Royal Swazi Casino pieces

    The title “The Monetary Authority of Swaziland” makes a somewhat unexpected appearance on a few casino tokens of Swaziland. The machine tokens of the Royal Swazi Casino would seem to be amongst the commoner items of Swazi paranumismatica.
    “The Royal Swazi Casino” is now known as the “Royal Swazi Sun Casino” having been taken over by Sun International (South Africa) Limited some time ago. The casino is located within the 140 bedroom hotel now known as the “Royal Swazi Sun Hotel” (and formerly as “The Royal Swazi Hotel”), it is located in Ezulwinin.

    The tokens I know of this casino seem to fall into two different series - an older one and a newer one.

Royal Swazi Casino First series 20 Cents
Royal Swazi Casino 20 Cents token from the "first" series.

    The "first" of these series are such as in the image above. As well this 20 Cents piece, there is also a similar and larger 50 Cents of this series. The use of the name of the monetary authority puts a date of 1974 to 1979 on this “first” series. The pieces of this series (as seen in the image) are an odd colour, seemingly a plated steel, the piece above shows the steel showing through the ageing plating.
    A “second” series of these tokens are as the “first” series (seen above) but with the whole of the first side’s design (“THE MONETARY.....” etc...) replaced by just the word “TOKEN” centrally positioned. In a short letter from Richard Lobel (of London coin dealers Coincraft) in the letters page of the 5th July 1993 issue of “World Coin News” (Krause Publications), Mr Lobel “showed” a 50 Cents of each series (first and second) and stated how for every 200 to 300 pieces of the second series pieces there was just one piece of the first series. He also asked whether the presence of the title of the monetary authority on the first series made those pieces coins - I would say NO as the pieces were only “tender” in one place i.e. the casino. The one time I met Mr Lobel was around October 1993, since I had one of these casino pieces I asked him what else he knew about it - the main thing that transpired from this conversation was that he had been to the Royal Swazi Casino a few months before the letter appeared in World Coin News. No doubt the pieces of the first series had been nearly all replaced by the second series by that time.
    There is also a fifth of these pieces, the 1 Lilangeni. The design of this type is so simple that in the absence of an example to picture I managed to make a drawing of the piece.

Royal Swazi Casino 1 Lilangeni Token (Drawing Representation)
Royal Swazi Casino 1 Lilangeni Token (my drawing representation)

    My drawing is based on printed images of the piece that someone sent to me, my drawing is not perfect (letter and word spacing are hard to exactly match), of course, but this should give a very good idea of the design. All pieces of the “second” series of these tokens are apparently steel.

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