Pilo Fernando, Colombo
< 1869 - Coffee Pickers's Chit - 4½d

A 4½d Coffee Pickers's Chit, issued prior to 1869. Messrs. Pilo Fernando mills were at Slave Island, Colombo, and were pulled down about 1872.

Denomination4.5 pence
Diameter25.0 mm
Thickness mm
Weight4.01 gms
pilofernando_4hd_obverse pilofernando_4hd_reverse
Atkins #99 Lowsley #25 Pridmore #33 Mitchiner #2243

Obverse : Centered bust to left, uncrowned, of Queen Victoria COFFEE PICKER'S CHIT above along periphery within dotted circle inside raised rim.
along periphery within dotted circle inside raised rim.


The tokens valued at 4½ was the amount paid for a day's set labour task of picking half-a-hundred weight of clean coffee.

See also rectangular portrait shape token of half the value, although of practically the same weight.

The different shapes were doubtless sensibly adopted in order that workers might more easily understand the payment given to them for picking half a bag or a quarter of a bag of coffee;

According to Lowsley these Portuguese and native establishments are very difficult to trace in 1890 as they are less prominent and the names are far more common than English firms. Firm is not described in Pridmore.

* 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
* Oriental Coins AD 600 - 1979 by Michael Mitchiner (#2243)

The token was scanned at 300dpi and the images are displayed at 250dpi.
This beautifully toned almost unc token was purchased from a dealer in USA in 200?.
It was scanned at 600 dpi and displayed at 250 dpi.
A very fine condition coin was purchased on ebay in December 1998.
It has a small jewelry-like ring weld to obverse, indicating it was probably used as a pendent