FACT: The Strachan & Co coins are South Africa's first circulating indigenous currency (they circulated for nearly 60 years from 1874). The Griquatown token coins never circulated (proof at this link.) Check out the graphic gold links below for proof of the Strachan coin's historic role in South African numismatics.
Recent comments have been made questioning the exact year the first S&Co currency tokens were released. In summary Scott Balson spent many hours with the General Manager of Strachan and Co, Ken Strachan, in 1977 and 1978 going over all aspects of these coins. Ken Strachan, Donald Strachan's grandson, confirmed to Scott that the first set of S&Co tokens were released on the first day the new company opened its doors (ie in 1874). His comment was on point - how could you launch a new store in such a remote area without coins to facilitate trade?
The scans linked here confirm the 1874 date of initial circulation claimed:
Finally these comments by Milner Snell author of books about the history of the S&Co company. The first, his recent email sent to me on 15 March 2016 is regarding the S&Co tokens:
Thanks for a copy of your rebuttal to Nortje regarding the Griquatown coins. It is not an area I know much about and I must be honest have not kept in touch with the debates surrounding the Griquatown coins. I am busy with reports at the moment but as soon as they are finished will read your article. As for Strachan & Co., I think Douglas Strachan's note can not be ignored. We might not be able to pin point and exact date but it was definitely before 1907. I am sure it is the 1870s.
Prof Laidlaw is correct. There seems to be a certain amount of hysteria surrounding the issue and rather unfortunate that it needs to get so personal.
Second back in 2009:
In an email on the 23rd September, Milner goes on to say,
The more I think about your new token theory, the more excited I get about it. I believe that Kence was the currency of East Griqualand from the mid-1870s to the early 1890s. By then the imperial currency was on a firm footing in East Griqualand, mainly brought in by migrant labourers. After that date the tokens take on, in my view, the more traditional role of paying for mealies and it would seem becomes the currency of the rural poor. I think this is a fascinating road to go down - the idea of an alternate currency for the poor. This idea is filled with all sorts of social and economic implications. The idea has to be developed!
Source: take this link
Furthermore, the book "Kence" was endorsed by Judge Tom Mullins who Scott Balson met at his home in Port Elizabeth in 2006 shortly before he died (See bottom of the page). It was Mullins who convicted President Mangope in the late 1990s for fraud - Google yourself for more. Not only did Mullins endorse the book "Kence" by the late Prof Clive Graham and Scott Balson he actually sold me about 40 S&Co tokens he had previously bought from the Umzimkhulu Magistrates Court when he worked there in the mid 1900s. In an email he confirms that these coins had earlier been accepted by the court in payment of fines. Scott was fortunate to buy these from Tom Mullins together with his research on the Mt Currie Express stamp - for which he was correctly awarded.
This, unlike Nortje's recent (2016) scandalous attempts to defame, was REAL research. Pierre Henri Nortje's fraud and deceit exposed at this link
FACT: The first set of Strachan & Co coins were released in 1874 when this new business, set up by Donald Strachan and Charles Brisley, was launched.
[History of the Griqua Nation]
[History of the Strachan Family]
[More than just "tokens"] [Background to tokens] [The forgotten South African Currency]
[Technical information] [Going prices] [The two "in goods" sets]
[Tokens scrapped] [Large image of complete set of S&Co] [S&Co Error Coins and Oddities]
[The book set to make the Strachan and Co tokens famous]
[Strachan and Co Set for sale - April 2008]
Griqua Coin and Bank Note Menu
[1815/16 Griqua Town "coins"] [1860: Durban Club 6d] [1862 Durban Bank £5 Bank Note] [1868: Griqua £1 Bank Note]
[1874: Mount Currie Express Stamp] [1874/1932: Strachan and Co Currency Tokens] [Other E Griqualand Tokens]
[1870s Griqua Town Patterns] [1890: Griqua Patterns] [Other Serious Griqua Coin Collectors]
[The History of the Griqua People] [Other South African Metal Token Coins]
[Book: History of the Griquas and their money]