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Imitation Kruger Ponds
These are not imitations to fool either collectors or investors, but are clearly marked imitations of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek 1 Pond, and are of Brass/Bronze as opposed to the 22 carat Gold of real thing. In Victorian Britain various Brass "To Hanover" tokens and similar pieces (many of which included Victoria's portrait on their obverse) were made and used as gaming counters. The likeness of these pieces to British Gold Sovereigns and changes in the law regarding that likeness, led to the use of imitations of the Z.A.R. 1 Pond as gaming counters. It seems that the dated imitations always have the date 1896 and always an obverse with the portrait of Johannes Paulus Kruger (the last president of the Z.A.R.) and hence the name "Imitation Kruger Ponds". Several types and many varieties exist, below are three easily distinguishable pieces.
The above imitation is of brass and the only really obvious design difference between this one and the real thing (Z.A.R. 1 Pond KM-10.2) is the appearance of the word "IMITATION" on the reverse instead of the date.
This second example has near enough the same obverse as the first but the legends above the coat of arms on the reverse are as per the real thing. On this piece the clue to the "imitation" status of the piece is within the legends on the ribbon of the coat of arms. The ribbon motto "EENDRAGT MAAKT MAGT" (a Dutch phrase meaning "Unity Creates Strength") having been replaced by the words "IMITATION KRUGER SOVEREIGN".
This third example is generally as per the second but with a distinctly different portrait, reproduced with less accuracy. There was never a portrait quite like this on the real coinage of the Z.A.R.
For further reading on this series, there is a little book by Paul Withers entitled “Kruger Pond Imitations” (Galata Print Ltd., 2002). The book gives much historical background on Johannes Paulus Kruger and it carefully details 12 different imitation Ponds each generally similar to the three illustrated above. A few rare pieces are also detailed, they are such as piece advertising a brand of cigar and a half Pond type which is generally like the first example illustrated on this page but smaller. The last Pond imitation shown in the book is a 1 Pond type from the 1986 Gold Reef City series (see link "Gold Reef City" Souvenir Pieces on this site).
With reference to the numbers given to the types in the book, the three pieces illustrated here are varieties 2, 7 and 11. I also have an example of each of varieties 4 and 12.
Two Further Imitation Kruger Pond Types
Around two years ago, from different sources, an example of each of the two advertisers from this series. The actual size of these pieces is that same as that of the three types shown above.
The obverse of this piece reads "FRA DIAVOLO CIGARS ARE THE BEST", Withers type number 13.
The obverse of this piece reads " "PERL-BIER" THE PEARL OF GERMAN BEERS", Withers type number 14.
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New page at April 2003.
Page updated and generally revised including details etc of book on the subject of "Kruger Pond Imitations" at May 2005.
Page updated to show two further examples of Imitiation Kruger Pond (Wither types 13 & 14) at March 2017.