1902, Netherlands East Indies. 1/2 Dollar (50 Cents) Tobacco Plantation Token.
Reference: La We 251. Mint Period: 1902-1913 Region: Asahan, Sumatra Region: Kiau Chau (German Occupation) Condition: Minor deposits, otherwise a nice XF-AU! Denomination: 1/2 Dollar (50 Cents) - Plantation Token - Asahan Tabak Maatschappij Silau Material: Copper-Nickel Weight: 10.88gm Diameter: 28mm
Obverse: Chinese characters within inner circle, surroundedby latin initials A/T/S/M.
Reverse: Value (1/5) above denomination in english (DOLLAR). Legend: MUNT VAN DE ASAHAN TABAK MAATSCHAPPY "SILAU". Translated: "Currency of the Tobacco Asahan Society - Silau."
From about 1872 plantation and estate tokens were used, on a large scale, for payment on many tobacco plantations in the so called " Residence of the East coast of Sumatra" in the Netherlands East Indies. This "money" was used to pay the coolies who worked there on the plantations.The planters established on Sumatra's East coast started issuing this exchange item in a way which was directly related to the plantation or estate. As their main reason they said that there was a shortage of small change in these areas. But that was not really the main reason: what they really wanted was to get total control of money circulation on the estates. With that, the coolies were obliged to buy their daily supplies in the plantation shops
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