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Stock Exchange

In the early days of the rushes in 1851, London banks had to fix the exchange rate of bills for shipments at a ten percent discount in order to deal with the full impact of the gold discoveries. Meanwhile in Victoria the banking industry was very limited – by April 1852 there were only two banks in the state – however this situation rapidly changed with branches becoming established on every significant goldfield. The banks made tremendous profits, although they faced temporary uncertainty as they waited for the arrival of sterling. The impact of the gold yields on Victorian society is especially apparent in the money supply of the colony, which nearly trebled between 1852 and 1854. Key stock exchanges existed in gold centres such as Ballarat, Bendigo, and Castlemaine.

Keir Reeves