All prices in US Dollars
Updated December 2007

Note: Since the evolution of the Internet the price of S&Co coins has started rising dramatically - probably because of the comprehensive research done on these trade tokens which were used as currency for many years in the region of South Africa now known as East Griqualand. This price rise is just the tip of the ice berg as the S&Co are now being recognised by serious collectors of S African coins as being as collectable as the 1902 Veld Pond, the Sammy Marks Tickey and the Burgers Pond. These coins change hands for thousands of dollars a piece.

The flooding of auction sites like BidorBuy with the 2/- S&Co pieces by several coin dealers in 2008 and 2009 saw their prices decline quite dramatically. At the peak of the flooding, in 2009, Scott Balson acquired some fifty 2/- S&Co (mainly set 3 and 4) pieces in one purchase for just ZAR1,200 (about US$150)! The 2/- pieces were originally purchased from "a policeman" in 2003 but only made their way into the market five years later. More on this large cache of 2/- pieces linked here. The origins of this large cache of over 500 S&Co 2/- pieces is discussed at this link.

South Africa's first indigenous coinage and coins melted down:

The S&Co pieces described below were South Africa's first indigenous currency - being issued in 1874. It should be noted most of the coins counted by Scott Balson in 1977 and listed as "estimated mintage" below were melted down in the 1980s - see letter below.
Dear Scott

My grandfather worked for Strachan & Co. in the 1930s and later for James Cole before buying his own store in the Umzimkulu district. After the introduction of the homeland systen he bought a store on the Natal side of the river on the road beyond Madonela station, which was where I spent the first few years of the life. I am presently in the process of privately publishing a limited edition work on the white traders and farmers of the Umzimkulu district. It will include James Cole, the Staffords etc. Ken Strachan had the remaining tokens melted down and the money he made from selling the brass was given to St Peter's in Pietermaritzburg*.


(*Provenence held - Milner was a close friend of Ken Strachans. These coins melted down came from the same tokens counted by Scott Balson and noted below - in other words many of these coins no longer exist making all coin types much rarer than would first appear). From the attached scans you can see that Scott Balson offered to buy the entire stock of Strachan and Co coins from the firm in 1977 but, sadly, this offer was declined. See scan of Margaret Rainier'e letter dated 7th September 1977 page one and page two.

A few hundred of the Strachan tokens held by Ken strachan were given to a local jeweller (Forder) in the early 1990s before the rest were scrapped. These were put into jewellery. An example of his work can be seen below. (Pietermaritzburg was affectionately referred to as "Sleepy Hollow".)

No tokens were listed for sale on ebay in 2004 and just a few were listed in 2005 and 2006 attracting record prices and interest. The importance of these tokens is now spreading through the numismatic community and, as a result, fewer are being traded as prices are expected to rise dramatically.

In July 2006 a Strachan and Co coin attracted more bidders and a much higher price on eBay than an EF graded 1892 five shilling ZAR coin - S&Co bid scan - 1892 crown bid scan

The S&Co - true currency token coins

Technical and mintage statistics at this link.
Denomination est Mintage* Sell Buy Last Sale
3d 2,739 100 75 83 - Ebay December 2007
6d 1,627 120 95 69 - Ebay December 2007
1/- 452 150 120
2/- 342 150 120

The S&Co MH Set - true currency token coins

Technical and mintage statistics at this link.
Denomination est Mintage* Sell Buy Last Sale
3d 109 750 600
6d 85 n/a 700
1/- 81 n/a 725
2/- 85 n/a 700

The S&Co (OLD) In Goods - trade token coins

Technical and mintage statistics at this link.
Denomination est Mintage* Sell Buy Last Sale
3d 932 100 85
6d 802 120 90 67 - Ebay - December 2007
1/- 61 n/a 775
2/- 365 250

The S&Co (NEW) In Goods - trade and barter token coins

Technical and mintage statistics at this link.
Denomination est Mintage* Sell Buy Last Sale
3d 4,209 100 85 122 - Ebay - December 2007
6d 5,902 100 85
1/- 1,365 130 120 145.50 - Ebay - December 2007
2/- 1,830 100 152.50 - Ebay - December 2007

History of known transactions prices of Strachan and Co sets (16 tokens):

Prices of individual Strachan and Co coins have more than tripled since 2003 - all private sales except where noted.
It should be noted that these prices have a long way to go when compared with the trading prices of other unusual South African coins of this time - such as the Burgers Pond.  

Technical and mintage statistics of all coins at this link.
Year Last Sale
1981 US$ 35
1986 US$ 300
1991 US$ 600*
1999 US$ 750
2002 US$ 800
2003 US$ 950
2003 US$ 975
2003 US$2,800
2004 US$3,000
2005 US$3,500
2007 US$4,000*

* Pre release of Balson's book "Children of the Mist"

*Sold at Spinks, Noble Numismatics auction #37 on 13th November 1991 (item 1860)

Known owners of complete sets of Strachan and Co tokens

There are no S&Co sets for sale at this time that we know of.

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