The “Griqua Town” Pattern Coins

A Brief Discription & History

On the obverse of the penny appears the “young head” of Queen Victoria, and on the reverse the dove of peace bearing an olive branch – the emblem of the London Missionary Society. There are two variations of the penny: above the dove (on one) is the word “Griqua” and below it the word “Town”. On either side of the dove is a small star. This penny bears no date. The other penny is dated 1890, and “Griqua Town” appears above the dove, which has three small stars on either side. “Griqua Town” was situated in Griqualand West, where the griquas lived up to the 1860’s As a result of the dispute of the border between the remaining Griquas and the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, the diamond fields, about which arbitration was sought, were awarded to the Griquas by Commissioner Keate. In 1873, Griqualand West was declared a separate British colony and in 1880, it was incorporated into the Cape Colony.The penny was probably minted by Otto Nolte & Co. of Berlin. The “Griqua Town” on the coin is therefore not clear – it could have been a mistake, or the coin may simply have been an example of the firm’s work submitted to the Colony

*Source: ‘Money in South Africa’ – C.L. Engelbrecht

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