14. HOW MANY VELDPOND WERE MINTED?

Cooney mentions in a letter to his niece that 530 coins were made:

When peace was proclaimed between the British and the Boers (papa will explain to you) we had only fairly started to make the crude coins of which enclosed is one, and all we made when the British supplanted the Boers in the Transvaal by treaty was 530 Coins.100

Reid says in his war memoirs that 400-500 pound were distributed amongst the Boers 101and that the rest was handed over to the government. According to Kloppers, General Lukas Meyer took 80 coins with him when he left for Vereeniging for the peace talks.102 A financial document recently discovered, disclosed that £100 veldpond were handed, to Mr van Velden, the secretary of the ZAR Executive Committee, during the first week of May 1902,

Barter wrote in a letter, dated 6 September 1932 to John Hunter McLea, that gold to the value of more than £500 pound was used.103

In an autographed signed letter addressed to Dr A Kaplan, General CH Muller states that 525 Veldpond were produced. 104

Two very interesting financial documents105 came to light recently. The one is a list of the payments made during April. It reveals that the first Veldpond was made on 9 April and that a total of 145 Veldpond were minted during that month of which £10 were handed over to General Muller on 21 April 1902, £10 paid for a mule that the ZAR bought from Marshall (24/4/02) and £25 handed over to General Muller on 3 May 1902. The balance is indicated as £100 and that was handed over to D van Velden, secretary of the ZAR Executive Committee.

(See Annexure A)


The other document is a financial statement for the period 10 May to 1 June 1902. signed by Barter, Pienaar, Joubert and Kloppers. It states that raw gold of the value of £426-19 (142-6-14 ounce) was handed over to the Mint Master in May from which 525 Veldpond as well as a balance of gold to the value of £144-16-0 were received at the end of May.
(See Annexure B)

The expenses paid (10 May-1 June 1902) , were the following:

Graham, Reid, Cooney, Kloppers each £3 for necessities 12
Sublimate 1
Tobacco 1
Pienaar for maize 2
Mint Master remuneration 10
D Graham remuneration 5
W Reid remuneration 5
Assayer (MJ Cooney) remuneration 20
Natives remuneration 6
Siver 0 - 11 - 6
 

The conclusion that can be drawn from these to financial statements is that 145 Veldpond were minted from April up to 9 May and 525 up to 1 June 1902. Total 525.

According to Kloppers, they continued their work until 7/8 June 1902 and produced a total of 968 Veldpond. It seems as if he interpreted the financial statement of the treasurer wrongly. The value of the raw gold used from 10 May to 1 June plus the coined gold for that period ads up to a total value of gold of ₤967-2-6 which is something different from the total figure of Veldpond coined at the Field Mint. (See Annexure B)

The burghers did stayed on at Pilgrim's Rest up to 7/8 June waiting for General Muller to return form Vereeniging, to lead them in laying down arms at Potloodspruit but the Boer Republics and the Field Mint ended together on 31 May 1902. The financial statements reflects that the Field Mint came to a standstill when peace was declared. This is confirmed by  Reid107 as well as Cooney.108Engraving the blank veldpond and making the decorations for the medals could have been done during the first week in June.




100Letter in possession of professor David Reed Thomas.

101The coins were exchanged for one £ per Veldpond by the burghers.

102National Archive Pretoria. Aanwins 551.

103Smith, Anna. Notes and News March 1976 volume 22 No 1. Africana Museum Johannesburg.

104Kaplan, A. Journal of the Institution of Certificated Engineers, South Africa. Dec 1946 p 242.

105National Archives, Pretoria.

106In Kloppers se handskrif op Arndt se manuskrip vir sy boek South African Mints. 1939.

107Memoirs of Reid and letter of Cooney.

108Letter in possession of professor David Read Thomas.


 
  INDEX
   
1. Introduction
2. Background
3. Pilgrim's rest
4. Contemplating the making of gold pounds
5. Permission for establishing a government mint
6. ZAR field mint at Pilgrim's rest
7. Workshop and machines
8. Process of making veldpond
9. Cabinet ministers visited Pilgrim's rest
10. The mint commission
11. Final product
12. Medals awarded
13. Veldpond as a reminder
14. How many veldpond were minted?
15. Mining property left behind in excellent condition
16. The last time the dies were used
17. Marshall's book
18. Diorama of the field mint at the empire exhibition 1936
19. Conclusion
20. References