Ceylon Telephone Tokens

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Mark Freehill reports in column Numismatic Odyssey of World Coins 1969 December issue (Vol 6 #72, Page 1388)

A letter from the postmaster general and director of telecommunications, Colombo, Ceylon, confirms that this piece is indeed a telephone token. In Ceylon 10 cent silver coins were used by the public to obtain calls through the manual exchange operator; the pieces are placed in the box on the request of the operator. During World War II, the 10 cent silver coins were demonetised by a proclamation of the Governor dated 1942 December 3rd, with effect from 1943 February 28th and replaced by paper money and the Postal and Telecommunications department supplied these GPO tokens (General Post Office) to replace the 10 cent coins used in telephone boxes.

The tokens were sold at the Post Office counters and other public counters at 10 cents each. They are no longer in use, and it is not now possible to say how many were issued by the department.

The countermarked 10 cents may have been used in General Post Office phone booths like the minted G.P.O. crown token. Presumably issued as a temporary measure whilst tokens were being manufactured owing to the withdrawal of silver coins occasioned by WW2.

Ceylon Telephone Tokens - (Now known as Sri Lanka)
Material Cu-ni
Filename CEY001
Description a crown depicted
Size (mm) 15.4 - 1.2g
Source © malj1 collection
Notes Reeded edge
Material Silver
Filename CEY003
Description George V coin countermarked GPO
Rev. Ceylon 10 cents (various dates)
Size (mm) 15.7 - 1.2g
Source Parkingtokens
Notes Reeded edge
Material Silver
Filename CEY002
Description George VI coin countermarked GPO
Rev. Ceylon 10 cents 1941 countermarked GPO
Size (mm) 15.7 - 1.2g
Source © malj1 collection
Notes Reeded edge