation in clay,” she stated.

” So it may look vulnerable however it’s in fact truly strong.”

Ms Newcombe, an ecological financial expert by trade, stated she was delighted to be associated with a job which stimulated a great deal of discussion around the concept of cash.

coins made of clay with 1 and 5's on them and a wattle print on the back.coins made of clay with 1 and 5's on them and a wattle print on the back.
The clay coins can be acquired and utilized by Castlemaine locals.( ABC Central Victoria: Sarah Lawrence)

” It truly unites the concept of ecology and economics, in the poetic sense of the coins being made from clay, however the concept we require a variety in our system,” she stated.

” Since presently we have a cash monopoly which’s a hazardous thing.

She stated any sort of monoculture would be weak and kept in mind there had actually been great deals of monetary crashes.

” So regional currencies worldwide, there have to do with 300, are developing a variety and sort of strength at a regional level,” she stated.

Mr Cox, Ms Newcombe, in addition to fellow ‘clay coin’ artist Ann Ferguson are running an exhibit based around the concept of currency for the next 2 weeks in Castlemaine.

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