Die geldgeskiedenis van die Vrystaat, 1854-1902, met spesiale verwysing na die numismatiese versameling van die Nasionale Museum in Bloemfontein
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This article deals with the money history of the republic of the Orange Free State (1854-1902), and uses specific examples from the numismatic collection of the National Museum, Bloemfontein.The Free State never had its own coinage. With the exception of Free State “good fors”, which were used to combat a shortage in coins, the republic had to make use of British and Transvaal coins. The idea of an own coinage was, however, raised on more than one occasion. A German firm by the name of Otto, Nolte & Co. submitted to the Free State government a quote and even went so far as to send six pattern coins to the government for approval. However these coins were never approved and therefore never coined. Some pattern pieces can still be found today, for example a one penny pattern coin from 1888 in the numismatic collection of the National Museum, Bloemfontein. These pattern pieces are unique and sought after by collectors. In 1865 the government of the Orange Free State issued the republic’s first inconvertable paper money to the value of £30 000. These government notes, of which the first issue was printed on blue paper, were known as “blue backs”. The State President, JH Brand, was supposed to sign all of the 30 000 notes that were issued but in the end only signed 6 700. This article clearly shows how important a role museums play in preserving a country’s history, and at the same time the article emphasises the kaleidoscopic nature of Cultural History.