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Griquatown 1/4p - First Coins Used In SA

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Schoeman's book - thanks Pierre for looking at some of my research

 

Hi Pierre

 

I have to say I am delighted that someone has actually taken the time to read the transcript of Schoeman's book on my website.

 

First, I have to say that I am getting a bit over the continued reference to the Strachan coins. If you look at my initial post I make no reference to the Strachan coins - and the only time I do is to respond to someone who incorrectly suggests that somehow my research has one aim - to get the Strachan coins recognised as South Africa's first indigenous coinage (in place of the Griquatown). As a historian my interest has always been researching the Griqua coinage. As a result I have recorded the facts that noone can dispute - happy to be proven wrong. If I did not have the facts - gained through years of research - I would not be that stupid to publish my findings.

 

What a few older collectors, like yourself, are now implying by continually raising the Strachan and Co is that I, somehow, have selectively painted a picture that supports the view that the Griquatown Coins never circulated. Believe me if I found a single reference anywhere to a Griquatown coin being used in a trade I would be the first to publish it. I have hundreds of books and documents covering the early days at Griquatown. NOT ONE ever mentions the Griquatown coins. Isn't that a trifle strange? Don't you think the missionaries like Anderson, Moffat, Philip, Helm, Campbell and Livingstone would have sung the praises of this brazen London Missionary society initiative from the rooftops? They don't. They don't because this was an expensive OOPSS! It is only thanks to Schoeman's book we see the PRIVATE correspondence between the Missionaries at Griquatown and the London Missionary Society (LMS) - and none of it suggests at any time that their attemps to introduce coinage amongst the Griqua was a success. In fact it is quite clear the token coins were a complete failure.

 

Seriously, I ask you, how can I be selectively manipulating the history of the Griquatown tokens when all I am doing is publishing contemporary records and writings? I don't see much of that in Parsons report. Do you? Why was his research not put through the wringer like mine is now - and it isn't even now after I have demonstrated clear inaccuracies in what he wrote. Personally I find it somewhat strange that the only response on this forum is trying to justify the unjustifiable errors in his flimsy research that have been blindly accepted by other writers like Becklake etc. Apparently, from what I read here, that makes them true regardless of what Campbell, Helm or others wrote back then.

 

Pierre in response to your comments on Schoeman's books the report covering Griquatown the period 1815/16 (a report written in late 1816 early 1817) clearly states there is NO MONEY in Griquatown at that time and talks of having SILVER (not bronze) TOKENS issued to help. The report talks of payment being made by barter in ivory etc...

 

Furthermore the extracts detail how Waterboer (the Griqua chief) obviously refused to accept the SILVER TOKEN coins in 1820 because he was paid in Rijksdaalder - which does include small change as spelled out by Helm in his report QUOTE: Having no money, he has for the last two years received nothing except 13 Rijksdaalders 4 Schillings. Source from Schoeman's book highlighted at: http://www.tokencoins.com/helm.htm.

 

Furthermore not all trinkets are holed - some are just put away in a safe place. It would have been very hard to hole a silver token when you consider the conditions the Griqua lived in.

 

There is a simple explanation as to why the tokens failed - in Campbell's own words (August 1820) - maybe the Griqua would accept the SILVER TOKEN coins if the traders to the south first accepted them. If you read Campbell's earlier suggestion when he first mentions coins (in 1813) you will see he makes the following qualification (see link below): supposing a shop (first) to be established amongst them, which they were anxious that there should be - (then) they should apply to the Missionary Society (to have tokens minted). BUT there was no shop at Griquatown - the very reason Campbell tried in late 1820 to get the traders south of the Orange River to accept them. He failed - probably the most important reason the great majority of the tokens remained in a bag with Helm before they were sent back to England and melted down.

 

Simply put the Griquas of Griquatown who initially accepted the token coins found they could not use them (ie they could not be circulated) because there was no trading store. This was the reason Helm was left with a bag full of them - they had no practical value and did not circulate. Those that did get "dispersed" were simply kept as keep sakes.

 

Scan of Campbell's comments above at this link: http://www.tokencoins.com/book.htm#key

 

Importantly you can see how the dates are at odds with Parsons claim - Campbell was trying to get trading stores south of the Orange river to accept them in late 1820. Didn't Parsons say they were withdrawn in 1816? BUT that was about five years before Campbell's diary note and Helm asking what he should do with them.

 

Again who do you believe Campbell or Parsons? Pierre I do find your selective attribution of Schoeman's transcripts of LMS documents intriguing. (eg a few tokens were dispersed which to you means they circulated). What about all the errors on the dates etc?

 

The key points I make are:

1) They never circulated - sure a few were handed out (dispersed) - but if I handed you an Australian dollar coin what shop in South Africa would accept it or exchange it for its value? The Australian coin, like the SILVER TOKEN COIN at Griquatown, will have no market. There were no shops, banks, trading stores in Griquatown. In short they were as useless as trying to shop with an Australian dollar coin in South Africa. The trading stores to the South refused to accept the SILVER TOKENS - Campbell raises the point in his diary that the acceptance of the trading stores of the coins was its only chance of success.

 

2) The SILVER TOKEN COINS were sent after 1817 - probably closer to 1820 - and Helm is stuck with a bag of them (the great majority) because the Griquas CLEARLY would not accept them in payment. He asks what he should do with them. There is also a dispute over their value - and this could be because their weight did not conform to the coins of the realm - (eg a FIVE did not have the same weight as a 6d) That is the reason they were sent back to England and melted down - not because (as recently claimed) there was a shortage of silver and the coins were "collected from the Griqua" - like some kind of recall.

 

Pierre your quote

In my view, this can be easily explained. It is known that the Griqua pieces were an attempt at decimal coinage so Anderson probably dispersed the silver Griqua ten pence as a Shilling (12 pence), and the silver Griqua five pence as a sixpence. (When exchanging them for coppers for example)
Now that to me is complete hogwash. Not even Parsons suggests that - so I really would love to see your provenance supporting that claim. As an expert in early South African tokens I would humbly suggest, as I have before, that the five and ten values represented hours - or a day and half day token paid to Griqua who worked for the Missionaries at Griquatown. A far more plausible and believable suggestion seeing that tokens representing labour time were quite common in the 1800s.

 

But it is good that we have this debate - and I am delighted that my claims are being challenged. What I am sure is increasingly clear is that Parsons report has more holes in it than Swiss cheese, is poorly researched and has resulted in fanciful claims aimed at legitimising his research - like the more recent claims of decimalisation.. surely someone out there can see that?

 

I notice that Georg is very quiet about my explanation on the church attendance (posted above).

 

In closing what I find intriguing - as noted by Parson - is that the bronze Griquatown token coins only appeared post 1866 - fifty years after the SILVER TOKENS were minted. Now isn't that strange? Are they legitimate or not? I guess we will ever know that one, but one thing I do know is that like their silver counterparts, not a single token coin ever circulated.

 

Here is a quote of my own: Full quote (pg 127): The coins were of four denominations, viz: 1/4 and 1/2 in copper and IIIII and 10 in silver. These were sent at a time when these coloured people had not the slightest notion of the advantages of a metallic currency. Moreover their entire trade at the time did not even amount to fifty pounds per annum. Accordingly it is not surprising that the dove of peace soon flew away and the money of which never a single farthing was in circulation accompanied it. The only permanent memorials of Campbell's visit turned out to be the names "Griqua" and "Griquatown". Source Prof Arndt, South African banking / currency in South Africa (1928). http://www.tokencoins.com/book/g.htm#arndt

 

Somehow I think Prof Arndt (University of Pretoria) has more credibility than Parsons.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Cold Sea

Hi Scott,

 

Klaarwater was the original name of the settlement - nothing more, nothing less.

 

Don't you think your narrow take on the word "district", in the context as used by Hern, is a bit of disingenuous wordplay.

 

"A settlement can range in size from a small number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities with surrounding urbanized areas."

 

Now we can play with word meanings all day long, or be quoted out of context like most politicians these days. I read a lot of perceived facts on both sides, and wordplay will not prove or disprove any of these.

 

All the best

 

Derick

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Hi Derick

 

In that case (where a district) can be a small number of dwellings, why does Hern refer to the Klaarwater district/region near Kimberley - when Griquatown is nowhere near Kimberley?

 

QUOTE FROM HERN'S BOOK: These coins were first used by the Griqua people in the Klaarwater district near Kimberley and did not circulate for more than two years before being withdrawn and smelted.

 

I believe he does it to make it sound like the tokens were used across a large area which is blatantly untrue.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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Cold Sea

Hi Scott,

 

Proving my point exactly.

 

By the way, Klaarwater/Griekwastad is about 150km from Kimberley. I would also say that it is close to Kimberley.

 

All the best

 

Derick

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Pierre_Henri

Here is my final take on the matter

 

Hi Pierre

 

I have to say I am delighted that someone has actually taken the time to read the transcript of Schoeman's book on my website.

 

No problem, I love history and numismatics just like you!

 

Seriously, I ask you, how can I be selectively manipulating the history of the Griquatown tokens when all I am doing is publishing contemporary records and writings?

 

I never suggested you manipulated anything but here and there you to tend for some selective reading of the facts... let me give you a few examples...

 

Furthermore the extracts detail how Waterboer (the Griqua chief) obviously refused to accept the SILVER TOKEN coins in 1820 because he was paid in Rijksdaalder - which does include small change as spelled out by Helm in his report QUOTE: Having no money, he has for the last two years received nothing except 13 Rijksdaalders 4 Schillings.

 

Scott, I think you are still under the illusion that Rijksdaalders and Schillings were actual coins - they were certainly not - they were (Dutch) bookkeeping /calculating currency (rekengeld in Afrikaans) that were still being used in the colonial bookkeeping system after the second British occupation. (Rijsksdaalders were issued as Notes as stated in my previous post and a schelling or schilling was a germanic coin sometimes used by sailers at the pubs in the cape but certainly never circulated outside the mother city)

 

The "13 Rijksdaalders 4 Schillings" Waterboer received were NOT COINS - I will bet you anything on that!

 

Simply put the Griquas of Griquatown who initially accepted the token coins found they could not use them (ie they could not be circulated) because there was no trading store
.

 

You do not need a trading store to use money - the Voortrekkers had coins with them and used them to buy goods from TRAVELLING salesmen - they did not go to the stores - the stores came to them. In Winburg in the Free State there is a Voortrekker museum where some of the coins used by the Voortrekkers are displayed - mostly William IV small change from the early 1830s.

 

The SILVER TOKEN COINS were sent after 1817 - probably closer to 1820 - and Helm is stuck with a bag of them (the great majority) because the Griquas CLEARLY would not accept them in payment. He asks what he should do with them. There is also a dispute over their value - and this could be because their weight did not conform to the coins of the realm - (eg a FIVE did not have the same weight as a 6d) That is the reason they were sent back to England and melted down - not because (as recently claimed) there was a shortage of silver and the coins were "collected from the Griqua" - like some kind of recall.

Pierre your quote (regarding the decimal coinage) - Now that to me is complete hogwash. Not even Parsons suggests that - so I really would love to see your provenance supporting that claim. As an expert in early South African tokens I would humbly suggest, as I have before, that the five and ten values represented hours - or a day and half day token paid to Griqua who worked for the Missionaries at Griquatown.

 

OK, Scott, here is my provenance supporting my claim ...."Die Londense Sendinggenootskap het dadelik met die muntery begin. Daar was vier denominasies., naamlik die twee silwerstukke met die syfers IIIII (5) en "10" en koperstukke met "1/2" en "1/4" daarop. Die waarde het op pennies gedui. DAAR WORD BEWEER DAT DIE DENOMINASIES GEKIES IS AS 'N POGING TOT DESIMALISASIE ..."(Engelbrecht : 1987: 42)

 

Scott, here is my take on the whole issue:

 

FACT: The tokens were send to the Missionary (date unknown but between 1815 and 1820)

FACT: Some of the tokens were destributed to the Griquas.

FACT: As coinage these tokens were not succesful and were recalled.

 

QUESTION? Did any circulated? PROPERBLY yes - even if only as Church votive offerings and here and there to buy a chicken from each other or a travelling salesman.

 

SO at least SOME of the tokens did circulate BUT NOT ON A LARGE SCALE.

 

Shaw (1956: 17) writes

"Die eksperiment was nie geslaag nie. omdat die mense geen begrip gehad het van betaalmiddels nie, EN NADAT DIT VIR 'N KORT RUKKIE IN OMLOOP WAS, is die grootste gedeelte van die muntstukke weer opgesmelt.

 

Now the important words here are "KORT RUKKIE IN OMLOOP" (short period circulated)

 

I would thus support the notion that only a small percentage of these tokens circulated and only for a short period but I am very sure that at least some of them exchanged hands (and that means circulation)

 

Pierre

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The world is getting smaller!

 

Hi Derick

 

Hi Scott,

 

Proving my point exactly.

 

By the way, Klaarwater/Griekwastad is about 150km from Kimberley. I would also say that it is close to Kimberley.

 

All the best

 

Derick

In today's terms 150km is a couple of hours in the car. In terms of the 1818s that same distance was very different! For example it took two weeks to get goods from Durban to Kokstad in the 1860s by oxwagon - a similar distance!

 

And the world has become an even smaller place post-Internet!

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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Its all in the interpretation....

 

Hi Pierre

 

OK, Scott, here is my provenance supporting my claim ...."Die Londense Sendinggenootskap het dadelik met die muntery begin. Daar was vier denominasies., naamlik die twee silwerstukke met die syfers IIIII (5) en "10" en koperstukke met "1/2" en "1/4" daarop. Die waarde het op pennies gedui. DAAR WORD BEWEER DAT DIE DENOMINASIES GEKIES IS AS 'N POGING TOT DESIMALISASIE ..."(Engelbrecht : 1987: 42)
And Pierre where is Engelbrecht's source? It is not quoted because it is an assumption - as he says "it is claimed" - why and by whom? I'll tell you why, to try to give legs to the strange values on the silver tokens. That is the problem when a lie is given credibility.

 

What I have done, which Engelbrecht, Becklake and other notable writers on South African coin history have not done is started with a completely clean sketch pad on the Griqua and built up a picture of what happened not based on Parsons or others who have more recently come up with whymsical ideas to support his flawed research. That is why I can give you exact references from books and not depend on the flawed research of past writers. I am not saying my research is perfect but I do believe it gives a more realistic point of view on what actually happened.

 

You say:

 

FACT: The tokens were send to the Missionary (date unknown but between 1815 and 1820)

FACT: Some of the tokens were distributed to the Griquas.

FACT: As coinage these tokens were not successful and were recalled.

Apart from the date (1815) I am in total agreement. I am also pleased that you accept that they were tokens not some form of quasi-legitimate currency. It is my clear belief that the tokens came over with Campbell on his second visit - the reason the LMS Records and Campbell's diary in 1820 first make reference to their actually being coins in Griquatown. This was years after Parsons said they had been recalled.

 

With regards to circulation of the tokens I think we agree that even in the most fanciful of expectations this was an extremely rare occurence when one considers the remote location the Griqua lived in and their harsh lifestyle. In other words the qualification with regards to these tokens should be that they failed as a form of token coin currency - which is not the inference presented by Hern in his book. If you read Hern's book it appears that the tokens were circulated widely and successfully for about two years (1815-16).

 

So when I see collectors with worn Griquatown tokens claiming that this is due to "circulation" and not poor storage can you understand why I get frustrated?

 

In effect I would suggest Prof Arndt (in my quote above) is far closer to the mark than Hern or Parsons. Forget what I think - you choose between the "experts".

 

Finally, seeing the Strachan coins have been raised here by you and others - it was the ability to trade these coins at Strachan trading stores in that remote area that was the defining difference between their success and the failed Griquatown tokens. That is why I have always suggested that they were the first widely circulating indigenous currency in South Africa - used by all the people in that region.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Pierre_Henri

THE VERY FIRST : It was neither a coin nor a token - take note ...

 

Scott

 

I think we have at last reached some kind of agreement.

 

You say ...

 

With regards to circulation of the tokens I think we agree that even in the most fanciful of expectations this was an extremely rare occurence

 

From my side, I think you will agree that a miniscule number did exchange hands so did indeed circulate - to put it boldly, even if it was only a handful.

 

Finally, seeing the Strachan coins have been raised here by you and others - it was the ability to trade these coins at Strachan trading stores in that remote area that was the defining difference between their success and the failed Griquatown tokens. That is why I have always suggested that they were the first widely circulating indigenous currency in South Africa - used by all the people in that region.

 

I cannot differ with you on this - and I don't think many a numismatist will not agree that they were indeed the first "widely circulating indigenous currency in South Africa" - as long as we are talking "metal" currency here and referring to a "wide geographical area" .

 

But two points are very important here...

 

Neither the handful of Griqua tokens nor the widely circulated Strachan tokens were the first circulating "indigenous" currency in SA

 

As far as coins or tokens go, that honour belongs to the De Mist Ship (Scheepjes) Guldens that were put into circulation in 1806 by the Britsh after the Second Occupation.

 

Regarding these Scheepjes Gulden: Please read the following very slowly before responding: It is irrelevant HOW many of these coins were put into circulation and it is irrelevant HOW WIDE they circulated and it is irrelevant for HOW LONG they circulated.

 

The fact is that they did indeed circulate at the Cape and were actually THE VERY FIRST SOUTH AFRICAN COINS that circulated over here.

 

...and they were coins not tokens like the Griqua specie that saw VERY LIMITED circulation nor the Strachan tokens that saw VERY WIDE circulation.

 

BUT, and it seems nobody ever talks about this, EVEN the Scheepjesgulden were NOT THE FIRST SA CURRENCY - that honor belongs to the Paper Rijksdaalder notes issued specifically for the Cape in 1782 by Joachim van Plettenberg.

 

These notes were South Africa's VERY FIRST indiginous currency. (and they were accepted by the Cape population if there was any question about that!)

 

So here are the facts ...

 

1) The very first SA currency that circulated in SA was the Plettenberg Bank Notes of 1782

1) The Scheepjis Guldens were the FIRST coins minted for SA that actually circulated in SA

2) The Griqua Tokens were the first token range minted for SA but saw very limited circulation

3) The Strachan tokens were the first widely accepted token-currency in SA

5) The Burgerspond was the first SA coin (1874) with the name of SA on it - it was more a "keepsake" than a coin and saw little if any circulation

6) The ZAR issues of 1892 were the first true coin range in SA that saw widespread acceptence as a national coinage.

7) The Union of SA issue of 1923 was the first SA currency minted for the whole country that is today known as the Republic of South Africa

 

Regards

 

Pierre

Edited by Pierre_Henri

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The Facts

 

Hi Pierre

 

So here are the facts ...

 

1) The very first SA currency that circulated in SA was the Plettenberg Bank Notes of 1782

2) The Scheepjis Guldens were the FIRST coins minted for SA that actually saw circulated in SA

3) The Griqua Tokens were the first token range minted for SA but at best saw very limited circulation

4) The Strachan Tokens were the first widely accepted token-currency in SA

5) The Burgerspond was the first SA coin (1874) with the name of SA on it - it was more a "keepsake" than a coin and saw little if any circulation

6) The ZAR issues of 1892 were the first true coin range in SA that saw widespread acceptence as a national coinage.

7) The Union of SA issue of 1923 was the first SA currency minted for the whole country that is today known as the Republic of South Africa

Largely agree but there are a couple of extremely important qualifications that need to be noted with regards to the Strachan:

1) Even though they were issued by a company; from 1874 to 1878 (when East Griqualand was annexed by the Cape) the Griqua Raad accepted them as the region's official currency. ie For their first four years the Strachan were recognised as the official currency of the Griqua.

2) The coins were used by the entire local population (black, white, coloured) as circulating currency. The same connot be said of most of the other early currencies (ie 1,2 and 5) which were almost exclusively used by the white population.

3) The coins were used as currency for nearly sixty years (1874 - 1932) - ie longer than any other form of circulating currency in South Africa (including Union and post 1964 decimalised coins)

 

Finally I have made an important qualification (at best) on the Griqua tokens in bold. Because we will never know for sure if a single coin did actually circulate.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Pierre_Henri

Pierre says:

In my view, this can be easily explained. It is known that the Griqua pieces were an attempt at decimal coinage so Anderson probably dispersed the silver Griqua ten pence as a Shilling (12 pence), and the silver Griqua five pence as a sixpence. (When exchanging them for coppers for example)

Scott says:

Now that to me is complete hogwash. Not even Parsons suggests that - so I really would love to see your provenance supporting that claim. As an expert in early South African tokens I would humbly suggest, as I have before, that the five and ten values represented hours - or a day and half day token paid to Griqua who worked for the Missionaries at Griquatown. A far more plausible and believable suggestion seeing that tokens representing labour time were quite common in the 1800s.

Scott, I paged through Hearns "Southern African Tokens Catalogue" but could not find one single token with roman numerals (II, III, IIII or IV or V or whatever)

 

I did however find plenty of examples of coins through the ages with Roman numerals on their reverses - compare this with the Griqua 5 Penny (you say this is NOT a 5 penny but refering to 5 hours of work?)

 

The first two pics are of the Griqua 5 Pence and the following two foreign (English and American) coins with Roman numerals ..

 

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e71/Pierrex/griqua2.jpg

 

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e71/Pierrex/griqua1.jpg

 

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e71/Pierrex/griqua4.jpg

 

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e71/Pierrex/griqua3.jpg

 

 

Maybe you can post examples of pictures of "work hours - tokens?

 

Regards

 

Pierre

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Day tokens

 

Hi Pierre

 

Sure, in South Africa:

George Divisional Council (includes day and half day token): Sample of rare and interesting South African Token Coins

 

Montagu Divisional Council (includes day and half day token): Sample of rare and interesting South African Token Coins

 

F C Larkan: The trade and "closet" tokens of Frances Charlotte Larkan

Although rare, I see that example of the George and Montagu day tokens are currently on Bid or Buy...

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/26140304/Token_George_Divisional_Council_Labour_Check_1_Day_31_7mm_Brass_Hern_226a.html

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/26218753/Tokens_Montagu_Divisional_Council_Brass_1_Day_1_2_Day_1_4_Day_Labour_Hern_368a_b_c.html

 

The first two tokens linked and currently for sale on BoB have day and half day tokens and the last is a togt labour token issued by a farmer. In the examples above the token was given to labour at the beginning of the day and handed in at the end of the day in exchange for payment in coin.

 

The reason I suggest that the values on the Griquatown SILVER TOKENS represent hours (ie five hours - half day; ten hours full day) is because I can't think of any other way the Missionaries would have been able to associate a discernable value with the tokens that the Griqua could relate to. (ie Payment to Griqua for working in their gardens or in the school for half a day or day to get them into "circulation".) You will note in the correspondence transcribed by Schoeman that there is a dispute with the Griqua over the "value" of the silver tokens - so a lack of a place to use/circulate them was not the only hurdle impeding their success. This "value issue" to me adds weight to my argument that they were a form of labour token - because labour is probably the ONLY thing in remote Griquatown that you could practically attach a value to when it comes to "money". It also casts a shadow over the copper/bronze Griquatown pieces because if the Missionaries actually had these tokens back then you would have thought that they would have been able to negotiate, for example, a 1/2 with a Ten to overcome the dispute over a day's labour for the Missionaries. More likely is the scenario that they had NO WAY of negotiating a compromise with the Griqua because they only had the two silver tokens and the Griqua did not believe the "value" (of silver) adequately reflected their labours. While uneducated, many Griqua had worked for trekboers and in the Cape Colony and had a basic understanding of what they should receive as payment for labour. Clearly they were not satisfied - so you can see the impossible conundrum faced by the Missionaries if they only had the two silver tokens, an issue amplified by the lack of any trading post in which to exchange them.

 

Something wrong here but I cannot support my theories through fact - only based on practical common sense....

 

The copper 1/4 and 1/2 tokens remain an enigma because they were first mentioned only seventy years later - and all references to the Griquatown tokens by the Missionaries always specifically spoke of the SILVER TOKENS. If the bronze tokens are bona fide then, I believe, they could represent small jobs - ie 1/4 = 15 minutes, and 1/2 = half an hour. This explanation of time based "values" makes far more sense to me than some form of futuristic "decimalisation" theory. I should also note that I have always held suspicions regarding the bronze Griquatown pieces - simply because they are about as rare as the silver pieces and, according to our current recorded history ONLY the silver were withdrawn and melted down for the silver. This makes no sense, especially if the missionaries were trying to introduce a coinage. (Ten bronze 1/2 required to exchange just one FIVE... when the 1/2 is as rare as the FIVE?) Something wrong here. I should also add we have GOLD 1/2 Griquatown coin and "100" bronze Griquatown coin (see links below).. what next? A "CMMMM" Griquatown token representing inflation? Maybe someone who worked for or inherited assets from Thomas Halliday (who allegedly minted the original silver pieces) had access to the dies minted these coins and had some fun. There is no record of the dies being destroyed so what I am saying in this paragraph is quite plausible.

 

The gold Griquatown coin: http://www.tokencoins.com/griqua/goldhalfa.jpg

 

The "100" Griquatown coin: http://www.tokencoins.com/griqua/gr100b.jpg

 

As has been discussed here time and again with the Mandela pieces it is easy to make a coin look worn - simply rub it against a hard surface for a period of time. I have no doubt that whether it was poor storage of a keep sake by a Griqua, deliberate wearing, holing or whatever by persons unknown, the worn Griquatown coinage in many collectors collections have faced one of these scenarios in years past but not one has circulated.

 

Like my educated assumption above I cannot give you a specific reason why Roman numerals were used on the coins. The most obvious reason to me would be that in the case of the five (you link to above) the Griqua could see the representation of FIVE HOURS - a half day's work.

 

Pierre my point is that we will probably never know why Roman symbols were used for or the values intended but how can you simply accept as FACT a claim that they were "decimalised" coinage when there is absolutely NOTHING to support that claim. In effect, the suggestion that they were decimalised has one intention - to give legs to the LIE that they were an official currency at Griquatown - as is the suggestion that they circulated in the fanciful "Klaarwater district near Kimberley" - again giving credance to the LIE that they were an official currency in a large region.

 

Importantly Hern makes both these baseless claims in his coin book and refuses to retract them despite the evidence I gave him years ago. His only answer to my years of research was that he "found my ignorance quite astounding".

 

See: http://www.tokencoins.com/article/mar08.htm

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Cold Sea
like my educated assumption above I cannot give you a specific reason why Roman numerals were used on the coins. The most obvious reason to me would be that in the case of the five (you link to above) the Griqua could see the representation of FIVE HOURS - a half day's work.

 

 

1/4 = 15 minutes, and 1/2 = half an hour

 

Scott, surely you cannot be serious, 15 minutes work doing what?

 

Derick

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15 Minutes

 

Hi Derick

 

Who knows? As I said in my previous thread I have serious issues about whether the bronze Griquatown coins were minted c 1820. Even Parsons (page 8) says, fellow numismatists, Boyne only refers to the SILVER TOKENS in 1866; while THE FIRST REFERENCE to a bronze Griquatown token is by Atkins in 1889.

 

See: Parson's "The coinage of Griqualand"

 

Now that is about seventy years after the SILVER TOKENS were referred to as being held in Griquatown by Helm - the resident missionary.

 

The second serious point to consider is the RELATIVE SCARCITY of the bronze tokens - they are as rare as the silver tokens. That makes no sense.

 

Third point, neither does "the gap" between the 1/2 and a FIVE (silver) - ie ten 1/2s required as change for one FIVE. Can you think of any other currency with a gap this big?

 

What does make sense to me is that the two silver tokens have intrinsic value in themselves (their silver) which could be exchanged for labour based on time. If that is true (and we will never know for certain) then IF the bronze pieces were distributed at this time then it would have to be on the same basis. (ie a portion of an hour). NOTE unlike the SILVER TOKENS the bronze tokens had LITTLE OR NO REAL metalic value.

 

I am only asserting that IF the bronze pieces were actually in Griquatown c1820 then that is the only definition of value (time) I can see making any sense at all. As they were bronze and small it could conceivably be that the 1/4 and 1/2 were meant for payment for simple tasks like collecting a bucket of water from the spring for the Mission Station.

 

Personally, I believe the BRONZE TOKENS were minted in small numbers much later, were never used at Griquatown c1820 and somehow found themselves in the mainstream market of coin collectors. But I must add this is sheer speculation based on the points I raise above.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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The district between Griquatown and Kimberley has been called HERBERT since the 1800s

 

As there was much discussion on this thread about the "Klaarwater District" between Kimberley and Griquatown I have done some further research which settles the matter once and for all.

 

In short, the region between Griquatown and Kimberley has been misquoted by Hern in his book as being the “Klaarwater District”. Hern incorrectly claims in his book, and I quote, "These (Griquatown) coins were first used by the Griqua people in the Klaarwater district near Kimberley and did not circulate for more than two years before being withdrawn and smelted"

 

This district west of Kimberley (around Campbell) is actually known as Herbert after Sir Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon who was “at that time secretary of state for the colonies, who granted to the Free State payment in full satisfaction of all claims which it considers it may possess to Griqualand West”. The district to the west of Griquatown is known as Hay and the region to the south as Hopetown (after the discovery of the Hopetown diamond first identified by Dr Atherstone). More on Dr Atherstone at this link: Man of Many Facets.

 

If you Google "herbert district" griqualand west you will see more than sufficient evidence to support my comment that there never was a district known as “Klaarwater” in the region between Kimberley and Griquatown. The only accurate Klaarwater reference is to the original (pre-1814) name of the small settlement at Griquatown. This link from the South African Heritage Resources Agency, on its own, gives you all the proof you need: http://www.sahra.org.za/PHS and Register.pdf (search on "Herbert" or look near the bottom of page 35 of the report.)

 

I have also supplied a link to a Boer War Map of the Griquatown region produced by the British: http://www.tokencoins.com/griqua/warmap01.jpg

 

On this map you will see the districts around Griquatown clearly listed. The region just west of Kimberley to the east of Griquatown is, even today, known as Herbert.

 

GRIQUATOWN v STRACHAN - FANTASY v REALITY:

 

PS I note the Griquatown 1/4 listed on BoB in the first post on this thread sold for just over ZAR3,000 which is, according to the seller, only about 10% of its "value" quoted in this listing (ie ZAR30,000). I mention this after the seller suggested in this thread that there was "no interest" in common Strachan and Co pieces he was selling. His comments were premature and misplaced because these common S&Co coins actually attracted several hundred ZAR bids before the auction closed.. no I did not bid on the coins he was selling.

Source third post down: http://forum.bidorbuy.co.za/coins-notes-numismatist/11057-griquatown-1-4p-first-coins-used-sa-2.html

 

One of the "common" S&Co pieces (2/- set one) attracting nearly ZAR300 (ie nearly 10% of the price achieved for the Griquatown piece above) sold by the seller: Tokens - Strachan & Co. Type #1 - 2 Shilling @@@R1 Start was sold for R281.00 on 7 Sep at 14:16 by EWAAN Galleries in Johannesburg (ID:25088518)

 

and what about the commonest of the S&Co MHs - the 2/- it was a steal for the lucky buyer at about ZAR1,000.. Tokens - Strachan & Co. Type #2 Mountain Home - 2 Shilling - Scarcer Type @@@ R1 Start was sold for R982.00 on 21 Sep at 14:02 by EWAAN Galleries in Johannesburg (ID:26084476)

 

So the rarer S&Co are now attracting the same values as the Griquatown pieces... the S&Co, the true symbols of South Africa's first widely circulating indigenous currency, are belatedly coming into their own after over 130 years in the wilderness!

 

In closing, this same seller questioning the value of the Strachan coins currently has a S&Co 2/- MH for sale with a reserve of ZAR3,000 - ie close to the price he got fot the Griquatown 1/4.. see: http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/26956785/Strachan_Co_Type_2_Mountain_Home_2_Shilling_Scarcer_Type.html

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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EWAAN Galleries

just need to find one griqua in unc condition and we can buy all all the S & Co Tokens that are available.

 

They cheap coins - R200 to R300 - same price range as the mandela stuff :) - we call them Mickey Mouse Coins :)

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A classic silly comment

 

EWAAN said:

 

just need to find one griqua in unc condition and we can buy all all the S & Co Tokens that are available.

 

They cheap coins - R200 to R300 - same price range as the mandela stuff :) - we call them Mickey Mouse Coins :)

Silly comments like that clearly demonstrate that you have no understanding of numismatics - just one of the reasons I will never buy from you.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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Vertigo

Hi all,

 

S & C tokens have never interested me , ie wouldn't put my money into those tokens.

 

To me D & K tokens would be a better bet.

 

from a growth view seems like investors are losing money on S & C tokens

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

warm regards

Imraan

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A simple challenge to Imraan

 

Hi Imraan

 

This thread is supposed to be about the Griquatown tokens but you and your brother seem to have turned it into a debate over the numismatic/collector value of the S&Co.

 

I wonder why?

 

Collectors will decide the value of the S&Co - which will be based on supply and demand. That simple. And a big part of the collectable interest will always be its history.

 

Perhaps you can tell me the detailed history of the Duchen and Kleinman pieces seeing that you are suddenly an expert in South African tokens. I would love to hear it.

 

And then lets this thread return to its subject - ie the Griquatown coins.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Vertigo

Why get personal

 

EWAAN said:

 

Silly comments like that clearly demonstrate that you have no understanding of numismatics - just one of the reasons I will never buy from you.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

 

Hi Scott

 

why the personal attack ?

 

Firstly ewaan is the top seller for 2010 on BOB, so if he knows nothing about numismatics , how Is this possible ?

 

I assume that any buyer would buy a numismatic item from anyone "especially from one that is ignorant " ie getting a good price on a coin that he/she knows nothing about. ( as per your statement on ewaans "silly" comments )

 

Nevertheless i can assure you that i would buy from anyone , silly or not , if i need an item , obviously if the price is right.

 

seems like there is an underlying personal issue here,,

 

Anyways hope the boxing gloves stay on , and this forum does not become a boxing ring without gloves.

 

@ admin - I feel personal attacks are tant amount to racism. We are here to learn from each other , and not insult others.

 

Warm regards

Imraan Moosa

Edited by Vertigo

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Madiba

 

Imraan

 

I think the comment by EWAAN that "Mandela stuff (coins)" can be equated to "Mickey Mouse" is not one that sits well with many South African collectors.... I personally find it offensive. Anything relating to Madiba should be treated with great respect.

 

Still waiting with baited breath for you to provide the detailed history on Duchen and Kleinman tokens.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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EWAAN Galleries

Hi

 

We love the Mandela coins - we sell them all day long. WE CALLED THE S & CO TOKENS MICKEY MOUSE COINS and we still do call them MICKEY MOUSE COINS..... We just said they in the same price range as the Mandela coins as you always running the Mandela coins down......

 

Also please note that we never offered you any items or asked you to bid on any of our auctions so we really not asking you to buy coins from us. We would prefer not to do business after last time you trying to do deals off bid or buy. So in actual fact you offered items to us - this can be proven by emails sent to us. AND WE WILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM YOU :)

 

Have fun controlling this Forum while we making some money :)

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Vertigo

A new invention

 

Hi scott,

 

I am too busy to debate or shed light on the d & k tokens , however i found a new way of finding your answers

 

 

Kindly click the link below and enjoy

 

Let me google that for you

 

Warm regards

Imraan

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Hi Imraan

 

I had a strong feeling that you would respond like that.

 

Thank you for confirming that your level of expertise on South African tokens was over rated.. I guess that why you said "just my two cents worth" (ie your post near the bottom of the previous page in this thread). According to EWAAN's reasoning this must be a "Mickey Mouse comment". At least EWAAN and I agree on something! :wink:)

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Ewaan...

 

Ewaan you really have to be more careful about the claims you make publicly. Show me one post where I have run down the Mandela coins - just one. I have been justifiably infuriated by the manner in which new collectors are deceived by sellers who slab inferior Mandela coins suggesting they are rare. I hope and trust you share my views on this.

 

I own several Madiba coins, have been to the Mandela Foundation JHBG by invitation (October 2007), have his signature and Madiba was the first person in South Africa to read my book "Children of the Mist". It was sent to him at his personal request after I earlier had communication with his foundation. Just last year Madiba sent me the "The Madiba Legacy" series covering his extraordinary history. These reside in a prominent position in my museum.

 

I accept your explanation on the Mandela coins but you should also be more careful about how you express yourself in writing. The implication of your unsolicited comment on the previous page in this thread would suggest to most people that the Mandela coins fell into the category of "Mickey Mouse coins". It is sad that as a prominent seller you obviously see yourself as somewhat exclusive - remember many collectors can only afford what you call "Mickey Mouse coins". Come down a few pegs and be part of the mainstream collectors and you might understand a bit more about the very essence of numismatics and what makes the core of this hobby work. Being a major seller of coins on BoB does not make you a numismatist just like a book seller might know very little about the subject in the books he sells.

 

I note that you have S&Co coins (what you now erroneously call "Mickey Mouse coins") for sale at prices up to ZAR3,000. Why would you be in the market selling these coins if they are Mickey Mouse and as your brother Imraan suggest have no value? Isn't that misleading potential buyers? In any case I suggest that people with token coins for sale look for a seller with a better understanding of and interest in their specialist hobby - and no I do not sell coins on behalf of others.

 

Obviously I disagree with your point of view and (I think) have a far better understanding than you do of the underlying forces driving the S&Co coins - and it certainly has nothing to do with Mickey Mouse.

 

I also have those emails you refer to (again and again) and find it interesting just who made the first approach.. it wasn't me and the approach was unrelated to BoB. You raised this same issue several months ago on this forum to try to cause trouble and as a result I initiated direct communication with BoBs GM at that time. Cuan accepted my position without reservation.

 

PPS I am quite capable of selling my own coins on BoB - I certainly have a record of achieving better prices for tokens on BoB than you have (Complete S&Co sets for over ZAR20,000, four Larkan tokens for over ZAR10,000 as well as three Durban Club 6d for over ZAR21,000 in the last few months). AND I don't have to pay you a 10% commission... that's what I call game, set and match!

 

I HAVE NOTHING FURTHER TO SAY TO YOU OR IMRAAN ON THIS SUBJECT.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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