Author Topic: Griquatown 'dove' money - token or currency?  (Read 115 times)

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Offline Deeman

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Griquatown 'dove' money - token or currency?
« on: November 19, 2021, 07:21:53 PM »
In the Cape Colony, an issue of Griquatown ‘dove money’ around 1817, minted in London and promoted by John Campbell of the London Missionary Society, is considered South Africa’s ‘first autonomous coinage.’ He argued that a metallic coinage would ‘promote the trade of the community’ and circulate in the wider region. It consisted of four denominations - copper farthings and halfpennies, silver 5 and 10 pence pieces - but they never circulated widely and most were eventually melted down. The dove was the symbol of the London Missionary Society which featured on the coins.

Thoughts please whether to categorise the coins as tokens or de facto currency.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Griquatown 'dove' money - token or currency?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 08:25:34 PM »
Recent research has shown that these pieces saw a limited circulation as money. However, there is no trace of approval of the powers that be. It was a private issue of the London Missionary Society using its own symbolism, rather than the symbols of a sovereign entity. In my eyes, these are tokens.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Griquatown 'dove' money - token or currency?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2021, 10:03:14 PM »
I agree, they were tokens. There was apparently no official sanction for them although struck in London.

Bruce
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Offline Deeman

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Re: Griquatown 'dove' money - token or currency?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2021, 12:11:34 AM »
Thanks Figleaf and brandm24 for your deliberations - and coming to the same conclusion.

Offline Elak

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Re: Griquatown 'dove' money - token or currency?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2021, 01:10:28 AM »
Something similar might be Bank of Ireland tokens, issued in Ireland by the Bank of Ireland for a few years around 1805 and 1806.

The Bank of Ireland, founded as a private joint stock bank, had the right to issue banknotes but not coinage. It issued metal tokens (which resembled coins, with the bust of George iii) for a few years in response to a shortage of coinage.

The tokens received a lot of circulation, and are quite common.

irishcoinage.com has some nice images of Bank of Ireland tokens

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Griquatown 'dove' money - token or currency?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2021, 12:20:46 PM »
Yes, the Bank of Ireland issues saw wide circulation. However, unlike the Griquatown tokens, the symbolism on these pieces is that of a sovereign entity, the UK. Like other banknote-issuing banks, in particular the Bank of England, the Bank of Ireland was private. However, it was in practice controlled by the government. I would unhesitatingly call their metallic issues coins.

For clarification, let's deal also with the Canadian bank tokens. They were preceded by the bouquet sous, widely used, issued by private banks, much imitated and always without government approval. The side view and front view bank tokens of 1838 and 1839 were a reaction of the Canadian powers that be to the lightweight sous. They were sanctioned by law and IIRC by the homeland authorities BUT the execution of the law was outsourced to the same private banks, that had issued the reasonable weight 1838 habitant sous. To me, the bouquet sous are tokens, the bank view tokens are coins, although their obverses carry private symbolism (a generic bank building), even when the word token is in their legend.

If anyone wants me to, I can document the above paragraph when I am back home.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Griquatown 'dove' money - token or currency?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2021, 12:37:10 PM »
Thanks for the links to the history of the Ireland Bank Tokens. I've always been curious about them but never did any research. This from a guy who researches nearly everything of interest to me. :)

Bruce
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