The Tredegar Iron Company in Monmouthshire, Wales, issued this token in 1812 to help alleviate the shortage of "small change" that had overtaken the British Isles. That emergency stemmed primarily from the financial inability of the Crown to back and mint Regal coinage, which was in turn caused by the huge expenditures and debts incurred by George III's various military and naval conflicts with other nations, dating back (some would argue) as far as the American Revolution.
The Company issued this penny initially for use in its "truck-shop," or company store, but it circulated widely throughout Tredegar. In their "Big Green Book" on the Regency Period copper tokens, Paul and Bente Withers cite Oliver Jones's book, The Early Days of Sirhowy and Tredegar
(pp. 75-76), on this topic: "Chapels, Inns, Clubs, and shopkeepers were all allowed to change this token currency at the Company Shop into ordinary currency [...] or have it booked to their credit. In this way the Shop functioned as a sort of Local Bank."
These tokens -- monogrammed TIC, for Tredegar Iron Company -- circulated so intensively during the four years before the Great Recoinage that they're seldom found today in a condition at or above VF. My specimen is one of the luckier survivors...but not by much, grade-wise.Withers 1340-41, Davis Non-Local 40; 36mm, 26g.
I never pay too much for my tokens...but every now and then I may buy one a little too soon.