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  • Griquatown 100 Pence

    Hello all,

    I am sure you are all familiar with the 1815/16 Griqua coins that were made by Rev Campbell of the London Missionary Society in the UK before being used as currency by the Griqua people and as Brian Hern says on pg 302 of his Catalogue 'This series of coins was the first minted for and used by a South African people. ' He also says that 'this is the first decimal series used in South Africa'

    Well there have been proofs of these coins minted as well and have been graded by the Grading Companies. Even a gilded one has been graded and is I think part of the Royle Baldwin Collection.Obviously the proofs were not made for circulation and did not.

    An old friend of mine sent this coin to me recently to show the community.
    It weighs 6.39 gms and is of copper metal that has been darkened, measurements 25.2mm by 1.5mm in thickness
    The fields have rainbow toning and are clearly Proof and the letters are razor sharp.

    Average Weights/Thickness/Diameters recorded for Griqua Coin denominations are as follows 1/4 Pence 3.63gm/1.33mm/20.76mm, 1/2 Pence 6.20gm/1.46mm/24.86mm, 5 Pence 2.37gm/0.66mm/20.96mm, 10 Pence 4.90gm/1.06mm/25.90mm

    This coin has specifications that closest resemble the Halfpence

    There is no 100 Pence in Hern's Catalogue and the highest denomination was a 10 Pence in Silver,Next up was the Five Pence followed by the half and quarter.I enclose pics.

    The cardboard holder that the coin comes with says J. Remick PE-265 'only a few specimens of the higher denominations known' I presume this coin was part of the well known Jerome Remick Collection that includes many top quality South African Coins. Jerome Remick was the founder of the Canadian Numismatic Society in Montreal.

    Has anyone got comments on this coin? Please dont bore us with the old argument about whether the Griqua coins circulated or not. That subject has been discusssed at length and if I can ask management to delete postings that lead this way. It is this coin that the discussion must focus on.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by geejay50; 31-05-10, 21:06. Reason: Editing Information

  • #2
    Dear Georg,

    For my money's worth, I think this is a fake:
    1. the dove's head on the "GQT 100" pence is facing the opposite direction to that of all the known GQT denominations
    2. the dove's feet/talons are massively oversized compared with the known GQT denominations
    3. the dove wing feathers of the "GQT 100" pence are completely different to those of the known GQT denominations
    The differences outlined above would - to me, at least - make this "GQT 100" pence highly suspect. It is almost as if it was clumsily made. A pity, as a denomination of "100" would provide a tempting indicator that the original GQT series was intentionally decimalised......
    Mike Klee


    • #3
      It is a fake

      Scott Balson


      • #4
        Hi Mike and Scott,

        You guys are spot on , it is a fake that was made in California by somebody in the 1970s and sold as a fake according to Brian Hern- the Dove has his head facing the wrong way as you correctly noted Mike and the feet are different. It is however of interest that people would regard this series as notable enough to make fakes of. Here are the pics of two genuine GQT Halfpences - MS62BN (pop1) and VF35 to illustrate. Has anybody seen this Fake before? Well spotted!

        Attached Files
        Last edited by geejay50; 01-06-10, 04:24.


        • #5


          Interesting to know that Brian Hern is your noted "expert" on the Griquatown coins seeing that he still refuses to accept historically proven fact on this subject.

          PS the 100 Griqua coin was offered for sale a few years ago on eBay by an American seller with a reserve of US$3,000 - it had no bidders.


          Scott Balson (Speaking after thirty years of research on the Griqua and Griquatown coinage)
          Last edited by ndoa18; 01-06-10, 07:42.


          • #6
            Hi all,

            Fake it is and well made too with Proof finish. Besides Scott, has anyone else seen it before? It seems to be very rare even as a fake goes.

            Brian Hern has just sold two Griqua coins, an MS Halfpence and a SP64 Quarter Pence for R55,000 each after a week of advertising. He says he could have sold each coin three times over, such was the demand and one collector is very angry because he could not buy both. I suppose that price is cheap compared to what Northeast Numismatics fetched a couple of years ago (about R70 to R80,000).

            Last edited by geejay50; 03-06-10, 09:32.


            • #7
              Unanswered questions answered

              Interesting Georg.

              The sale of the Griquatown tokens by Hern answers so many previously unanswered questions.

              Kind regards

              Scott Balson


              • #8
                Here is the Griquatown 100 coin offered for sale on eBay a few years ago by an American seller (known to me)

                As I said before there were no bidders

                As with any Griquatown coin be careful what you are paying big bucks for. Know the historical facts.

                Scott Balson
                Last edited by ndoa18; 03-06-10, 09:33.


                • #9
                  Hi Georg.

                  I also saw this piece on Ebay about two/three years ago. The seller is known to Michael Laidlaw as I had a long conversation with him at the time about the piece. Perhaps he can help you on the subject.
                  Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak!

                  Click to view any items I may have on auction


                  • #10
                    Griqua coinage found in Kimberley

                    Hi George

                    I think it was you who mentioned that a Griqua coin was found near Worcester? Is that the (same) one that was found near Matjiesfontein that was somewhere described as the only one ever to be found in South Africa?

                    I see in their
                    Beasts, banknotes and the colour of money in colonial South Africa, Jean Comaroff and John L. Comaroff, (Archaeological Dialogues (2005), 12 : pp 107-132 Copyright 2006 Cambridge University Press), it is mentioned that more examples of the Griqua coinage turned up in places like Kimberley.




                    • #11
                      Hi Pierre,

                      As I have mentioned in a previous post, not a few GQT coins have turned up in South Africa. I have seen a friend's silver "10" - which was included in a trove of exclusively pre-19th century coins found in antique furniture - plus, I have had a retiree from the OFS and now living in Mossel Bay who has one in his collection AND I read somewhere how somebody had bought a GQT bronze coin in a flea market or something like that in Cape Town a year or two back.

                      I think that more will turn up.....

                      Mike Klee


                      • #12
                        Hi Mike

                        I think you may have misunderstood me - I am talking about them turning up in the country side (in the platteland) as in picking them up where they may have been dropped by locals or travelling salesmen.

                        On the other hand, them turning up in old collections or hoards in South Africa is nothing new - I sold a well circulated one myself here on Bid-or-Buy coming from a bag of old pennies and half pennies that I bought in Cape Town a few years back.




                        • #13
                          Hi Pierre,

                          1. Oh, is just at times that I seem to see myself as an oddball in believing that the GQT pieces circulated as currency in the interior of South Africa. Too many of them turning up, and many so very, very worn - just like old pennies from the early 1800's. Out of interest, have you ever seen a worn GQT silver coin? Is it possible that the missionaries in GQT managed to "disperse" all the copper pieces, which is maybe why so many worn GQT coins keep turning up?

                          2. I paid to rent the article you mentioned but have access hassles to the article which Cambridge - via an online form - will attempt to resolve. Otherwise my 3.99 investemt in the article for 24 hours will be wasted...

                          3. Lastly, "welcome back"! I was quite sad to see your post "I'm out of here...."



                          • #14
                            If it was real, it would be BIG BUCKS!
                            Numismatics: "A pursuit involving a veneer of scholarship hiding a core of greed."