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  • What happened between 1900 and 1923?

    This has been on my mind for a while now, wondering if someone could enlighten me. What currency was used in SA between 1900 and 1923, and why was nothing minted in this 23 year period?
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  • #2
    The history boffins will respond with some more exact detail, but it must have had something to do with the fact that we were a British colony and probably were using their currency. Maybe why there are so many of their coins still available here.

    but I am not the boffin - it will be interesting reading when they climb in.

    Renaldo


    View my auctions in the Coins & Notes section

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    • #3
      When the British forces occupied Pretoria in 1900, the Mint was closed. ... Prince Arthur of Connnaught struck the first gold pound on 3 October 1923.

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      • #4
        wow, learnt something again 2day, thanks johnel and Renaldo, being a collector of coins I always wondered about that.
        Ambient Music is the Wallpaper of my Mind

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        • #5
          Are you mentioning the date 1900 becuase of the last dated ZAR coins? Remember that British coins circulated even before that period in Natal, Free State and the Cape Colony and before 1892 also in the Transvaal.

          After 1900 British coins were used in all the provinces but ZAR coins were also accepted. We have metal detected ZAR coins on the beach at Sea Point (Cape Town) so both ZAR and UK coins circulated in SA after 1900 but NO other currency. Even after 1923 British coins were still accepted in SA but were gradually fased out and by the late 1920's only English coppers were still to be found in everyday change. By the 1930s one would seldom find any British coin in circulation in SA.

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          • #6
            Trade token coins

            Don't forget the trade token coins in remote regions like East Griqualand that served the role of the local region's alternative currency from 1870s to early 1930s.

            Kind regards

            Scott Balson

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            • #7
              I am now suitably enlightened, thanks everyone :D
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              • #8
                Hi

                At the Mint Conference of 6 February 1893 in Pretoria, Pres Kruger and delegates plead for the Pretoria Mint to become an interstate mint. At this time British Coins was legal tender in the Cape Colony, Natal, Orange Free State, and was circulating freely in the ZAR. In the ZAR, the Mint Act of 1891 prohibited the importation of British Coins , but it was only in 1895 that steps were taken to enforce this law. The Standard Bank imported great quantities of British Coins whiles through bank branches the Nationale Bank collected and exported the British coins again.

                In order to protect the Pretoria Mint, the ZAR threatend to expell Standard Bank from Transvaal, but in 1899 there was more British coinage than ZAR coinage in the Transvaal.

                After the annexation by the British of both Boer Republics in 1900 the British coinage was declared legal tender in the Transvaal. Also, it was ONLY in 1900 that the British declared ZAR coinage as legal tender, for the first time, in the Orange Free State.

                After the war, the British declared the ZAR coinage as legal tender throughout British South Africa. Initially the banks refused to accept the coinage and together with the Cape Colony wanted the coinage to be melted. This idea was squashed due to sentiment in thecoin from the Transvaal and Free State.

                In 1910, when the Union of South Africa came into being the ZAR coinage was once again declared legal tender, side by side to British coinage, throughout South Africa.

                In 1902, J. Perrin (Mint Master of the ZAR from 1899-1900) submitted a memorandum to the British for reopening of the Mint. This idea was supported by Milner. In 1903 it was turned down by the British Authorities. Perrin himself tried again in 1907 before his death, again turned down. After unification in 1910 the matter was turned down again. Up to 1914 this was discussed on a yearly basis. Always the answer: The matter is receiving attention. Even during the First World War (1914-1918) a investigation and reports was completed without any mint. The establishment eventually for a mint became possible by a provisional law, the Pretoria Mint Act of 1919 and on 14 December 1922 the acceptance of the Pretoria Mint Proclamation.

                Only, after establishment of the Royal Mint ( Branch of the Royal Mint in terms of the British Coinage Act of 1870 ) in Pretoria on 1 January 1923, were the Kruger coins gradually withdrawn from circulation when they were worn end MELTED!!! The Royal Mint melted ZAR coinage up to 1937 and in total recorded 136 771 pounds of a total 337 400.19
                pounds were withdrawn and melted.

                So between 1900 and 1923 the folowing money was in circulation:

                1. ZAR
                (except the penny in Natal, as the Governor of Natal, Sir Henry McCallum, declared the penny to heavy in 1905)

                2. British Coinage
                a) George III (after 1816)
                b) George IV (1820 - 1830)
                c) William IV (1830 - 1837)
                d) Queen Victoria (1837 - 1901)
                c) King Edward VII (1901 - 1910)
                f) King George V (1910 - 1923)

                3. All kind of token money

                4. Commercial Banks all issued there own bearer notes up until June 1922

                As from records, the British Issued Money was more in demand than ZAR all across South Africa. This was the more common form of money used by people and most importantly always accepted by the Banks.....

                Regards,

                Thomas van der Spuy
                ZARBOY
                Last edited by ZARBOY; 17-08-10, 17:30. Reason: spelling
                "Look in the past for all that is good and beautiful, take that for your ideal and build on it your future".
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                • #9
                  Wow, this is a real eye opener! :o

                  Incredible, thanks Thomas. One can only but wonder, besides the melting of all those coins, how many were considered worthless by the public and tossed out, vandalised or destroyed. Makes the current mintage figures seem kind of pointless as a reference.
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                  • #10
                    Hi Bumblebee

                    I don't think the people ever felt that the coin was worthless and tossed them out or destroyed them. I actually believe the exact opposite. Better specimen pieces was by the people who could afford to keep them as the coin had a lot of sentimental value to them. I also believe a great many of these pieces ended up in other British Colonies and especially Europe as people left British South Africa. A lot of specimens still need to be found, lying all over the world.

                    The sentimental aspect is why the British declared the ZAR coins legal tender in the new British South Africa after the war. Interesting to note that the ZAR coinage was only legal tender within the Transvaal and in Lourenco Marques. The ZAR coinage did circulate withing the Ornage Free State, but they never enjoyed recognition there as legal tender before 1900, I do not know why ???

                    Regards,

                    Thomas van der Spuy
                    ZARBOY
                    "Look in the past for all that is good and beautiful, take that for your ideal and build on it your future".
                    Items I am selling.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Thomas - this all made for very interesting reading.

                      Renaldo


                      View my auctions in the Coins & Notes section

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                      • #12
                        A Newspaper clipping that might add to this. The original can be found here dated 20 October 1900 - Papers Past — Feilding Star — 20 October 1900 — A Haul of Kruger's Gold.


                        A Haul of Kruger's Gold.


                        A MILLION AND A HALF FOUND. I do not know (writes a London correspondent) whether you have yet learned of how the New Zealanders narrowly missed 1,500,000 of President Kruger's gold. The story has been related to a writer in the Bloemfontein Herald. " Soon after the occupation of Pretoria a guard, consisting of New Zealanders, was posted outside the house of a close blood relation, said to be own son of the Boer President, runs this story. " The house was thoroughly searched for arms, Government papers, etc., but nothing of any consequence was discovered by the British beyond the fact that the state of the house showed plainly enough that natives, or looters of some sort had already been over it, and thoroughly ransacked the place. After a few days the guard was taken off, and the house, now bare of anything valuable, was left to take care of itself. For days after a certain clique of natives were noticed by the police to visit the house stealthily, but never emerged with anything bulky about their persons. Their subsequent movements in the town were closely watched when they were found to be spending Kruger sovereigns in a most reckless and extravagant manner and entertaining their ebony friends in the lavish style of a young American millionaire. When arrested their pockets were found crammed full of sovereigns, one having 500 gold coins on him. It appears that a very few questions on the part of the police elicited the fact that this El Dorado lay in the walls of the house lately guarded by the New Zealanders. The search by the police that followed resulted in bringing to light of day no less a sum than 1,500,000 of Transvaal gold coins, neatly packed in bottles, and ingenuously cemented in the walls of the building. This large sum is now in the safe' custody of the Imperial Government, and is being utilised for the payment of troops. The feelings of the New Zealanders when they heard how near they had been to such valuable booty can be better imagined than described."

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