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Interesting PDF on the Griquatown tokens (fantasy coins)  
 

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Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/01/2016  2:55 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A South African coin dealer based in Cape Town, Pierre Henri Nortje, published a booklet in December 2015 falsely claiming that the Griquatown tokens did circulate in Griquatown in 1815/16. His flawed research was in answer to the new South African coin catalogue by Morgan Carroll that confirms the Griquatown tokens were a complete failure and not one ever circulated at Griquatown. Carroll correctly recognises the Strachan and Co tokens as South Africa's first indigenous circulating currency.

Just before Pierre Henri published his booklet the S African mint released a coin "celebrating 200 years since the Griquatown tokens were released". The S African mint got it so wrong and one wonders who advised them.

You can see the PDF written by Pierre Henri and my response which clearly underwrites the truth - that not one Griquatown token ever circulated. Interestingly Pierre Henri states in the booklet that the Griquatown tokens were a complete failure yet still suggests some circulated.

There are 50 points covered in this PDF linked here:
http://coinsrsa.com/The%20truth.pdf

To buy Morgan Carroll's great new S African coin catalogue (with values in US$) take this link:
http://coinsrsa.com/


Kind regards


Scott Balson

Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/01/2016  7:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting comment in the PDF:

Think on this:

Nowhere to trade the tokens. A nomadic people who mainly lived in and survived in the bush. A ghost town called Griquatown. No hole in the coin to string them safely. EQUALS - no circulation of even one token.

Just plain logic.
Edited by tokensa1
03/01/2016 7:23 pm
Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/03/2016  12:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting fact in this PDF

It is on record with PCGS and NGC that the copper 1/2 and 1/4 are nearly as rare as the silver 5 and 10 Griquatown tokens making the suggestion by Hern in his S African catalogues that they were the first decimalised currency ridiculous.

It takes TEN Griquatown 1/2 tokens to get change for just one silver 5. Consider how many 1/4s it takes!!

It is clear that the silver five token represented half a day work and the silver 10 a full day work but not one Griquatown token ever exchanged hands based on this value as Griquatown was a ghost town when Campbell's tokens eventually arrived in c1817 to 1820.

The copper 1/4 and 1/2? In my expert opinion they never came to Griquatown but were minted many years later and like the silver Griquatown tokens have no relevance to South African Numismatics.

As Krause correctly records in their catalogues they are "fantasy tokens".
Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2016  12:25 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In the PDF linked in the first post the resident missionary Helm asks the London Missionary Society in 1821 what he should do with the uncirculated Griquatown tokens.

A huge fail - not one token ever circulated. The greatest majority were returned to England - yet a few coin collectors who have invested in these pieces still stick to the fantasy that they circulated. The few dispersed to the small local population in this isolated outpost in South Africa with no store served no purpose and became nothing more than keepsakes.

Krause, in their coin catalogues, today recognise that the Griquatown tokens were fantasy coins yet those with a financial interest in these failed tokens continue to have their head in the sand and claim they circulated!

Quite extraordinary

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United States
41208 Posts
Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/09/2016  12:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Consider this fact.

The failed Griquatown tokens were not holed.

Fifty years after the failed experiment (in 1870) a firm run by the Strachan family in the region of East Griqualand and governed by the same Griquas under Adam Kok noted that their first issue of tokens was a complete failure because they were NOT holed

On page 9 of "Kence, the trade tokens of Strachan and Co" by Scott Balson and the late Prof Clive Graham published in 1978 carries this diary note certified by the direct descendant and General Manager of Strachan and Co, Ken Strachan:

See this link: http://tokencoins.com/sandco/1874.jpg

Basically it says that because the first Strachan tokens issued in 1870 were NOT holed they failed - DESPITE THE FACT they had stores in the region where they could be traded.

In fact the indigenous word for the later tokens that were holed and a great success, "Kence", is an onomatopoeia for the noise they made when knocking together while around the wearer's neck with his beads.

If a coin supported by a store fifty years later circulating among the same (now settled) people did not work over such a basic issue how could the unholed Griquatown tokens have ever worked - in a ghost village with no store and less than 300 nomadic men, women and children who treated the location of Griquatown as a temporary home?

These are basic facts that prominent coin collectors in S Africa who have invested in these failed tokens do not want you to know.

Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2016  02:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hot off the press

Hern, who's S African coin catalogues have now been thankfully replaced by Morgan Carrolls' superior and more accurate coin catalogues confirm that the Griquatown tokens (as now recognised by Krause coin catalogues) have no part in South African numismatic history.

Take this link to see the proof: http://www.coinsrsa.com

YET in fairyland (in the heads of a few remaining investors in the Griquatown tokens) they "circulated widely at this time (1815-16)" despite the nomadic Griqua population of men, women and children (numbering less than 300 at Griquatown) in this remote region and having no understanding of money, no store to use them at and no way to even acquire one.

Extraordinarily the National Numismatic Society in Johannesburg South Africa which has had the same President (Peter Wilson) and Secretary (Brian Hern) for thirty years take a different view. Hern wants to discredit Morgan Carroll's South African coin catalogue which is historically correct, is of a much better quality, and far more accurate than his.

So he presents Pierre Henri Nortje who spends a weekend on the web setting up a paper that admits the Griquatown tokens were a failure but suggests they actually circulated (to give them credibility) without any evidence of this fact an award. A few months earlier the same Nortje had suggested that Hern should get a PhD in numismatics.

Nortje's "paper" was totally destroyed by me online long before the "presentation" by the self-serving President and Secretary of this closed club. Ironically Nortje's research was largely taken from my records that took 30 years to compile from reading books and documents from that time that I had placed on line to set the record straight.

Here are the relevant links: http://www.tokencoins.com/gr01.htm (my response to the nonsense)

Pierre Henri's award earlier by Hern's National Numismatic Society this month for his recent failed attempt to try and suggest a few Griquatown tokens actually "circulated" can be see here: http://www.tokencoins.com/flawedaward.jpg

It is no wonder that a South African coin club run by the same committee for decades is self-serving and a disgrace in numismatics today



Valued Member
United States
263 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2016  05:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Brushy Bandit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like the coins would have been more popular if they had came with a pair of britches, with a pocket.
Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2016  5:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Brushy

The tragedy is the facts that:

a) S African numismatics has been basically controlled by the National Numismatic Society (NNS) in Johannesburg (by Hern and Wilson) for over 30 years. Hern's factually flawed coin catalogues are now superseded by Carroll's catalogues which reflect the truth.

b) These two men at the NNS (Hern and Wilson) have used these positions to further THEIR interests not the truth

c) I was not surprised that the NNS gave Pierre Henri an award for "his" research. His research was plagiarised from my website and he was caught out. For thirty years I have researched this subject and have not even received an email from the NNS commending me on my work which has resulted in a huge rethink on the role the Griquatown tokens played back then. I wrote the history of the Griqua which has now been embraced by them: http://www.griquas.com

d) to give an award to someone who spends a weekend putting together a contrary argument to mine which has been there for over ten years with no consideration of the facts reflects how discredited the NNS in Johannesburg is. They need to get a new committee in fast for the sake of all S Africa coin collectors




New Member
South Africa
21 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2016  06:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Karel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Mr Balson wrote "In the PDF linked in the first post the resident missionary Helm asks the London Missionary Society in 1821 what he should do with the uncirculated Griquatown tokens."

Helm actually wrote "The greater part of the Griqua money is still in
our Society’s property which Br Anderson when leaving delivered to my care. As Mr
Campbell thought that Br Anderson had dispersed the silver pieces at too cheap rate,..."

My understanding of this is that some of the coins were dispersed at a particular exchange rate, which means two things. One is that they were circulated and two as a medium of currency.
Edited by Karel
03/12/2016 06:56 am
Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2016  12:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Karel

You have obviously not read my response to Pierre Henri's paper on this point.

I will transcribe it here for you:

My point 50 in my ten year old online document on the Griquatown tokens reads:
In 1821 Rev Helm refers to having a bag of Griquatown token coins that were never used and asks the Society what they wanted to do with them.

IN RESPONSE PIERRE HENRI WRITES:
What is the truth? The last statement is a blatant lie. Rev Helm NEVER refers to having a bag of Griquatown coins that were never used. Rev Helm says that “The greater* part (more than 50% thus) of the Griqua money is still in our Society’s property which Br Anderson when leaving delivered to my care. As Mr Campbell thought that Br Anderson had dispersed* the silver pieces at too cheap rate.” *Pierre Henri "typos" - more follows in this thread

I REPLY:
Full and rectified quote by Helm: The GREATEST part of the Griqua money is still in our Society’s property which Br Anderson when leaving delivered to my care. As Mr Campbell thought that Br Anderson had DISPOSED the silver pieces at too cheap rate, I asked him to let me know the real value of a piece of each which he promised to do, but I have as yet received no account and it is therefore still in my possession. I should be glad if you, dear sir, would have the goodness to inform me what I am to do with it.

Once again Pierre Henri is selective in his research and then calls me a liar and again has two typos stating “greater part” when Schoeman’s book on page 133 refers to “the GREATEST part” and "DISPOSED" not dispersed.

I would suggest that greatest means almost all the tokens that arrived at Griquatown were still in his possession. In other words the “greatest part” is just that and not just over 50% as suggested by Pierre Henri. In my view only a tiny fraction of tokens were given out (disposed of) by Anderson before the small Griqua community at Griquatown realised they were useless to them. The online dictionary tells us that "dispose" is to give something away permanently - hardly suggesting "circulation".

IMPORTANT NOTE: What is not lost on me is the source of Pierre Henri’s research (ie largely selectively from my website as demonstrated above). I would suggest that he buys Schoeman’s book and READS IT and not cut and paste from my website. Unlike Pierre Henri my research took 30 years of buying first edition books, reading them and compiling a completely fresh picture of the history of the Griqua people. If you take the link below you will see he has simply cut and pasted my (deliberate) typos where I say the “greater part” and "dispersed" in this comment. The reason I did this (temporarily) was to lay a trap as I heard Pierre Henri was writing a document refuting my research and was calling me a liar and a fraud on the BidorBuy forum in South Africa. The shoe is now on the other foot.

The relevant extract can be found on the reference to page 131-133 of this webpage. If you read Schoeman’s printed book it says the “greatest part” and "disposed".

Source - my page with the trap that caught Pierre Henri: http://www.tokencoins.com/helm.htm

And here is a scan of the relevant page of Schoeman's book with a big red arrow highlighting my deliberate typos and Pierre Henri's huge fail: http://www.tokencoins.com/schoeman.jpg

The large collection of hundreds of related books and documents I have built up over 30 years can be viewed at this link. This is REAL research: http://www.tokencoins.com/collect.htm

PIERRE HENRI CONTINUES....
Why does Scott Balson lie so blatantly when he refers to what Helm actually wrote in 1821 in his letter to his superior (Dr Philip) in Cape Town? The reason is clear - what Helm wrote is the key that unlocks the whole enigma regarding the circulation of the Griqua pieces. (The whole foundation of Scott Balson’s flawed argument is that the Griqua coins never circulated)

I REPLY
My response is quite practical; for a coin to circulate it needs to be exchanged for something and suggesting that a missionary giving a silver token to a Griqua who could not use it in circulation amongst a tiny local community and then suggesting it circulated widely is laughable. In my view the silver Griquatown tokens were labour based (day and half day). We know a few were "disposed of" (not circulated) but when the reality dawned on the recipient Griqua that they could not use the tokens anywhere to buy stuff (scissors etc) they rejected them. (There were no trading stores in this tiny isolated outpost north of the Orange River and the nomadic population of Griquatown in 1815 was less than 300 men, women and childen who, as Prof Arndt notes, had no understanding of "money"). That’s why they failed so badly.

Its not rocket science and in reality they became nothing more than keepsakes for the unfortunate recipient who could not get rid of the token for anything.

--------------------------------------------------

You will note that while I spent thirty years researching this subject and investigating all references to the Griquatown tokens and all aspects of the people's history all Pierre Henri has done is spent a weekend sifting through my online research and then cut and paste selectively compiling his own preconceived view which I have demonstrated at the link below is flawed, inaccurate and poorly researched. I have the books, expertise and documents to back up my views all Pierre Henri has is a blinkered paper that has been shown up to be what it is - totally flawed, inaccurate and that he never spent the thousands of hours I did researching the history of the Griqua people resulting in my book "Children of the Mist" which is now adopted by the Griqua as their official history. See: http://www.griquas.com

His reference to the "greater part" and "dispersed" above (that you refer to) when it should have been the "greatest part" and "disposed" is a classic gotcha moment of someone plagiarizing another person's research because they were too lazy to do their own (and then he calls me a liar). Good move!

The relevant page out of Schoeman's book confirming the typos above which totally discredit Pierre Henri's "research" can be seen at this link: http://www.tokencoins.com/schoeman.jpg

In the document linked below I directly respond to Pierre Henri's paper and address the value issue which has no relevance to this subject.

Pierre Henry's paper and my response can be seen at this link: http://coinsrsa.com/The%20truth.pdf


Interestingly in this document Pierre Henri gives a false reference suggesting his source for the typos was Schoeman's book when clearly it was my website.
Edited by tokensa1
03/13/2016 6:54 pm
New Member
South Africa
21 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2016  04:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Karel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Mr Balson,

I have noticed that you made another "deliberate" typo. According to my copy of Schoeman, Helm actually wrote disposed and not dispersed. Why would you set such traps if your paper is as serious a research paper as you suggest.

I also include a picture of a worn Griqua coin that has been holed.

Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2016  12:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Karel

My motives for doing that were justified in exposing Pierre Henri and his research that has now been exposed as flawed. He did not research the subject he just plagiarized my research and got it wrong. I heard through an unnamed source who confirmed what Pierre Henri was up to on behalf of the National Numismatic Society (NNS) in Johannesburg to give credibility to Hern's coin catalogues so I set the trap and Nortje walked right into it and claimed the research as his own throughout his "award winning" paper.

What does that say to you about Hern and Wilson who have run the NNS for thirty years now?

It took me 30 years to study books and gather the information. I have left the errors there for all to see but added an edit comment below the typos in this transcript on 21 Feb 2016.

See: http://www.tokencoins.com/helm.htm

With regards to the token above. Two interesting points.

First it has been crudely holed - a few pieces are similarly holed. This is probably one of the few pieces that actually landed up with a Griqua but it never circulated. The wear is due to poor storage over a long period of time.

There is an interesting parallel - around the world coins were holed to facilitate the owner wearing the coin with their beads (look at Papua New Guinea and East Africa as examples). Closer to home in South Africa consider this certified Diary note (linked below) about the first set of Strachan tokens released in East Griqualand fifty years after the Griquatown tokens. Strachan states that these unholed coins released in 1870 were a failure because they did not have a hole. See a scan of the relevant diary note here: http://www.tokencoins.com/sandco/1874.jpg

Simple logic tells us if tokens failed fifty years later (despite the fact there were several trading stores available to the Griqua in the region) the unholed Griquatown tokens (without a hole or stores to trade them) would similarly have failed. The reason no one has ever found a reference to one of these tokens being used in a single trade is because there was no place to trade them. Even Campbell in his misleading comment written in 1813 about introducing tokens among the Griqua states "supposing a shop to be established amongst them" ... then coins could be introduced. A shop never was in Griquatown until many many years after they were returned to England.

Most Griquatown tokens that collectors have found have their origins in the UK not S Africa. Obviously these are the remnants of the tokens shipped back to England after they failed in Griquatown.



Edited by tokensa1
03/13/2016 10:10 pm
New Member
South Africa
21 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2016  10:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Karel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Mr Balson,

I do not wish to get involved in your personal gripes with some numismatic members in SA and claiming unnamed sources that is plotting against you will not help the discussion.

I have noticed that you have made more changes to your opinion piece http://www.tokencoins.com/helm.htm without altering the date. I take it this was done unintentionally. I am wondering if there are any other deliberate typos or errors in any of your pieces that the forum should know of. You keep referring to your own work and would like to know whether it is worth reading. If your pieces are free of any known errors and traps laid by yourself, then the topic can be discussed while referring to it, otherwise it would just be another fantasy piece used to play silly games and not worth referring to.
Edited by Karel
03/14/2016 11:46 am
Valued Member
Australia
58 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2016  1:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tokensa1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Karel

My trap achieved its goal. It exposed Pierre Henri Nortje.

Plagiarizing and then claiming it as your own research hardly reflects integrity.

If you have concerns about the credibility or otherwise of my research you can quite simply do what I did and start buying books and researching. I stand by my research published on the Internet.

Thankfully the fatal flaws in Pierre Henri's "work" are now filtering through the South African numismatic society and an extract out of one of several replies that I received today is pasted below:

I had assumed that Pierre was being recognised for his sterling work in promoting numismatics by his consistently excellent BoB listings. But no – it was for his article on the Griqua coinage which could not have taken him more than a few weeks to write. I have come to understand that the vested interests (i.e. money) of those members of that society who own these coins have created a impenetrable hysteria. No rebuttal from you will change that.

Edited by tokensa1
03/14/2016 1:13 pm
New Member
South Africa
21 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2016  01:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Karel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Mr Balson,

The credibility of your theory was brought into question by yourself when acknowledging that there are inaccuracies in some of your pieces.

You will be happy to learn that I do have one or two books on the subject (unfortunately not first editions as you have, but I am sure the content is the same). I was hoping you can point me to some of the books that you have used to help put forward your theory.
Edited by Karel
03/15/2016 02:13 am
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