SOUTH AFRICA (Page 4 of 5)
Some Further Types of Tokens
Some Older Tokens of South Africa
"Coin World" Souvenir Pieces
"Gold Reef City" Souvenir Pieces
South African Elongates
Some Older Tokens of South Africa
A Mine Stores Piece and an S & Co. Piece
Mine Stores (Natal), 1 Shilling, (Scale 150dpi, actual diameter approx 29mm).
Briefly. Around 100
years ago this would have
been money for workers (and perhaps others) to be spent at the
at a mine in/around
This is an “S & Co” token; it was issued by
company Strachan & Co., a very well known issuer from this period,
company with a numbers of stores. The legend is “S & Co” / “2/-” /
GOODS” – both sides are identical. This brass token has a diameter of
approximately 33mm, a beaded border and a sort of red stain – perhaps
is behind the token’s smell! All in, there are 16 different
“S & Co” tokens; four
different sets each comprising 3d, 6d, 1/- and 2/-. Like the “Mines
A Tram Token
Municipal Tramways Johannesburg 1½ Penny. (Scale 200dpi, actual diameter approx 22mm)
I have three varieties of the above token. Two in blue (each with differing legend sizes) and one in black. The material is apparently celluloid - I believe the pieces to be from the early 20th century. Pieces exist from other cities/regions of South Africa.
Quite similar, (through size, design, material etc..) regionally issued tokens were issued in Great Britian around this time and for many years afterwards, for a great number of towns/cities/regions. It would seem safe to assume that the South African types had a similar use to the British ones. A typical use would have been for local goverment employees to be given tokens by the token issuer, i.e. their employer. The employee would then get effectively free travel on the public transport, to a limit determined by the value of the tokens they had.
"Coin World" - Souvenir pieces
The website of the South African Mint Company includes details of "Coin World" which is the mint's museum and retail outlet.
A souvenir/advertising piece from "Coin World".
My souvenir token above from "Coin World" is dated 2001. There are other designs for other dates. "Coin World" opened in 1996 and has developed into quite a major tourist attraction in South Africa. For more info on the subject on this site see...S.A. Mint Company info .
A “Gold Reef City” Brass 1 Penny, featuring Kruger and a Rhinoceros (scale 150dpi)
Another piece that could be similarly classed as a “souvenir” coin is the above piece from an attraction near to Johannesburg. “Gold Reef City” is summed-up by the company’s advertising in the following line “Step back in time with Gold Reef City Casino and Theme Park to experience a unique destination with a difference!”. The 1993 dated 1 Penny shown above is just one of many such similar pieces. I have seen a 1986 dated 1 Penny advertised for sale and have occasionally seen a full set of denominations offered on Ebay, comprising representations of all 11 pre-decimal South African denominations (1/4 Penny through to 1 Pound). Each of the denominations shows a different animal on the reverse and have sizes following those of the real coins. All pieces have a portrait of Paul Kruger on the obverse. Though the attraction is still open, I suspect that these pieces are no longer issued but when issue ceased I do not know.
A “Gold Reef City” Brass 1 Pond, featuring Kruger and a Giraffe (scale 150dpi).
Other pieces in the series include large animals such as the Elephant, Lion and Cheetah.
The “Gold Reef City” series described above remind me of two British souvenir series which also follow designs of pre-decimal coins. A 1987 dated series from the Ironbridge Gorge Museum and a 1991 series from Pentref Llechwedd Village. There is a common obverse depicting the place of issue for each series. All pieces I have seen, Farthing through to 3 Pence, have a reverse featuring a near copy of the reverse of a coin of that denomination from around 100 years ago (except for the modern date and a “H” mint mark being on this side). I believe that higher denominations exist, but they are uncommon. These tokens would be purchased by visitors, at a fixed rate of old Pennies to the modern Pound. The tokens could then be spent during the visit using old prices. Of course, very few visitors would retain the higher denomination pieces as keep-sakes. I would imagine that the Gold Reef City pieces were purchased and used in a similar way.
South African Elongates
In Great Britain “souvenir coins” are often seen
in the form of elongated coins. There are perhaps as many as 200
different elongate designs for the U.K. and there must be 1000s for the
U.S.A. In 2004 I came across a website http://www.souvenircoin.com/
which belongs to a company in South Africa that sells and markets
elongated coins and related machines. Around that time I also found a
website (no longer existing) that showed the collection of an elongate
collector and included several South African elongates – this was the
first time I had known of a collector with such pieces. It would seem
that at least some of the South African pieces are made on foreign
coins - perhaps there are more laws to comply with in South Africa,
than in most other countries. I imagine there will be other countries
in Africa with an elongate machine or two - but I have yet to find any
evidence of this.
My “Cape Point - South Africa” elongate. (Actual size approximately 44mm long)
Eventually, in 2007, I managed to get hold of a South African
elongate. To the obverse a lighthouse scene including surrounding
plants and birds with “CAPE POINT SOUTH AFRICA” above and
“WHERE TWO OCEANS MEETS” below. This location can be seen at http://www.capepoint.co.za/ .
To the reverse there is the logo of the SARCS, it is a large central
cross with “THE SOUTH AFRICAN RED CROSS SOCIETY” and “SARCS” around.
There is a start-bar to the blunt end of the piece, as often seen on
elongates, in this case on the reverse. To the pointed end of this
piece there is hole, this is for threading a string through. I had
previously only seen holed elongates on the http://www.souvenircoin.com/
website. This elongate includes no sign of any underlying coin; the
Brass composition and the 4.4 grams mass are no match at all for any
South Africa coin. This would seem to be my first worldwide elongate
made from a blank disc.
South Africa Coins Page
Back to AFRICA TOKENS page.
New page at April 2003.
"Coin World" piece added June 2003.
Some Older Tokens of South Africa - added at November 2004.
Some Souvenir Pieces add at November 2004 - based on "Coin World" image/info that was previously on another page.
Image and Info regarding S&Co. piece added at June 2008.
Image and Further Info regarding Elongates added at June 2008.