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Griquatown 1/4p - First Coins Used In SA

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4kids

Ewaan Galleries, Vertigo and Ndoa18.

 

You are all out of line here without exception and your destructive and personal attacks to each other should not be aired in public. You are doing more harm than good for this hobby and should in my opinion get banned, not only from the forum but also from dealing and selling on BoB.

 

Ewaan Galleries, It is said that people that stay in glass houses should not throw stones. You yourself dealt with me of the BoB site and bought items initiated through the PM facilities of this forum. I also have all these emails on record.

 

Vertigo, You should also get off your "racism" high horse as I could not find a shred of reference to your race anywhere in these posts.

 

Ndoa18, You allow yourself to be drawn into situations and respond by by being offensive. Even my 6 year old boy can do better in similar situations.

 

Now read the following which would be forum etiquette tips you can print and paste down on your computer screens if the urge to be naughty boys gets hold of you again.

 

1. Read the forums rules and guidelines before posting for the first time.

 

2. Search the other posts to see if your topic is already covered.

 

3. Use a meaningful title for your thread.

 

4. Do not use a forum to promote your product, service or business.

 

5. Be civil. Personal differences should be handled through email or IM and not through posts displayed to everyone.

 

6. Stay on topic.

 

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12. Act in a give and take manner; help others as often as or more than you ask for help.

 

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14. When replying to a post, do not quote more from the previous post than you have to.

 

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17. Most forums prohibit warez, cracks or illegal downloading of software and similar topics.

 

18. Watch your sense of humor, posts may be read by people from a variety of backgrounds and ages.

 

19. Do not use a huge and annoying signature, a modest signature is fine, moderators may remove large ones anyway.

 

20. Do not post any information that you want private. Posts should not contain personal, identifiable information or content embarrassing to others.

21. Do not post content that violates a copyright.

 

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23. Write concisely and do not ramble.

 

24. Do not use words like ”urgent” or ”important” in your subject line, be patient.

 

25. Do not chastise newbies.

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

Am only about half way through reading this fascinating debate - and will probably comment again - but there are two issues which I am burning to raise or comment upon...

 

- Derick's comment that 150km is close to Kimberley - yes today it would take about 1 and 1/2 to two hours to travel - back then - probably about 2 - 3 days with a carriage - maybe 1 day with a very good horse (and a very sore butt)? So how close is that?

 

- So far this sounds/reads a little like Galileo being challenged by the flat-earthers!

 

No problem with challenge - believe that it is important and also edifiying for all concerned - and looking forward to learning more through the various comments and sometimes extraordinary arguments which are raised as supposed challenges to someone whose life work and passion appears to be about uncovering detail and truth.

Edited by MsPlod
html formatting edited out

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4kids

 

Thank 4kids.. food for thought

 

Thought long and hard over this one… (all of 60 minutes)

 

In part you are right and if I have offended anyone here by my remarks and public utterances I apologise unreservedly BUT (oops I shouldn’t have used caps) when I see misinformed comments being made by individuals who have little or no understanding about specialist aspects of OUR HOBBY (there I go again) I think it is important to stand up to them.

 

I have not been a serious researcher, collector and numismatist for over forty years to cop it sweet on the chin when I see comments that are quite simply wrong. If I am proven wrong then what better place than in a public forum?

 

It’s as simple as that.. oh, and your comment about your six year old boy.. is that not, in itself, a personal and OFF LIMITS comment? You might reflect and realize that it is very easy to become embroiled in a sensitive issue – that is the passion we have for our hobby. Maybe you should be banned as well?

 

Doesn’t sit well does it.

 

I don’t think banning EWAAN, Vertigo or Ndoa18 from BoB (according to your judicial expertise in these matters) is going to do much for OUR (here I go again) hobby because, regardless of our differences, we are all part of the South African coin community. Public discussion is good and as Vertigo said in an earlier post as long as we “keep the gloves on” qualified confrontation can help resolve issues and be very positive. I have spent most of the sixty minutes reading and re-reading the posts you suggest should see us collectively BANNED from BoB and am still shaking my head in disbelief.

 

Maybe this generation has simply become that soft.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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qball

I will ask that everyone that is posting in this thread adhere to the forum rules. Debate and discussion is welcome, personal attacks and confrontational posts will be removed and users will be banned temporarily if this continues. Please refer to the forum rules if this is unclear.

 

Thank you

Cuan

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MsPlod

Differences...

 

This debate is fascinating - thank you all!

 

One of the glaring differences that I - as a total, and unashamed, novice - am picking up, is the difference between the "collector" - the "investor" and the "purveyor".

Dare I make the following classification?

  • The collector - is passionate about the hobby and the information (historical and other) which pertains to the hobby (life style or passion), and the real value comes in "getting" the knowledge and understanding of items, as well as being able to hold those items in their hand - or see them (so value is not always tangible and is often not necessarily material);
  • The investor - may or may not be interested in the information - but is passionate about knowing whether they will be able to resell something for a better price than they originally paid for that item (so the value is seen as being held in the future); and,
  • The purveyor - may or may not be interested in the information - but is passionate about getting the best price for their wares (value is NOW - apologies for the capital letters).

Can you see me? I am the person standing against the wall - wearing the blindfold - waiting for the firing squad :wink:

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4kids
Thank 4kids.. food for thought

 

Thought long and hard over this one… (all of 60 minutes)...........

 

.......I have not been a serious researcher, collector and numismatist for over forty years to cop it sweet on the chin when I see comments that are quite simply wrong. If I am proven wrong then what better place than in a public forum?

 

It’s as simple as that.. oh, and your comment about your six year old boy.. is that not, in itself, a personal and OFF LIMITS comment? You might reflect and realize that it is very easy to become embroiled in a sensitive issue – that is the passion we have for our hobby. Maybe you should be banned as well?

 

Doesn’t sit well does it.

 

I don’t think banning EWAAN, Vertigo or Ndoa18 from BoB (according to your judicial expertise in these matters) is going to do much for OUR (here I go again) hobby because, regardless of our differences, we are all part of the South African coin community. Public discussion is good and as Vertigo said in an earlier post as long as we “keep the gloves on” qualified confrontation can help resolve issues and be very positive. I have spent most of the sixty minutes reading and re-reading the posts you suggest should see us collectively BANNED from BoB and am still shaking my head in disbelief.

 

Maybe this generation has simply become that soft.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

 

Hi Scott, Any good boxer will tell you that taking a few sweet ones on the chin leaves your opponent wide open for a huge fall, straight to the canvas. Think about it..... and do not read any further for at least 60 minutes....

 

Here is the explanation which hopefully you figured out.

 

Any serious future writer or publisher of any South African Coin or Token catalogue will try and take all facts into consideration before simply copying and updating current issues. Don't you think that the current writers/publishers will over time be replaced with others, perhaps more lenient and susceptible to factional information.

 

Your research and posts undoubtedly contributes hugely to the hobby and for that I have respect but your allow yourself to be drawn into unnecessary arguments which reflects very negatively on the hobby and in a way your research.

 

Now if I get banned, I would learn a valuable lesson won't I, i.e. A little more tact from my side would have been better and I do not think that this generation has become softer. I simply think that we see more than enough of negativity around us every day and when we escape into our private time wanting to read something worthwhile and informative and then read all these nonsense, I/we just become a bit sick and tired of seeing personal vendettas, private issues and dirty washing aired on a coin forum and I am not referring to healthy debate which you refer to as "Qualified Confrontation" and public discussion here!

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4kids
Can you see me? I am the person standing against the wall - wearing the blindfold - waiting for the firing squad :wink:

 

Now only if you would stop dodging the bullets and stand still, we all can have a decent shot.

 

Well said MsPlod!

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4KIDS part two

 

4KIDS says...

 

Any serious future writer or publisher of any South African Coin or Token catalogue will try and take all facts into consideration before simply copying and updating current issues. Don't you think that the current writers/publishers will over time be replaced with others, perhaps more lenient and susceptible to factional information.
I totally agree. My frustration is that referenced FACTS that I have supplied time and again in this thread and others in the past with regards to the Griquatown tokens are simply ignored by so many "experts". After spending much of my life in the BEST interests of the FACTUAL basis of our hobby to have "snipes" regarding the S&Co coins being continually put up as some sort of a red herring does not reflect, in my view, either integrity or the best interests of our hobby.

 

Yes I am passionate about my research because, after thirty years of ongoing study on the Griqua (and their coinage), I would have hoped that instead of shooting the messenger about Parsons flawed publication parroted by so many since someone would have simply taken a few hours to read my comments and checked out my references for themselves.

 

Apparently, apart from Pierre, no one has.. or they certainly don't make that fact known.

 

These facts are not some whymsical conspiracy theory or a witches brew of magic that has allowed me to put passages into books written nearly 200 years ago. They are FACTS, their foundations are SOLID. It has been MY intense and dedicated research and establishing a specialised collection of books that has taken thirty years to compile that has provided my peers in numismatics the opportunity to broaden their views not just on history but on the truth of our early coinage.

 

So when I get "experts" challenging these facts without doing the most basic research on what I have published I get angsy and I think with good reason.

 

Read my opening post about the Griquatown tokens and understand that what I have written in red is not some fabrication in my mind BUT supported by FACTS sourced and REFERENCED back to those times. Links to all these sources, that anyone can check for themselves, are supplied. So I really don't care if someone tries to besmirch my reputation. Maybe a more distinguished and diplomatic collector will, in years to come, claim my research as his own - the important issue is that the integrity of our hobby will be based on FACT not flawed supposition.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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dennrein

Back to the topic

 

Hi all,

it really is a pity this thread is going off topic. In an attempt to return to the exchange of facts I would like to venture some assumptions based on some research I've been doing these last couple of weeks because I find the mystery of the Griqua coins so fascinating. Here are my findings (no citation, I will give that as soon as anybody challenges any of the following points). Following my research and reasoning, I am convinced that...

 

1. The number of church members mentioned by Parsons in his 1927 essay can easily be explained and does not disqualify his research.

2. Having said that, I do believe that Campbell most probably only took the token coins to the Cape colony in 1819 and brought them to Griqua Town in 1820.

3. The tokens circulated for a short time with very limited success and were bound to trade with the mission station in Griqua Town.

4. The copper and the silver tokens were circulated in 1820.

5. The tokens were trade tokens linked to currency and not to work hours.

6. The name Klaarwater District was not invented by Hern but goes back to the early nineteenth century.

7. Griqua trade was very significant around the time that the token coins circulated.

 

As I said, I can expand on my research and reasoning if any of the above points are of interest to readers of this thread. These are all assumptions based on literature, but there is certainly a lot of reasoning and a good deal of speculation involved - but this in my opinion holds true for all historical research, seeing as there is so limited evidence.

 

Regards

dennrein

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Mike Klee

I believe that the number of Griquas inhabiting the Klaarwater District and its environs has been seriously underestimated. Let us take a look at an extract describing and event in 1823 event which took place, as quoted from the Military History Journal (volume 1, no. 3 - December 1968), titled

" A Comparative Study of Strategy in Bantu Tribal Warfare During the 19th Century " by Dr Peter Becker. This describes the slaughter of a 1000- man party of Griquas and Korannas in 1831:

" Mzilikazi's followers were to multiply rapidly and they became known as Matabele - they that duck down (behind shields). In 1831 the Matabele were faced with the most serious challenge since Mzilikazi's departure from Zululand - they were invaded by a strong force of Griqua under Barend Barends. Mounted and armed with firearms, the Griqua were a formidable foe and it was only as a result of Mzilikazi's astuteness, and his flair for uncommon strategy that he saved his young tribe from annihilation.

 

Barends set out for the Magaliesberg in June. Travelling mainly at night and taking shelter in the bush during the day, the army reached the southern confines of Mzilikazi's country within five days. Spies crept through the Magaliesberg, observed the exact positions of the outposts and hastened back to report to the main force that the Matabele were unaware of the impending invasion. The Griqua advanced swiftly. Their horsemen swooped down on the kraals, killing herdsmen, capturing women, firing huts and rounding up cattle for the footmen to drive to the south. For hour after hour thousands of Mzilikazi's cattle were stampeded through the ranges and it struck the leaders of the commando as strange that not a single Matabele warrior had appeared to challenge them. They did not guess that Mzilikazi had no intention of exposing his men to their musket fire, and that he had already organized the withdrawal of his people to the depths of the bushveld. For the Griqua and Koranna, whose avarice for cattle was unrivalled in South Africa, this visit to Mzilikazi's kingdom was a delightful adventure. They soon forgot the original purpose of launching the expedition to the north, and they decided to postpone their extermination of the Matabele. They also agreed unanimously that the idea of handing over the Matabele cattle to the Bechuana tribes was ridiculous, merely a product of Barend Barends' addled old mind.

During the following days the cattle-thieves hustled their herds towards the Vaal. Their scouts hung back to watch for the approach of Mzilikazi's regiments, but when at the end of the third day there was no sign of the enemy the captains believed that their commandos were beyond reach of an attack. Therefore, when by twilight they reached a cone shaped hill that dominated the immediate surroundings, they halted at its base and pitched camp. Fires were kindled and beasts slaughtered in preparation for a feast.

The women prisoners, who by this time had confessed to their captors that they were happy to be free of Mzilikazi's tyranny, were alarmed at the carefree attitude pervading the camp. They approached Gert Hooyman, one of the captains, and advised him to picket the encampment lest the Matabele arrive during the course of the night. The young regiments or day-fighters were in Bamangwato country, they said, and the veterans who operated only after dark had remained behind to defend the kingdom. The women suggested that if Mzilikazi had decided to retaliate his veteran regiments would travel by night. For a while Gert Hooyman was moved by the logic of the women's warnings, but he was scoffed at when he conferred with his colleagues. A Griqua named Jan Pienaar was particularly amused at the absurdity of Hooyman's fears. By midnight the revelry ceased and sleep descended upon the thousand men.

In the meantime, beyond the Magaliesberg, Mzilikazi fumed over the losses his herds had suffered at the hands of his enemies, the yellow-skinned horsemen. When he learned that the stock-thieves had left his country, heading southwards with the cattle, he called his warriors to arms and dispatched them in hot pursuit under cover of darkness.

For three days the Matabele stalked the marauders, remaining well out of sight. At nights they were always within striking distance of the Griqua and the Koranna, and Matabele spies skulked about the fringes of their bivouac. Then on the third night, when it was found that the encampment was unguarded, the veterans formed a great circle about the sleeping horde and sat on their haunches in silence. Just before daybreak, as the waning moon was sinking behind the crest of the hill, the Matabele rose and padded forward. When they were within two hundred yards of the first row of sleepers a Griqua detected them and sounded the alarm. The Matabele charged, whooping, beating their shields with their stabbing spears, and hissing sibilant war chants. Gert Hooyman, the Griqua, a Koranna named Haip and a third man managed to jump on to their horses and break through the converging circle of warriors, but before the rest of the camp had time to fling aside their karosses they were butchered by assegai blades. Many reached for their guns only to have them wrenched from their hands before a shot could be fired; many grasped their muskets but were so overcome with fright that they fired indiscriminately, and killed not only Matabele warriors but also their own people. By sunrise the entire commando lay slain at the foot of the lonely conical hill. Only three men had escaped to gallop away to Makwassie, there to break the tragic news to old Barend Barends."

It seems to me that there was indeed a much more sizeable population of Griques roaming around than contemporary records would indicate - which would also justify an attempt by the LMS to provide a currency for trade purposes. Just a thought.......

Mike Klee

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Taking up your challenge

 

Hi Dennrein

 

Firstly thank you so much for taking the time and effort to do some foundation research on the Griquatown tokens! This is what I have been looking for for so long - a debate. Never heard of you before but happy to take up "your challenge". :grin:

 

1. The number of church members mentioned by Parsons in his 1927 essay can easily be explained and does not disqualify his research.

Challenge #1 please explain his "church member figure" of over 2,600.

 

2. Having said that, I do believe that Campbell most probably only took the token coins to the Cape colony in 1819 and brought them to Griqua Town in 1820.
That is what I have already suggested years ago so have no problem with that assumption. ie Parsons is wrong in suggesting that they circulated in 1815-16. Delighted that you agree with me that they are tokens and NOT a CURRENCY.

 

3. The tokens circulated for a short time with very limited success and were bound to trade with the mission station in Griqua Town.
Challenge #2

a) Show me just one contemporary reference that suggests that they actually circulated c1820. We are not looking for assumption here - we need facts.

b) What do you base your assumption that they were bound to trade on?

 

4. The copper and the silver tokens were circulated in 1820.

Challenge #3

a) Show me just one contemporary reference to the copper (or silver) tokens circulating in 1820

b) Please explain the relative scarcity of the copper pieces to the silver "if they were currency" when one considers that it takes ten copper 1/2 pieces to change one silver FIVE if that "currency" was based on decimalisation"; and

c) Why the Missionaries only refer to SILVER tokens in their correspondence back then.

5. The tokens were trade tokens linked to currency and not to work hours.
Challenge #4 -

a) What form of currency and why?

b) How was it implemented?

 

6. The name Klaarwater District was not invented by Hern but goes back to the early nineteenth century.

Challenge #5

Show me one credible reference supporting this view.

 

Here are some maps opposing your viewpoint (I am trying to keep this response to your post simple so I will use these to challenge this particular claim):

 

The Boer War Map I have already linked of the Griquatown region (supplied by the British - who owned Griqualand West) clearly shows that region as HERBERT (see this link from my earlier post for the map: http://www.tokencoins.com/griqua/warmap01.jpg). The region is still known as HERBERT today - use Google to confirm.

 

This linked map of the region from the Royal Geographic Society in 1879 before British Districts were established also supports my view: http://www.tokencoins.com/book11/griquw.jpg

 

Just sourced a (1817) map of this region from my collection: http://www.tokencoins.com/book3/griq02.jpg you will note Klaarwater does not rate a mention.

 

7. Griqua trade was very significant around the time that the token coins circulated.
Barter trade was quite significant - of that there is no dispute but

Challenge #6 -

a) Provide just ONE authentic reference to the Griquatown coins being used in a single trade at any time at any place.

b) Why is it recorded that barter and the Rijksdaalder ruled in Griquatown at this time and continued to do so long after 1820?

c) Where did they trade the coins seeing there was no trading post - let alone a store in the region.

d) Why does Campbell not mention HIS coins in his book if they were a success?

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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The devil is in the detail

 

Mike Klee says...

 

Gert Hooyman, the Griqua, a Koranna named Haip and a third man managed to jump on to their horses and break through the converging circle of warriors, but before the rest of the camp had time to fling aside their karosses they were butchered by assegai blades.
Here is a further quote from my book Children of the Mist which covers this event in some detail...

 

Under a cloud of secrecy Barends invited Bergenaars from Cornelius Kok II and Dam Kok II’s villages to join his men to take on the Ndebele in a manner similar to that used against the Mantatee many years earlier. The rewards, like the risks, would be great, as the Ndebele were believed to have tens of thousands of cattle and sheep plundered from other tribes.

 

Dam, now way south in Philippolis, and Cornelius II at Campbell, being but a shadow of his former glory, declined, leaving Barends alone to take on the Ndebele. However, many Bergenaars from their villages and hunters acting on their own, eagerly joined in the planned raid.

 

The raid by the Griqua was not just from the community at Griquatown - very few of the raiders came from that group. The cattle raiders/Bergenaars were made up of the splintered Griqua groups across the region. I need to explain here - the Griqua under Barends, Cornelius and Adam Kok despised "the San" leader Waterboer at Griquatown and had nothing to do with him since 1814. Furthermore the raiders were made up of a large number of Korana (see opening quote in this post) - the group which both Burchell and Campbell talk about as being "distant" from the Griquatown settlement. They only joined the raid because of the large potential spoils.

 

This is how I describe the fateful night they were slaughtered....

 

On this fateful night the Bergenaars, like on other nights, had kraaled the cattle and sheep across the length of a large grassy valley, using small fires to contain the animals. The Bergenaars were thinly spread across the perimeter of this enormous kraal, minding the fires that contained the livestock until midnight before retiring exhausted to rest. Very few would even wake from that night, which for most had no end.

 

Well practised in war, the Ndebele left their camp a few miles behind the sleeping Bergenaars. It was midnight and their spies had done well, knowing the routine of the plundering Griquas. Armed with killing spears, the warriors took several hours to creep up quietly, encircling the Bergenaars by using their fires as pointers and markers. By the early hours of the morning every sleeping Bergenaar was being watched by several Ndebele fighters patiently waiting for the signal. The fires were dying down but, in the flickering light and lightening horizon, the outline of the battle-ready natives could be seen crouched, spears at the ready, not ten yards from their sleeping prey.

 

As the first rays of sunlight cut across the land a shrill cry went out. It is said that Mzilikazi himself let out the cry and killed the first man. The signal was followed by a terrifying roar from the Ndebele impi as they jumped on the Bergenaars still lying deep in sleep. Very few even cried out, their throats cut even as they dreamed about their new wealth. The slaughter was complete. Not one man survived.

 

Sad but true... interestingly the Matabele (that your source refers to) only became a tribal name long after 1823 at the time of the conflict they were known as the Ndebele... see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mzilikazi

 

Finally see my challenge 5 in the post above with several scanned maps regarding the fantasy of the "Klaarwater District".

 

Here is an unrelated extract from a South African educational site providing historical background: http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/artsmediaculture/culture%20&%20heritage/cultural-groups/griqua.htm

 

The Griquas derived no benefit from this; they were merely pawns in the hands of the Imperial authorities who were trying to acquire control over the mineral rich lands. In November 1876, Lieutenant- Governor Lanyon cleverly embarked on a surveying process with the intention of confining indigenous Black people to strategically placed rural locations which comprised about ten percent of the original Griqualand. The divisions of Barkley West, Hay, Herbert and Kimberley were probably proclaimed at about the same time (in Griqualand West).

 

PS I hope BoB allow this link.. a searchable PDF version of my book "Children of the Mist" can be purchased online for US$10 from the Griqua National Council's official website. All funds go to the Griqua National Council.. book linked here: http://www.winddancersa.com/Webs/ChildrenOfMist.htm

 

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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EWAAN Galleries

Never Trust an Author?

 

Hi All

 

If you see earlier in this post, Scott Balson says that Imraan Moosa is my brother. Please note that we are not related to each other in any way. I am sure bid or buy can verify this with our id details they have on record.

 

 

Never Trust Authors - they just assume things which could mislead others.......Always verify any information that is given to you before just accepting it :)

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Brothers in arms

 

Never Trust Authors - they just assume things which could mislead others.......Always verify any information that is given to you before just accepting it :)
Could not agree more with you EWAAN when it comes to checking things (I must say that the singling out of "authors" is a bit misplaced seeing that they are the ones who document history). That is why in important groundbreaking research like on the Griquatown tokens I ALWAYS supply direct references to key books that anyone can go and check for themselves. And if you read my posts that is EXACTLY what I have been asking readers to do (ie don't believe me, just check out my research for yourself).

 

Unfortunately only few do so.

 

Game, set and match.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Cold Sea

Hi Scott,

 

Sloppy or no research has led to you assuming or knowing that Imraan and Ewaan are brothers. And again you use certain parts of an answer to justify a belief or position. Read the replies in full, and then post. Debate and discussion is not about wearing down your opponent.You are undoing all the good work that you have done.

 

Regards

 

Derick

Edited by Cold Sea

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EWAAN Galleries

Hi Derick

 

That is why we will never believe any stories written by authors - they quick at assuming things - print what they want as long as it suites them..... that's why they called STORY TELLERS :) - they full of stories........

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Muhammad Seedat

Edited by EWAAN Galleries

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dennrein

Reply Part 1

 

Dear Mr. Balson,

 

you have truly done a service to numismatics with your research and I do believe that open debate based on historic records is the way to go. Here are my takes on the points in question:

 

Challenge 1:

 

The fact that Parsons (1927: p. 5) states that Klaarwater or Griqua Town had upwards of 2600 church members in early 1813 is quite easily explained. In fact, according to Campbell (1815: p. 256), Griqua Town and the outposts connected with it had 1.266 Griqua and 1.341 Koranna inhabitants, resulting in 2.607 inhabitants of Griqualand (West). Now, remembering that the Griqua were migrant prior to – according to Campbell – being persuaded by missionaries to settle in Klaarwater, Parsons may be excused for equating church members (who in fact at the time numbered 26) with inhabitants of Griqualand (West). Moffat (1846: p. 52) cites the missionary Mr. Anderson who stated that the congregation consisted of 800 persons in 1809, thus too equating church members with inhabitants, as seen from the vantage point of the missionary station.

 

Challenge 3:

 

The tokens obviously were brought into circulation. What does circulation mean? It is highly unlikely that the missionaries simply distributed the tokens amongst Griqualand inhabitants. They would have had to trade them for something – simply to convey that they were worth something. This is supported by Campbell’s opinion that the tokens went for too low a rate (Schoeman 1997: p. 131). A rate only makes sense if something is traded for something else. Had the missionaries simply distributed the tokens, they would have had to prove that they were worth something, by handing out some kinds of goods for every token given back to them, a very costly mode of distribution indeed.

The problem that arose, leading to the Griquas being sceptical – as witnessed by their stance that they would only accept the tokens if they were accepted by colonists and boers – was the very restricted trade benefit associated with them. The Griquas’ wealth resulted from their role as intermediary traders between the Tswanas as well as other ethnic groups in the North and the Cape colony (see Ross 1976: p. 12-21). The tokens however were closely connected to the mission. Boers and colonists would only have taken tokens for their goods if they intended to trade with the mission station, which would seldom have been the case (Schoeman 1997: p. 104). This is why Campbell tried to convince the colonial government to accept the tokens as an alternative form of legal tender, which did not work out.

There is an interesting parallel to this kind of system around the same time. Missionary William Shaw introduced tokens at his mission in Wesleyville amongst the Xhosa in 1825, each token being worth five strings of beads (Beck 1989: 223). Here too, the tokens were closely connected to the mission and would not have been widely accepted beyond the scope of the mission. There is no doubt that the missionaries intended for their tokens to be widely used – as Campbell puts it, they should “circulate among all the nations round about” (1815: p. 256) – which would have benefited them. But this never materialized, i.e. they only circulated in trade with the mission and were at some point soon after withdrawn precisely because they weren't used beyond that.

 

Challenge 4:

 

What about the fact that only silver tokens are mentioned before 1889? Perhaps this is a plausible explanation: The Griqualand tokens are very rarely mentioned at all prior to 1889 – though they are mentioned and from the little information we have we know that they were produced and brought into circulation with very little success. Silver tokens are mentioned in the 1815/16 report and in 1820 when discussing the issue of their going rate (Schoeman 1997: p. 131). Does this mean that the silver tokens are the only ones that existed at the time?

The fact that Boyne (1866) only mentions the silver tokens seems to support this view. However one has to bear in mind that Boyne published a book on silver tokens. There are very few copper tokens included in the book. One can imagine that Campbell left for Britain with plans to bring back silver tokens only. But after arriving – and seeing as they were expensive – deciding to have some of them done in copper. The fact that the one penny is missing may be attributed to a range of possible reasons: Campbell ran out of finance, there wasn’t enough material, or for some reason Halliday could not or didn’t want to complete the series. Perhaps there wasn’t enough thought put into the matter, since there were only two die sizes (10 and ½, 5 and ¼) and the 1 penny would have had to be larger than the ½ penny one. This is, obviously, pure speculation. Also, the fact that only the silver tokens are mentioned in 1820 is because only these tokens had the problem of being worth more than their going rate. The copper tokens simply didn’t pose this problem. This would go together with the fact that there are several worn copper tokens around, which wouldn’t make sense if they were fabricated decades later without being circulated.

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dennrein

Reply Part 2

 

Challenge 5:

 

Campbell himself said that the purpose of the tokens was to enable the Griquas to purchase small items (thus the small values, Campbell 1815: p. 256). Moffat also mentions that the inhabitants of Griquatown – which had shrunk owing to the Hartenaars rebellion but certainly was not a ghost town at the time (see Ross 1976: p. 19) – bothered the missionaries Evans and Hamilton, after their arrival in 1816, “worrying them for tobacco and other articles” (Moffat 1846: p. 59). The tokens therefore were most probably not issued for daily labour, but as trade tokens. This is in line with talk of going rates, while daily labour indeed makes no sense if ½ is to mean fifteen minutes. There is more arithmetic involved here than would have been expected from an uneducated peoples as the Griqua (also compare Simpson 1951: p. 10). This doesn’t mean that the tokens wouldn’t have played a role in paying for labour, but they probably weren’t intended exclusively as labour tokens.

Why the decimal values? I see two possibilities:

On the one hand the price of silver at the time Campbell had the token coins produced was at about 60 pence per ounce (Michell 1951: 372). The 10 and 5 piece token coins were as big as the British sixpence and shilling coins at the time (Boyne 1866: p. 17), i.e. 19mm and 2.8 grams (.0895 ounces), and 24mm and 5.7 grams (.1682 ounces) respectively, however the value of the actual silver material of the coins was worth less. They were effectively worth 5,37 pence (silver price times weight) and 10,1 pence. This could explain why they were minted as 5 and 10 piece coins.

On the other hand Campbell might have meant the coins to represent Dutch currency, seeing as this was in circulation in the Cape colony at the time and was only withdrawn gradually a couple of years later (starting 1826). This would mean that the token coins were minted in 1817 at the earliest. In 1817 the Dutch currency was decimalised, with one guilder equalling 100 cents and three guilders equalling one rijksdaalder or rixdollar. In 1817 a Dutch copper cent coin was struck, in 1818 the half copper cent and the silver five and ten cent were struck amongst others. The similarity with the Griqua tokens is striking - if you'll excuse the pun. However, the Dutch decimal system never really caught on in the Cape colony before being replaced by the British pound (compare Bowring 1854: p. 187-188; Philip 1828: p. 441-442).

 

Challenge 6:

 

Hern alleges the tokens circulated in the Klaarwater district. If the tokens circulated in 1820, then it might be that they went beyond Griqua Town itself, since Griqua and Koranna from the vicinity often frequented the town. There was trade within Griqualand and tokens might have been used when Griquas traded amongst themselves with either trading partner also regularly trading with the mission. But this kind of circulation was probably very limited. Additionally, by 1821 the Griqua nation had split into rivalling factions (Thompson 1827: p. 141) and was being put under pressure by neighbouring African nations (Hodgson 1836: 150) which would further have limited the scope of the token trade. And there was a lot of illegal barter going on between the Bergenaars, Boer and colonial traders, and the Bergenaars were certain not to support the missionaries’ token system (Philip 1828: p. 240, 293). Andries Waterboer’s Griquas would have hesitated trading with the mission as long as more interesting goods were to be had elsewhere, which troubled the missionaries. The name Klaarwater district was first mentioned by Burchell (1813: p. 361).

 

Challenge 7:

 

The token coins were certainly not a success. But Beaufort deputy landdrost John Baird estimated that about 15.000 rixdollars worth of goods were bought and sold at the Kookfontein fair between Griqua and colonial traders in 1819 (Beck 2007: p. 23). If it is correct that 10 rixdollars were equivalent to roughly 15 shillings in 1822 (Broadbent 1865: p. 17), then the revenue of that fair alone amounted to about 1.125 pounds sterling. In other words: the Griqua were a formidable trading nation in early 19th century South African terms. This contradicts other sources alleging that annual Griqua trade was merely worth fifty pounds (Arndt 1927: p. 127) or less than 100 rand (Rosenthal 1968: p. 18) at the time. It seems obvious that the amount of trade engaged in by the Griqua would have been the reason why Campbell came up with the idea for the token coins in the first place. The missionaries had in 1819 been expressly allowed by Graaff Reinet landdrost Andries Stockenstrom to buy goods in Cape Town that the Griquas felt were missing at the Kookfontein and Beaufort West fairs and sell them to them on their return in Griqua Town (Beck 2007: p. 22). There is no proof of any transactions being made with the trade token coins. The question is whether trade involving small amounts such as as the Griqua tokens indicate would have involved receipts. Probably not.

 

Thanks for reading my arguments and I look forward to your replies.

 

Regards

dennrein

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EWAAN Galleries

This also circulated first right?

 

 

Ancient & Shipwreck - South Africa’s FIRST COIN – De Mist 1/16 Scheepjesgulden of 1802 for sale in Cape Town (ID:26689567)

 

AND AND AND

 

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/26459930/1786_VOC_N_E_I_Gulden_NGC_XF40_Only_1_Graded_at_NGC.html

 

Both circulated before the S & Co. Tokens Right?

Edited by EWAAN Galleries

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Mike Klee

Hi!

1. My understanding is that the coins Ewaan Galleries referred to dated 1786 and 1802 were minted for the VOC and the Batavian Republic respectively - which incorporated Batavia, the Cape of Good Hope and certain other Dutch East Indies territories. Unlike the GQT coins/(tokens?), they were not specifically minted for only South Africa or a certain part (GQT) of South Africa - thus, they could not assume the mantle of "South Africa's First Coins".

2. Congratulations to Dennrein for quite a detailed response to Scott. I am looking forward to Scott's response.

Mike Klee

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First Currencies

 

With reference to Mike and EWAAN, this is what Pierre and I suggested on page three of this thread (my addition in bold):

 

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 at best 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

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Part One Response to Dennrein

 

Firstly, congratulations on doing some excellent research…

 

Challenge One (church members – 2,600):

 

There is no doubt that Parsons got his figure from the reference you give to Campbell (pg 256). What you omit is the following paragraph which reads, and I quote: The church, or Christian society, consists of twenty six men and sixteen women. There have been added during the twelve months TWO men and TWO women. (ie 42 members – not 26 as you suggest). With reference to Moffat and his book “Missionary Labours and Scenes in South Africa” (pg 137).. the full quote is “From other communications with Mr Anderson (the Resident Missionary) it also appears as 1809, the congregation consisted of 800 persons, who resided at or near the station during the whole, or greatest part of the year.” ie the community around Griquatown was some in 1809 was some 800 men, women and children – NOT church members. The congregation Moffat refers to is the number of people who lived or around Klaarwater/Griquatown.

CLARIFICATION: There are many independent reports (including those by Burchell) which clearly suggest that the missionaries grandly exaggerated the real position at Griquatown - so the 800 figure is, in itself, very questionable. In fact Moffat goes on to say on page 144 (see footnote) that it was only by the late 1830s that there were 520 church members in Griquatown. This comment clarifies his earlier comment quoting Anderson's 800 figure - in his own words (ie the "congregation" was not "church members" because in those early days (1809) very few Griqua attended church so there is no way the church membership would have decreased between 1809 and the late 1830s.

 

Furthermore, on page 359 (Vol One) Burchell states the following about Klaarwater/Griquatown in 1812: The number of Hottentots houses immediately round the church, is not greater than twenty-five; but at a distance, within the same valley, nearly as many more are scattered about; and there are three or four at Leeuwenkuil, a place between the mountains, and about a mile and a half distant. Within fifty miles, in various directions, are nearly a dozen other out-posts; but they are not always inhabited: of these, the largest is the Kloof. (Burchell's drawing of Klaawater is linked below.)

 

So Parsons

a) omitted the correct reference deliberately – or through very sloppy research and

b) the 800 figure you quote was NOT Church Members simply the population residing around Griquatown in 1809 and this figure is most probably inflated (see Burchell's comments above and his drawing below).

 

(Important note - Parson gives no credence to Burchell's book in his work. Burchell was and is now widely accepted as the writer portraying the most accurate record of these times. In the rare book market Burchell's first edition books sell for US$20,000 while Campbell's can be bought for a few hundred dollars.)

 

Burchell's drawing of Klaarwater/Griquatown in 1812 is linked here: http://www.tokencoins.com/griqua/gtown.jpg

 

Here are reviews of Campbell's first book (note how they question its accuracy time and again) http://www.tokencoins.com/book/c.htm#campbre

 

now compare that to the glowing review on Burchell's book: Works by Settlers and Travellers related to the Griquas

 

I have these original reviews in my book collection.

 

Challenge two:

 

You do not supply any contemporary proof that they circulated. There is none.

 

Challenge two, three and five (did the Griquatown tokens circulate were they “bound to trade” and their “value”):

 

Largely agree with what you say but you obviously could not find one reference to the tokens having traded which is somewhat surprising seeing the amount of literature written in c1820. None of the resident or visiting missionaries Moffat, Campbell or even Anderson make any reference to the tokens in letters or their printed works – while they cover every other aspect of Griqua life in great detail. What they do all talk about is the Griqua going with wagonloads of produce, livestock etc.. to the Beaufort West fair to trade for Rijksdaalder and guns etc. In fact in the extracts from Schoeman below you see the only reference to Griquatown tokens at this time. But first Helm makes very relevant comments (as this is at the very time we agree that the tokens were brought to Griquatown by Campbell in 1820). I have highlighted the key comments…

 

On page 131 to 133 Schoeman transcribes a letter written by the resident Griquatown missionary H Helm written to Dr John Philip in Cape Town on 21 June 1821 which reads as follows: Andries Waterboer has for some years assisted me in the school. Since he became Captain he could not regularly attend, as his duty required frequently his absence from home. I have therefore discharged him in May last. And indeed the school has not lost much in him. The natives like much to be preaches but not schoolmasters, if they think that work to be too mean or too troublesome I do not care. Br Anderson made the agreement with him that he would receive for payment 60 Rijksdaalders a year from the society. Having no money, he has for the last two years received nothing except 13 Rijksdaalders 4 Schillings. As most of the members of our Auxiliary Society have payed (sic) their contribution for the past year partly in money and partly in corn, sheep and goats, I have been able to give him about 36 Rijksdaalder more. He has therefore still to receive 70 Rijksdaalder 4 Schilling. Will you be so good as to send for him that sum by a safe opportunity. Of what I have received from the Griquas for our society I shall give an account as soon as all is payed. The greater part of the Griqua money is still in our Society’s property which Br Anderson when leaving delivered to my care. As Mr Campbell thought that Br Anderson had dispersed the silver pieces at too cheap rate, I asked him to let me know the real value of a piece of each which he promised to do, but I have as yet received no account and it is therefore still in my possession. I should be glad if you, dear sir, would have the goodness to inform me what I am to do with it.

 

Source: The Mission at Griquatown 1801-1821 - Karel Schoeman

 

Having no money.. if the tokens were indeed successfully traded then Helm would not say having no money… this clearly implies the Griqua refused to accept the tokens as “money”. Barter makes up part of the payment to Waterboer by Helmnot one Griquatown token is mentioned in any transaction between the Griquatown Mission and a Griqua. This sort of trade was the basis of your argument - but clearly it did not exist.

 

Secondly – the only reference to the tokens is highlighted at the end.. the greater part of the Griqua money is still in our possession… this clearly implies a few tokens were handed out initially but when the recipients could do nothing with them they became nothing more than trinkets and it is doubtful that even one, like the Burgerspond, actually circulated beyond this initial transaction – these are probably the tokens found in collections today.

 

Perhaps you can suggest an alternative to “hours” (or labour) – how else would those few tokens that were accepted by the Griqua be “paid” to them.

 

In summary my clinical view is that a few silver tokens were handed out but it is extremely doubtful, as Prof Arntd says in his quote below, that a single token ever circulated..

 

This is what Prof Arndt says about this issue in Banking and Currency Development in South Africa:

 

He quotes Hofstede and Gunning as references to support his proposal that Griquatown token coins never circulated: "not one farthing was in circulation".

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".

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Challenge - Part two

 

Challenge Four (the copper tokens)

 

Your response is complete supposition and assumption - there is no basis in fact. ie there are no references to support the view that the Griquatown copper pieces ever circulated at any time – let alone c1820. They could have been minted years later - like the Griqua "100" Copper coin from the original dies. It is this sort of supposition and assumption that has caused so many holes to appear in Parsons research as facts have come to light.

 

Challenge Five (decimal coinage v hours)

 

The five and ten values on the silver coins make perfect sense as day and half day tokens (ie labour based). That is something the Griqua would have been able to relate to. It is clear that the irregular weight and silver content of the tokens made it impossible for Campbell to get them accepted – probably the basis of the argument over their “value”.

 

You say...

Campbell himself said that the purpose of the tokens was to enable the Griquas to purchase small items (thus the small values, Campbell 1815: p. 256).

Campbell also says "supposing (first before the tokens are issued) a shop to be established amongst them" in that same quote... IT NEVER WAS. And that was the main reason the Griquatown tokens failed where the Strachan tokens thrived - because of the network of Strachan trading stores where the coins could be exchanged for goods. You see Campbell recognised that without a place to trade the Griquatown tokens were about as useful as an Australian dollar coin would be in a Cape Town newsagent today. That is why Campbell pleaded with traders to the south to accept them. They refused. If the traders refused to accept them why would the Griqua people in any transactions? They had no market.

 

Regardless of these facts – like in four above, everything you have said is complete supposition and assumption and has no basis in fact.

 

Challenge Six (Klaarwater district)

 

Klaarwater ceased to exist in 1813. There is no Klaarwater District between Kimberley and Griquatown (the region “near Kimberley” is specifically mentioned by Hern) at any time in the history of that region. (See my earlier post with linked scanned maps). Let us remember that Hern specifically refers to and I quote: 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. This is his quote, not mine. Show me a region called the Klaarwater District and I will reconsider - the district Hern refers to is clearly FIRST called HERBERT - as per my earlier post. The name for the Cambell district remains Herbert today.

 

I should say that this point is unrelated to the thrust of my argument as we both agree that the circulation of the token was not a success among the Griqua at Griquatown so how less likely would it be in casual encounters between Griqua Bergenaars under Cornelius Kok (who despised both Anderson and Waterboer) in the Campbell region?

 

Challenge Seven: (Beaufort Fair)

 

John Baird is talking about the Griqua coming to the annual Beaufort West Fair with wagon loads of ivory etc and exchanging them for guns, brandy and Rijksdaalder. In Griquatown, if the missionaries were unable to get the people to accept their tokens for labour etc.. how less likely is it that the Griqua would trade the coins between themselves. I would have thought that that point was self-evident. It is well known that the Griqua could exchange Rijksdaalder for their goods with traders to the south at this time - that's why they happily accepted them in exchange for goods at Beaufort West. Importantly most of the exchanges undertaken by the Griqua were barter - like ivory and cattle for guns, brandy and powder - supporting their "Bergenaar (horse riding - hunting and roaming)" lifestyle that drove the missionaries at Griquatown crazy.

 

My summary of the debate is as follows:

The Griqua Tokens were the first token range minted for SA but at best saw very limited circulation (ie they failed in their purpose as a form of currency)

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Unanswered challenges

 

Hi Dennrein

 

With reference to the above...

 

The following challenges remain unamswered:

 

Challenge #2

a) Show me just one contemporary reference that suggests that they actually circulated c1820. We are not looking for assumption here - we need facts.

 

Challenge #3

a) Show me just one contemporary reference to the copper (or silver) tokens circulating in 1820

b) Please explain the relative scarcity of the copper pieces to the silver "if they were currency" when one considers that it takes ten copper 1/2 pieces to change one silver FIVE if that "currency" was based on decimalisation"; and

c) Why the Missionaries only refer to SILVER tokens in their correspondence back then.

 

Challenge #6 -

a) Provide just ONE authentic reference to the Griquatown coins being used in a single trade at any time at any place.

b) Why is it recorded that barter and the Rijksdaalder ruled in Griquatown at this time and continued to do so long after 1820?

c) Where did they trade the coins seeing there was no trading post - let alone a store in the region.

d) Why does Campbell not mention HIS coins in his book if they were a success?

 

There is one common denominator (highlighted in blue above) - a complete lack of reference to the tokens in any contemporary literature. This is a fact. Without Helm's 1821 letter (Schoeman) we would have had no reference to the tokens even being at Griquatown. This is FIVE YEARS after Parsons claims they had been sent back to England.

 

After studying this area for a long, long time I share your frustration in trying to find any EVIDENCE of the tokens actually circulating in a single trade beyond initial distribution - probably in exchange for labour.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Hi Dennrein

 

Some key points we now agree on that go against what we read in many coin books (source Parsons) - this has been the thrust of my campaign over many years to try to correct basic errors in our numismatic history:

1) The tokens DID NOT circulate in 1815-16 - more likely c1820 and for a very short time frame if (in my view) at all.

2) They were not issued as COINS they were issued as TOKENS

3) They DID NOT CIRCULATE WIDELY and their introduction was NOT successful. In a best case scenario any circulation was very limited and for a very short time frame. Importantly there is NOTHING RECORDED ANYWHERE to support the view that they circulated at all.

4) There is a question mark over the COPPER 1/4 and 1/2 tokens as no reference is made to them and (in my view) their low values make no sense when it comes to giving out change for silver tokens.

5) There is no KLAARWATER DISTRICT near Kimberley. There was a settlement called Klaarwater 150km away but this was renamed Griquatown in 1813. (ie before the tokens first arrived in Griquatown).

6) The basis of the VALUE of the silver tokens is debatable. In my view they were issued against labour with the "FIVE" and "TEN" representing day and half day. There is no proof of this assumption that I make or to the earlier suggestion that they were a form of decimal coinage.

 

Now, if you read my opening post in this thread refuting Hern's claims (written in red) you will see that we are largely in agreement with these opening comments I make.

 

Thank you so much for taking time to do your own research and participating in the debate - while we might not agree 100% on everything, I think we have general agreement on the core issues regarding the Griquatown tokens.

 

I welcome any other challenges on my research.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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