Token coins and patterns gain recognition

There a growing trend that I have noticed about the growing legion of numismatists around the world. That is their recognition of trade and currency tokens as equals with their officially minted brothers.

There is a simple underlying reason for this and that is the Internet.

Hi Scott

I think the Strachan set (of 16) should be around £4000, they are excessively rare. also tokens are not an exact science, and traditionally have accrued slower than ZAR, but watch this space, patterns and tokens are seriously rare and will overtake normal coins.

Dave Southwell

The Internet has allowed people to publish information on their passion - from token coins to fairy floss. Information creates interest and while detailed records have been available on official currencies from the day of minting it is the investigative research by these numismatists that has unlocked a treasure trove of unique and fascinating histories that lie behind every single token coin.

Whether it be the Strachan and Co, the Durban Club or the F C Larkan or a legion of other tokens all numismatists now have to do is type in their name into Google and uncover this remarkable history documented by others.

This was not possible before the Internet - the information and the accessibility to these fascinating pieces through online auctions like eBay has seen this dramatic

Here are the most recent examples of the exploding prices of South African token coins:

Coins sold on eBay in April 2008

Brief Description

Official Value

Price raised on eBay


South Africa Halfpenny token of J.W. Irwin, Tea merchant & grocer, Capetown dated 1879 £18 £46
South Africa Morris's Hotel, Grahamstown penny token dated 1872

(Piece acquired by the Balson Holdings Family Trust)

£18 £45
South Africa Durban Club, Natal sixpence token dated 1860 in nickel with milled edge and the first coin minted for use South Africa, used for playing billiards within the Durban club £100 £180

As UK-based numismatist David Southwell notes, watch this space - token coins are the most exciting investments in modern day numismatics.

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