Written by Scott Balson and published by Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd in January 2004:

Back cover overview of "The Griquas of South Africa and their Money "

"The Griquas of South Africa and their Money" is an extraordinary book in many ways.

It begins by giving an outline of the history of the "Bastard" people who were cast out of the Cape in the 1700s. The history of the Griqua people, whose origins came from the Hottentots, is woven into the fascinating history of their coinage. The book challenges many of the widely accepted misconceptions and romantic notions about the actual use of John Campbell's (1766-1840) "coins" allegedly issued in 1815.

It is clear from this carefully researched book that the Griqua town token coins were never used by the Griquas and were, therefore, not South Africa's first currency.

Back cover of the book "The Griquas of South Africa and their money" continues:

However, it is clear that the Strachan and Co tokens, issued in the same year as the Burgerspond (1874), were used by the Griquas in Nomansland (in a remote area on the eastern side of South Africa)! Importantly the book provides many unique insights into the money actually used and produced by the Griquas.

Images right and above: Two of many colour plates in the book - map and rare tokens from the East Griqualand region

The printing and then destruction of the extremely rare Griqua Pond note is covered in detail, with the book providing a unique and fascinating insight into the workings of the Griqua Parliament that ordered its production. The unissued note, dated 1868, was destroyed after one of the major players in the book, Donald Strachan, personally intervened and stopped its circulation.

The 1890 Proof Griqua Town Pennies are discussed and various theories that have been canvassed by numismatists in the past when trying to provide a background to their minting are either rejected or validated using careful research. This fact alone makes this book an important addition to anyone who has an interest in Griqua or South African coins.

Perhaps the most important chapters in this book cover the acceptance of the Strachan and Co trade tokens as a regional currency for over 50 years in Nomansland an area larger in size than the independent South African states of Swaziland and Lesotho. The argument supporting this claim cannot be disputed with references to Rev W Dower's book "The early annals of Kokstad and East Griqualand" and the Standard bank in Kokstad's fact sheet covering their 125 year history of doing business in East Griqualand (see PDF linked to image below right).

Also included in this book is a detailed history of the F C Larkan token coins - the only South African tokens issued by a woman. The histories of the Larkan tokens and those of Strachan and Co are intertwined and reflect the importance of trade tokens to the very existence of remote outposts like Nomansland in the 1800s.

The book also carries comprehensive statistical information on the four sets of Strachan and Co and the various F C Larkan token varieties, their values (which are now set to rise dramatically) and, uniquely for tokens, estimates on the tokens minted based on coins counted by the author back in the 1970s.

This is a fascinating work which will, without doubt, become the future reference book for numismatists and coin dealers trading in the coins of the Griqua people.

The author, Scott Balson, has a unique collection of Griqua coins and bank notes collected over a period of 25 years. He has already written six books on various subjects including the highly sought after work "Kence, the trade tokens of Strachan and Co" which was published in 1978 and covers his research into the S&Co tokens at that time. Finally the book has ten colour plates which give a glimpse into the life and times of the Griqua people and includes a number of pages with the Griqua coinage as well as rare and unique coinage from that region.

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Chapters in the book "The Griquas of South Africa and their money":

Colour plates:

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Book Orders (Sold Out):

PLEASE NOTE THE BOOK IS NOW SOLD OUT Order the book by mail in Australian dollars from this link. The paperback book, has 44 pages and a further 10 pages of colour plates with historical photos, maps and high quality coin images. The book sells for US$20. Postage US$5 per order.  (Note the first 20 copies of the book numbered and signed by Scott Balson and carrying a Strachan and Co 3d "In Goods" attached to the end of a thin leather bookmark and bound into the book have now been sold. The coins in these first 20 books were included to commemorate the Griqua Pond bank note carried in Dower's book "The Early annals of Kokstad and East Griqualand").

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Feedback on book from key collectors:

Hi Scott,

Received your new token book and eagerly devoured it! Well done! Lots of new info that answers many key questions about the Griqua and leads one to search for more.

Keep in touch,

Rege Podraza, USA
(Rege Podraza is a major collector of Griqua coins)
Rege's web site

Dear Scott

The book will be a joy and a jealously guarded addition to my library. This boasts several thousand books and reference works, mostly on British coins - some going back to Cromwellian times - but, more importantly now, a belatedly burgeoning collection of reference works on our own series. The illustrations are great. They add that little extra touch of class. It's AWSOME, and thanks again.

Allyn Jacobs (S Africa)
(Allyn Jacobs is a major collector of Griqua coins and played a major research role in the publication of Hern's book on S African tokens)

Dear Scott

I finished reading your book last night. I enjoyed it and it is always nice to come across new information about the company. I always thought that the minting of the tokens was a shrewd business move but I never realised that they were so widely used in the Transkei. I wish I had read your book before printing mine as I would have made more of a fuss of the tokens. Thank you for the complimentary review of my book on your website. I enjoyed the homework pun! Your website makes the company live beyond 1984. It would be sad if all that history was forgotten.


Milner Snell
Trustee, Kokstad Museum

Hi Scott

Have been trying to find any evidence that the Griqua town token coins been used in and around Griqua Town for more than a year now and could not find any.

Looks like old Campbell was just a dreamer.

Keep up the good work Scott and stay in touch.


About South Africa

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Bullet Point Summary of over 50 Key Points exposing the Griqua town token coin fallacy

In response to Pierre Henri Nortje

Scan of the comment by Rev John Campbell published
in his 1815 book covering his first trip to South Africa.
Scan of the misleading extract out of the book recording Rev John Campbell's first visit to South Africa (1813) that is constantly referred to by numismatists. This fantasy is predicated on this statement "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" (ie used on the same basis of the success of the Strachan & Co currency tokens). My additions clarifying basis shown in brackets and in red. Without a shop how would they have traded the coins? There was no shop at Griquatown until decades later! The Griquatown "coins" were never anything more than novelty pieces and were NEVER used as coinage by the Griqua.   Read below to see that any claim they were currency is ridiculous.

Disrgarding the many facts detailed with links below one has to look no further than the experience of the owners of the Strachan stores in East Griqualand fifty years later. They also initially issued tokens in 1870 with no holes in them.

Despite the fact the stores offered a place to trade the coins (something that did not exist in Griquatown in the 1820s) the son of the founder of Strachan and Co wrote in his diary notes certified as accurate by the last Managing Director of the company, Ken Strachan:

The first minting was, like the others, done in England, and it is thought to be prior to 1880, probably as early as 1870. This was not a success as it had no hole near the rim and could not be strung on a string around the owners neck - the natives having no purses in those days.

Its logical that the Griquatown tokens fifty years earlier would have faced exactly the same hurdle as they had no hole and this would have been exacerbated by the fact that there was no trading store to use them.

Source: Complete diary note scanned from page 9 of the book "Kence the trade tokens of Strachan and Co" published in 1978 by Scott Balson and Prof Clive Graham

In March 2017, Morgan Carroll's contracted independent research on the subject of the Griquatown tokens through a highly qualified researcher, Ann Stuart.

Click on the large text below in the red box to see the highly detailed 12 page research supporting and endorsing Balson's prior research carried below that, regardless of intent, the Griquatown tokens were a complete failure and never circulated.

(to see the controversial "Griqua town token coins" click on image right)

The Cape Coloured People 1652-1932 by J S Marais, is a lengthy and well researched work (over 60 books referenced). The book includes a detailed report on the Griquas at Griqua Town (Chapter II pgs 32-73) but makes no reference to any coinage being used there. Marais, the Professor of History at the University of the Witwatersrand, refers at length to Campbell's book and the meeting where the Bastards adopted the name "Griqua", incorporated new laws and in which Campbell mentions the idea of coins. It is clear that Marais had, by his omission, completely discounted the theory that Griqua town token coins had ever circulated at Griquatown. This observation is supported by Marais' own commentary in the book that between 1814 and 1820 Griqua Town was a "ghost town".

His views,as will be seen in the points below are supported by the research of Prof Arndt (University of Pretoria) and South African researcher and historian Karel Schoeman.

FACT: The "1815/16" (should be 1820) Griqua town token coins have no demonstrable relevance to South African numismatics at all (apart from being a failed experiment).

    Facts confirming that they were nothing more than token coins

  1. There is no date on these coins, this is common to patterns and token coins - no one is sure when they were minted.
  2. The London Missionary Society's (LMS) report 1815-16 states that there was "no money in Griquatown" - (Karel Schoeman) source here.
  3. In 1816 the LMS report on the Griquatown Mission refers to the Directors procuring for the Griqua a coinage of silver tokens (source here).
  4. There is no identifiable denomination on the coins (like other South African tokens)
  5. There are several records of the Griqua town token coins being struck in other metals like gold and even others with a value of "100" - common to patterns - see images right and below.
  6. Trade token coins issued in South Africa from 1860 (such as Durban Club; Strachan and Co) to 1932 all carried values based on British currency - such as 3d, 6d, 1/- and 2/-.

    Practical reasons why Griqua town token coins never circulated and did not exist in 1815/16

  7. The bronze pieces are as rare or rarer than the silver pieces - common to pattern issues and making the concept of giving change a nonsense
  8. The gap between the "IIIII" in silver and the 1/2 in bronze requires ten coins to change just one silver - a nonsense, no currency has a gap this big and as the bronze are so rare how could giving change work? Read Scott's view on the values here.
  9. Campbell's own letters in 1820 (see Schoeman reference in links above) confirm that their acceptance by the Griqua depended upon the Dutch trading stores south of the Orange River accepting them. They never did, nobody did.
  10. The reason trading stores refused to accept them is quite simple. The coins had no parity with British coins or the Rijksdaalder making them useless and no "value" was ever agreed upon for the silver pieces. The reason Helm never circulated them and the reason the Griqua refused to accept them.
  11. There is strong evidence that Rev Campbell brought these token coins to South Africa in 1820 on his second trip long after they were supposed to have circulated and been withdrawn.
    Image right: The Griqua 100 Pattern in bronze passed in on eBay in 2008 with a reserve of "just" US$3,000
  12. There was no store at Griquatown in 1815/16 or even in the 1820s
  13. There was no bank at Griquatown in 1815/16 - the first bank appeared there 100 years later in the 1900s.
  14. There was nothing on which to base their introduction into the community at Griquatown
  15. Helm complained in writing in 1821 that the Griquas refused to accept the token coins - source here.
  16. Traders south of the Orange River refused to accept the coins making them worthless - source here.
  17. The entire "trade" of the Griquas (spread throughout the region) in 1815 was only worth ZAR100 per annum - even this figure (by Campbell's own admission is exaggerated). Reference to trade claim "From Barter to Barclays" by Eric Rosenthal.
  18. Even Campbell noted in his second trip in 1820 that regular trades did not exist in Griquatown
  19. All trade in Griquatown at and after this time was by barter - as described in various reports by Missionaries and hunters.
  20. Griqua Town was a "ghost town" in 1815/16 (the time it is alleged they "circulated as currency" - the population scattered in 1814. Campbell confirms just under Griqua 700 adults spread across the entire region in 1813 BEFORE they scattered.
  21. The resident population of Griquatown scattered in 1814 returning to their nomadic lifestyle after a major fall out with the missionary, Anderson. Less than 100 men, women and children remained.
  22. The Griqua population lost faith in Anderson in 1814 so why would the few that remained in Griquatown have any faith in Anderson's token coins? See Rev Philips comments on this here.. note no mention is made by him of any Griquatown coins.
  23. The coins were not holed so could not be carried with their beads around their necks - they would have been lost. Examples of holed copies found today are those used as jewellery - but never circulated.

    Lack of mention in contemporary records

  24. There is no contemporary written record of the coins ever circulating at Griquatown (not even by the Missionaries Moffat, Philip, the resident missionary Anderson, Livingstone or Campbell or in the LMS Reports). For example, in Robert Moffat's book "Labors and Scenes in Southern Africa" the missionary covers Griqua life at Griquatown at this time in details - including the dramatic fallout with Anderson. Not one mention is made at any time in this book of "Griquatown coins". (See pages 100-150). More on the book at this link
  25. While there is mention of silver Griquatown tokens by Helm, Campbell and others in 1820 NOT ONE MENTION is made of the bronze 1/4 or 1/2 pieces. There is no contemporary evidence that they were actually minted for use at or arrived at Griquatown. Could this explain while they are as rare as the silver pieces. ie only a few were minted at a later date and these bronze pieces are totally irrelevant to South African numismatics.
  26. The coins were only issued after 1816 - as in the LMS report (1815-16) they talk about issuing silver token coins as there was no money in the region. (Source Karel Schoeman, "The Mission at Griquatown 1801 - 1821".)
  27. Both Moffat and Campbell refer to Rix Dollars being occasionally accepted by Griquas when trading in the Cape before and after 1815/16
  28. In Campbell's 1834 personally edited journal of his first trip he omits any reference to the Griquatown token coins (the 1815 book on Campbell's travels to South Africa is a transcript of his diary compiled on this same trip). His omission confirms the fantasy - details and scans at this link
  29. Not one Griqua met by Balson  know anything about these coins. (Balson has met with the leadership of all the main Griqua communities around S Africa in 2006 and 2007). The only leader to have heard about them was Waterboer at Griquatown and that is because of coin collectors approaching him in the past. (Griqua history is verbalised and past events are recorded in stories and fables passed down from father to son - none mention the Griquatown token coins). 
  30. The Rev John Philip accompanied Rev John Campbell on his second trip to South Africa - having been in the country from the early 1810s. In Volume Two of his 1828 book "Researches in South Africa" he quotes the London Missionary Society's William Anderson verbatim at length. Anderson while describing life at Griquatown makes NO REFERENCE AT ANY TIME to the "Griquatown token coins" (pg 57-62) during any period. A scan of this evidence can be seen by going to Google Books at this link, searching on "Anderson" or the relevant extract copied to this website at this link.
  31. There is not one mention of the tokens as assets in the detailed records of the assets of the London Missionary Society in Griquatown at this time. See the detailed report here.
  32. In the 1995 book Weapons of Peace by Peter S Anderson the author, a descendant of William and Johanna Anderson, makes no mention of the Griquatown token coins while relating their lives in Griquatown. In this 200 page softcover book Peter had access to original letters written by Anderson and talks at length about the fall out Anderson had with the missionary in 1814 resulting in Griquatown becoming a ghost town. In fact the author states it is extremely unlikely in this 2016 email to Balson that the tokens circulated and found no mention in William Anderson's letters or journals of that time. Source.
  33. Karel Schoeman's book on "The mission at Griquatown 1800-1821 based on extensive research into the London Missionary Society and Cape Archives reflects the fact that the coins were a dismal failure and never circulated
  34. Prof Arndt's 1928 book... The coins were of four denominations, viz: ¼ and ½ in copper and IIIII and 10 in silver. These were sent at a time whn 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 (p 127) "Banking and Currency Development in South Africa 1652-1927"). The relevant footnote states: Hofstede, p 89; Gunning p 172. No information is available as to the amount that was issued. Campbell, strange to say, has nothing to say on his currency and his codes of law in his book on his second visit to South frica in 1819.

    Campbell, the weak man, prone to drinking and fantasizing

  35. Moffat clearly slates Campbell as being a liar and "building castles in the air" and
  36. states that Campbell was a drunk who, in this state, would fantasize, eg the diary note about introducing coins transcribed in the book on his first trip to South Africa (1815) - and scanned above.
  37. Campbell admits in his own writings he was prone to writing fantasy Source his book: Walks of Usefulness 
  38. The Quarterly Review (1815) slammed Campbell's book as nothing more than a largely inaccurate record of his trip. The 22 page review provides documentary evidence of lies and distortions in the work in which Campbell flags the idea of having coins made for the Griqua.   

    Interestingly, the use of the dove and olive branch image, the emblem of the London Missionary Society, was first used in the 1790s on token pieces issued for the London Corresponding Society (LCS) run by a group of individuals wanting to reform the British Parliament - more on LCS at Wikipedia. The two groups were closely aligned. These earlier tokens sell today for just a few dollars (see image right). 

    The practical reasons the Griquatown token coins failed

  39. Without a store how and where would they have traded them?
  40. The only place they could be traded was south of the Orange River and trading stores DID NOT recognise them - source here.
  41. The Griquas were illiterate - could not read nor write - there was no school north of the Orange river
  42. The Griquas could not count - they would not have known what to do with the coins or how to use them. (Let's get real. How could a Griqua understand fractions? A large percentage of today's "educated" adult population doesn't!)
  43. The Griquas were inherently "lazy" and not industrious - their only traditional activities were shepherding their livestock, hunting and barter.
  44. The entire male population in the region around Griquatown was just 291 in 1815, see points below, and this number fluctuated greatly as it was a transient population - many living off plunder and the chase.
  45. The Griqua leader Waterboer refused to accept the Griquatown token coins and was paid for his services in Rijksdaalder - source here.
  46. The Griquas would leave Griquatown and travel inland to other settlements for months at a time hunting and horse riding
  47. Between 1814-20, the very time the coins were supposed to be circulated in Griquatown, the settlement became a "ghost town" with just a few few nomadic Griquas using the station as a temporary camp before moving on.
  48. The only permanent resident at Griquatown in 1815/16 was the Missionary William Anderson, the only gardens those of the Missionary.
  49. As recorded by Rev Philip the Griqua lost trust in the London Missionary Society's resident missionary Anderson over the Cape Regiment fiasco in 1814.
  50. In 1812 BEFORE Griquatown became a ghost town it boasted just 25 traditional Griqua huts (made of branches and mud), three kraals for livestock, a Church, a Missionary store room (for produce harvested from the Missionary's garden) and the Missionary's mud house (see image below).
  51. In 1821 Rev Helm refers to having a bag of Griquatown token coins that were never used and asks the Society what they wanted to do with them. (Source Karel Schoeman, "The Mission at Griquatown 1801 - 1821".)

    How did fantasy become "fact"?

  52. All subsequent references to the Griquatown token coins being "accepted as currency in Griqua Town in 1815/16" can be tracked back to just one article - by H A Parsons - republished from an earlier Spinks catalogue in 1927
  53. Many of Parson's assumptions made in this article have been shown on this page to be flawed and not based on fact (for example his fabricated claim that they circulated from 1815-16)
  54. Parson's research is extraordinarily poorly researched. He documents the limited (three) sources behind his work - naming only Moffat, Livingstone and Campbell (not his later work where he omits any reference to the coins). The all-telling drawing by Burchell, below, and Philip's telling observations were somehow overlooked.
  55. As recently as 2008 Brian Hern in his catalogue on South African coins continued to push the lie that the Griqua town token coins circulated in 1815/16. Hern is aware of this website and has never replied to the facts presented above. You can see Balson's responses to Hern's most recent claims at this link.
  56. The reason the points above are ignored by Messrs Hern etc.. are financial. If they were bona-fide numismatists they would either enter into a debate on this issue, do their own research in what has been raised here and rebut the evidence or accept that the whole thing is a hoax.  Spink have already accepted that Parsons was wrong.

If you are still not convinced then look at the drawing below of Griquatown as at June 1812 - a picture tells a thousand words. The drawing was undertaken by William Burchell on behalf on the Missionaries at Griquatown and is bound into his book "Travels into the Interior of South Africa" (See Volume One page 282)... click the thumbnail image below to see details... Moffat reports Griquatown as appearing the same ten years later - long after the Griqua town token coins were supposed to have circulated there "as currency".
Travels in the interior of South Africa - William Burchell Extract pg 350-52 (volume one) But the first glance now convinced me how false may oftentimes be the notions which men form of what they have not seen. The trees of my imagination vanished, leaving nothing in reality but a few which the missionaries themselves had planted; the church sunk to a barn-like building of reeds and mud; the village was merely a row of half a dozen reed cottages; the river was but a rill; and the situation an open, bare, and exposed place, without any appearance of a garden, excepting that of the missionaries.

Scott Balson's visits to Griquatown:

Burchell's 1812 drawing of Griquatown from his book

See Scott Balson's visit to Griquatown in 2006 where he photographs the small settlement today from half way up the watertank above the spot where Burchell drew this image.

See Scott Balson's visit to Griquatown in 2007 where, during his book launch of "Children of the Mist", he photographs the small settlement today from the top of the watertank above the spot this image by Burchell was drawn.

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'n Griekwa "Ietsigeit" - rare book by D H Van Zyl claims coins minted in 1874

The foreword of this book by E G Jansen tells us that van Zyl studied the Griqua and the Bushmen in the first half of the 1900s. The Internet and the foreword tells us that van Zyl was a Senator who accompanied an expedition in 1950 to "study and document how the bushmen lived".

What is know is that Senator van Zyl had a special interest in the Griqua - as reflected by the photos he took in Griquatown of the Waterboer family and other Griqua communities in the region. In his book he looked at their language, their humour, their lives and, interestingly, the "Griquatown token coins".

On page 18 of his book van Zyl discusses the Griquatown token coin controversy after speaking to the Griquas of Griquatown in the early 1900s - none knew of the Griquatown token coins. van Zyl says: "Byna gelyktydig met die verskyning van die Griekwa-mutstukke (1874) het ook die eerste Transvaal geld op die toneel verskyn, nl. die bekende Burgersponde." (translation: At about this time the Griqua coins (1874) and the first Transvaal coin appeared - the famous Burgerspond") - scan of extract below. The comment is accompanied by a photo of the Griquatown half piece.

More on this book at this link

In the extract above van Zyl gives another incorrect theory about the Griquatown token coins. They did arrive at Griquatown in about 1820 (not 1874) but not one of these token coin ever circulated; as proven on this page.

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The argument by those who hang on to the belief the Griquatown token coins circulated

The argument often given that the Griqua town token coins is their apparent "circulated" status as can be seen in this 1969 Bickels Coins and News extract. In response to this furphy we would note the following:

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Over 20 Key Points why the Trade Tokens of Strachan and Co were South Africa's
first widely circulating indigenous currency
Full background supporting points below at this link

          What about the Griqua Town and Burgerspond?

  1. The story that the Griqua town token coins circulated in 1815/16 is a complete fabrication (see above)
  2. There were very few gold Burgerspond pieces struck in 1874 and few circulated - being kept as keep-sakes

    Practical Evidence Supporting the fact that the Stracahan and Co currency tokens were South Africa's first widely circulating indigenous currency:
  3. There was a dire shortage of change in Nomansland/East Griqualand up to the late 1800s and regular trades DID exist 
  4. In the diary note by Douglas Strachan son of Donald Strachan (the company's founder) he states "These tokens were accepted everywhere - including Church collections...." Source - see last line
  5. There were up to 100,000 S&Co pieces struck in four identifiable sets over a period of 50 years to cater for demand (most of these tokens have since been destroyed) - See the coins at this link.
  6. The first set (S&Co) circulated for nearly 60 years between 1874 and 1932, the Mountain Home (MH) from 1904, with the later "In Goods" sets circulating for about 20 years
  7. Most S&Co trade tokens are well worn - reflecting their use over many years
  8. S&Co had trading stores spread across East Griqualand from the early 1900s - these acted like "banks"
  9. The Standard Bank in Kokstad accepted and handed out the S&Co coins from its opening in 1878 - this is documented.
  10. In a similar manner the trade tokens of James Cole were later accepted as currency across East Griqualand from the late 1800s.
  11. Many other trading stores in this remote region tried to emulate the success of S&Co by introducing their own coinage - but few succeeded as the Africans only trusted the "kence" (S&Co trade tokens) - James Cole was the only exception. (There are more trade token varieties in East Griqualand than the whole of the rest of South Africa - a much larger and more industrious region which did not suffer from the issue of isolation.)
  12. The S&Co were reported as being circulated as currency between 1874 to 1932 as far north as Pietermaritzburg in Natal and as far South as the north eastern Cape - an area the size of Ireland
  13. The small educated white population and the simple nature of change (3d, 6d, 1/- and 2/-) acted as a catalyst for an understanding of the value of the coins across the wider uneducated population in the region  
  14. The holing of the coins to facilitate their storage with beads around their necks.
  15. The population in this region in the 1800s was about 100,000 white, black and Griqua
  16. Consider the number of trade tokens issued by other traders in the East Griqualand region following the phenomenal success of the Strachan currency coins. There is no other region in South Africa (including major centres) that have this number of coins issued by small business. Proof of this fact at this link.

    Reference in Contemporary Records, Documents and Books
  17. The Standard Bank prominently refer in a historic booklet to accepting and handing out and accepting S&Co coins as the regional currency in 1878 (and after) when they opened their branch at Kokstad
  18. There are many contemporary references to the trade tokens of Strachan and Co (S&Co) being released and circulated as currency from 1874 The son of the founder, Donald Strachan's son Douglas, being one classic example. See this scan from the book "Kence the trade tokens of Strachan and Co published in 1978 as an example.

    The men behind the Strachan and Co Coinage
  19. The partners in S&Co, Strachan and Brisley, wielded enormous power in Nomansland/East Griqualand between 1860s and 1890s under both Griqua and Colonial British Governments
  20. Donald Strachan was revered by the Africans and called "Madonela" - a great honour (he even had his own private African army called the Abalandalozi). The Africans trusted him completely his greatest honour being chosen as the only white chief in the history of South Africa. In 1902 he was elected to the Cape Parliament representing East Griqualand under Dr Jameson (of Jameson Raid fame).
  21. Thomas Strachan was offered the post as Resident Magistrate by the Griquas.
  22. George Brisley was the trusted Griqua Secretary, Post Master, and successful trader in his own right from the very early days of Griqua settlement in Nomansland.

  23. No-one with any credibility has ever presented any facts which dispute this claim 

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Related Links:

PDF of Standard Bank Document

Milner Snell's book on Strachan and Co
Margaret Rainier's book on "Madonela, Donald Strachan, Autocrat of Umzimkulu"

See also:

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Email: info@tokencoins.com