Three very well struck brass tokens were issued probably by George Bird and represents a full, half and quarter task, possibly 9d. 4½d and 2¼d values, for picking a full, half and quarter bag of clean coffee.
|Lowsley Unlisted; Pridmore Unlisted|
|Obverse :||G B (George Bird) at center inside raised rim.|
|Reverse :||Blank within raised rim.|
The other two denominations looks identical.
The largest Full Unit (P#9) has Diameter 34 mm and weight 12.95 gms.
The larger Half Unit (P#10) has Diameter 28 mm and weight 8.55 gms
The GB tokens are tentatively associated with George Bird, one of the earliest planters in Ceylon. George Bird was the second brother of Colonel Henry Bird, Deputy Commissioner-General to His Majesty's Forces in Ceylon during the Governorship of Lieut.-General Sir Edward Barnes K.C.B. (1824-1831).
The first coffee estate in Ceylon was opened in 1821 at Sinnapitiya near Gampola under the management of George Bird. Later, he opened the land at Kondasale, and Pussellawa. In 1862 George Bird was at Gampola, the place from which the tokens possibly originate, as Lowsley (No. 4) makes special mention of the fact that he only found specimens at Kandy.
Pridmore notes that Lowsley listed them as copper, but all he examined were Brass.
* Coins and Tokens of Ceylon, Lieut. Col B. Lowsley, Num. Chron. Sr III Vol. XV, 1895.
* The Coins of British Commonwealth of Nations to the end of the reign of George VI 1952 Part 2 - Asian Territories by F. Pridmore Spink & Son Ltd., 1965. Tokens
This token is ex Shiran Cruse Collection. Imaged at 600 dpi Displayed at 300 dpi.