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Pierre_Henri

​The Griqua Coinage Time Line

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Pierre_Henri

The Griqua Coinage Time Line

 

John Campbell visited the Griqua for the first time in August 1813 and discussed the issuing of coins.

 

In May 1814, Campbell’s report on his findings was delivered at the Missionaries Societies annual meeting in London.

 

In May 1815, at the annual meeting of the Missionaries Societies in London, the Griqua coinage is not mentioned (as far as I can find out).

 

In May 1816, it is reported that the Directors of the Missionary Society are procuring coinage for the Griquas. The report focussed on the year 1815 up to the first months of 1816.

 

From this I deduce that the procurement process happened between May 1815 and May 1816.

 

During this period, there were at least two items that were procured by the London Missionary Society for Griquatown, being the coins and a printing press. By May 1817, the printing press was already in operation at the mission. The coins could have been sent with the printing press but we do not have proof of that.

 

In August 1820 Campbell had a discussion at Griquatown regarding the passing of the coins in the Cape Colony (the missionaries told Campbell that if it would pass in the colony the Griquas would readily take it). It was probably during this meeting that “Campbell thought that Br Anderson had dispersed the silver pieces at too cheap rate” and Helm ask Campbell to let him know ”the real value of a piece of each” which Campbell promised to do. (We do have further correspondence in this regard)

 

In June 1821, some of the coins were already dispersed to the Griqua by the Missionary Anderson

 

Anderson left Griquatown in February 1820 so the coins were dispersed before that date.

 

So the coins must have been delivered to the Griquas after May 1815 but before February 1820.

If one looks at the time lines Parson gave in his Booklet in 1927 (that have been so vilified by Scott Balson) one would see that NOTHING that Parsons says in terms of dates, contradicts with the above.

 

Parsons says Campbell visited Griquatown (Klaarwater then) in 1813 – that is correct

 

Parsons says that Campbell returned to England in 1814 – that is correct

 

Parsons says that the coins were send to South Africa in two consignments in 1815 and 1816. We know that the coins were delivered to the Griquas after May 1815 but before February 1820. So Parsons cannot be wrong when he gave those dates. If Parsons said the coins were sent BEFORE 1815 of AFTER 1820, then he would have been wrong.

 

What does Balson says about the dates? – click here and see the notes and comments in red –

 

http://www.tokencoins.com/parsons/

 

Firstly Balson says that there are no records that the coins were minted in 1815/16. Balson lies. It was exactly during this period that the Missionary Society’s report on 10 May 1816 clearly states that “the Directors are now procuring for them a coinage of silver tokens”.

 

Secondly, Balson states “In fact Schoeman's research shows that the London Missionary Society were talking about having silver tokens issued in 1817 because there was no money in Griquatown at that time

 

How can one respond to absolute nonsense like this – where Balson got this crap from only he will know? Nobody EVER said anything about the tokens being issued in 1817. And Balson attacks Parsons for spreading lies?

 

In the past 90 years since Parsons wrote his booklet on Griqua Coinage, NOT ONE SINGLE piece of information has come to light disapproving his statements – literately nothing.

 

Balson lies have catapulted early South African numismatics back into the dark ages. But do not underestimate him. His nonsense about the Griqua pieces has caught on and are believed by respected companies like Stanley Gibbons (who are primarily stamp dealers) that has recently stated that (hold your breath) the Griqua coinage…

 

“… Were made in London around 1815 but probably never got to South Africa until around 1820 or after when they were brought over by the Rev. John Campbell. By that time the reasons for their use had gone - or at least, the Griqua refused to accept them having got used to the larger silver Dutch Rijksdaalders…”

 

How does one respond to this? No such coin as a Rijksdaalder existed at the time or for generations before that time.

 

Guess where Stanley Gibbons got their nonsense regarding the Griqua coinage from?

 

Balson has now also tried to infiltrate mediums like Wikipedia with his nonsense regarding the Griqua coinage but lucky they have shown him the door. So has BidorBuy who has banned him and so has EBay

 

See here

 

http://www.network54.com/Forum/169329/thread/1177587602/last-1177587602/Scott+Balson+-+Australia

 

It will be a very long road to rebuild the credibility of the Griqua pieces again, but 5 stars to the SA Mint who have just issued the 200-year (1815-2015) commemorative Griqua R5.

 

Pierre

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Mike Klee

I also found it confusing re references to Dutch Rijksdaalders or rix dollars. Going through Government Proclamations from 1806 to 1825, one is struck by the frequent reference to rix dollars - mostly referring to rix dollars which needed to be removed from circulation because they were discoloured/worn out/ stained/ unuseable, together with notices re the printing of replacements for the same. The amounts involved are huge.

 

In other words, the rix dollars in circulating at the Cape between 1806 and 1825 was paper money.

 

There had been large silver coins in circulation, but by the early 1800's there was such a shortage here of silver coinage that the Governor prohibited the export of such specie from the Cape - the most common silver specie circulating at this locality being..... Spanish pieces of eight.

Edited by Mike Klee

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Pierre_Henri

As a matter of interest, in 1940 some Griqua pieces were examined by J.T. Becklake, who was the last Deputy Master of the Royal Mint Pretoria & the First Director of the South African Mint. His findings were published years later in July 1955 in the first issue of De Nummis, the journal of the Transvaal Numismatic Society.

 

He compared the weights, diameters and thickness of the Griqua token coins that were in the collections of the Mint in Pretoria, Spink in London, the Africana Museum in Johannesburg and a private Transvaal collector, Mr. Roos, to whom he refers to as the late Mr. Roos, who must have died before 1940.

 

Spink only had a quarter penny and 5-pence piece in their collection (stock) but both the Pretoria Mint and the Africana museum in Johannesburg, as well as the late Mr. Roos, had examples of all four the Griqua coins (copper ¼ and ½ pieces and silver 5 and 10 pence pieces)

 

Becklake specifically states that the copper farthing and half-penny in the Roos collection were “worn pieces” as were the obverse of the quarter penny in the Pretoria Mint’s collection.

Edited by Pierre_Henri

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Ni28
and a private Transvaal collector, Mr. Roos, to whom he refers to as the late Mr. Roos, who must have died before 1940.

 

The Mr Roos you referring to is probably the famous politician Tielman Roos. For the Huisgenoot of 2 June 1933 he wrote an article on Suid-Afrikaanse Munstukke under the name J. De V. Roos (his correct initials). The editor mentioned that the author possessed one of the most interesting collections of South African coins. The article included a photograph of his 4 Griqua coins, but unfortunately it is not clear enough to see if they were worn. The coins look in a pretty good condition to me, however.

 

There is a lengthy description of the Griqua coins in the article. Some of the interesting comments are (and I quote directly apologies to those who do not understand this old Afrikaans):

 

Op die keersy wat nie aangewys word nie verskyn die duif van die Ark met die olyftak in sy bek.

 

Die feit bly dat die eerste aanmunting van geld volgens Europese voorbeeld vir die dele van Suid-Afrika wat in die Unie val nie vir die witmense was nie maar vir die Basterds, en dat die aanmunting op die tiendelige stelsel plaasgevind het, wat die Unie tot vandag toe nie bereik het nie, en wat, as dit eendag bereik word, die toekomstige kinders van die Unie volgens berekening een jaar skoolgaan sal bespaar.

 

The most valuable and interesting part of the article is his introduction, however. It is fascinating to see how people of the 1930s were thinking:

 

Elke mens behoort een of ander liefhebbery te he om hom besig te hou as hy van sy werk tuis kom en om hom weg te hou van die sieldodende en op die duur geldrowende bioskoop. Twintig jaar gelede, toe ek hoof was van die Departement van Justisie, het dit my getref hoe magistrate na hulle aftrede op sestigjarige leeftyd net op die stoep sit en koffie drink, een na die ander voor hulle tyd wegval.

 

So there you have it. Keep the coin hobby going and avoid the movies to ensure longevity!

 

Edited by Ni28

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ATA STAMP CENTRE

The Mr Roos you referring to is probably the famous politician Tielman Roos. For the Huisgenoot of 2 June 1933 he wrote an article on Suid-Afrikaanse Munstukke under the name J. De V. Roos (his correct initials). The editor mentioned that the author possessed one of the most interesting collections of South African coins. The article included a photograph of his 4 Griqua coins, but unfortunately it is not clear enough to see if they were worn. The coins look in a pretty good condition to me, however.

 

There is a lengthy description of the Griqua coins in the article. Some of the interesting comments are (and I quote directly apologies to those who do not understand this old Afrikaans):

 

Op die keersy wat nie aangewys word nie verskyn die duif van die Ark met die olyftak in sy bek.

 

Die feit bly dat die eerste aanmunting van geld volgens Europese voorbeeld vir die dele van Suid-Afrika wat in die Unie val nie vir die witmense was nie maar vir die Basterds, en dat die aanmunting op die tiendelige stelsel plaasgevind het, wat die Unie tot vandag toe nie bereik het nie, en wat, as dit eendag bereik word, die toekomstige kinders van die Unie volgens berekening een jaar skoolgaan sal bespaar.

 

The most valuable and interesting part of the article is his introduction, however. It is fascinating to see how people of the 1930s were thinking:

 

Elke mens behoort een of ander liefhebbery te he om hom besig te hou as hy van sy werk tuis kom en om hom weg te hou van die sieldodende en op die duur geldrowende bioskoop. Twintig jaar gelede, toe ek hoof was van die Departement van Justisie, het dit my getref hoe magistrate na hulle aftrede op sestigjarige leeftyd net op die stoep sit en koffie drink, een na die ander voor hulle tyd wegval.

 

So there you have it. Keep the coin hobby going and avoid the movies to ensure longevity!

 

Brilliant,thanks for that.

I have one or two retired judges that purchase stamps regularly,may they live long and prosperous lives :)

Neil

 

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Pierre_Henri

I have just stumbled upon something very interesting regarding the Griqua coinage time line.

 

The last contemporary report we have regarding the Griqua coinage was the letter that the missionary H Helm wrote to Dr John Philip in 1821 regarding the dispersing of the coins at Griquatown.

 

Then for 45 years there is nothing more written about the Griqua coinage that we know of. It was only in 1866 that William Boyne in his book on English & Colonial silver tokens refers to them and says.

 

"I cannot learn on what occasion (date) these were struck, but it seems likely, from conversation I have had with residents of our South African colonies, that they were issued by the London Missionary Society for the Griquas ..."

 

I always thought it strange that for 45 years there was this big silence. I also thought that the "conversation Boyne had with residents of our South African colonies" refers to conversations he had in England with visiting South Africans, or that he was referring to written correspondence. And that the correspondence dates to the middle 1860s

 

I was wrong on all three accounts.

 

The truth is that 20 years earlier, in the mid-1840s, William Boyne personally visited South Africa on "a voyage to Port Natal and Cape of Good Hope colonies, with journey into the interior of both"

 

I am virtually sure that it was during these travels that he learnt of the Griqua coinage "from conversation I have had with residents of our South African colonies"

 

Now suddenly, the 45 year silence is almost halved.

 

Boyne left journals of his travels which with other of his correspondence and papers were donated by William Harshaw in 1992 to the University of Toronto Library. (William Harshaw collection of William Boyne papers Coil. 298: Accession Number: RB.MS.92.017)

 

https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/s...es/harshaw.pdf

Edited by Pierre_Henri

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