5. PERMISSION FOR ESTABLISHING A GOVERNMENT MINT

Within a week the ZAR Government on the Battle Field (Regering te Velde)22 gave permission to mint gold pounds. With this, the ZAR Field Mint (Munt te Velde) came into existence under authority of General Muller, who had to ensure that the requirements of the Coinage Act of the ZAR (no 14 of 1891) would be met. This law determined that a pound sterling should weigh 7.98805 grams and contain 7.3244 grams of pure gold23.

Interesting note: Since the occupation of Pretoria, the British regarded the ZAR as being under their rule. In February 1901 Lord Milner proclaimed that both defacing and making coins was prohibited24. The manufacturing of the Veldpond at Pilgrim's Rest could therefore, under the British proclamation, be regarded as an unlawful act.

 
General Muller with his officers. Willy Barter in the middle row, second from left
Pienaar sitting on the ground next to General Muller, third from the right
 




22 Regering te Velde refers to a government that is not in their capital city any more, but on the battlefield. Compare the military    rank, of Field Marshall, which refers to a Marshall on the battlefield.

23 Becklake, JT. Notes on the Coinage of the South African Republic in Numismatic Chronicle fifth series, vol xiv 1934:185.

24 Proclamation No 4 of 6 February 1901.

 
  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