1785 - Ceylan

Bonk bar - Colombo VOC 4 3/4 Stuiver

It was decided by a Res. of Colombo dated 1785 Oct. 20, to strike Half copper Larins in the shape of small bars with two round countermarks on either end and declare them current at the rate of 4 3/4 Indian Stuivers or Half Larin.

Denomination4 3/4 Stuiver
Length65. mm
Width(max)20. mm
Thickness mm
Weight Legal63.41 gms
Weight63.67 gms
Codrington 129; Schloten 1295c; Mitchiner #2184; Krause #32
Obverse : Two round countermarks stamped on either end of bar; within a rim of of beads outside a plain circle - On left: 4 3/4 ST ; On right: VOC monogram, below C (Colombo)
Reverse : Same

VOC monogram of the Dutch East India Company has a large V superimposed on OC.

The length and weight of these flattened bars of Japanese copper bars often differs considerably from 58 to 105 mm and from 54 to 62 grams. The legal weight based at that eras copper standard in Stuivers should be 63.413 grams.

KM32S1295a*RRRND the VOC monogram to left, the value to right
KM32S1295b RRRND with S-T
KM32S1295c*RRRND the value to left, the VOC monogram to right

These bar coins are extremely rare.

Note that this Bonk Bar like those illustrated in Schloten Codrington and Mitchiner and on display in the Colombo Museum have a flat (screwdriver-like) end and a concave bar rather than the rounded end and convex bar coin of doubtful authenticity in the in the LakdivaCoin collection.

Note also that since the VOC symbol and the value oppose in orientation on both sides this bar could match either descriptions 1295a and 1295c depending on which symbol is upside down.

Text from
* The Coins of the Dutch Overseas Territories- 1601-1948
  C. Scholten, 1953, Amsterdam: Jacques Schulman.

I thank Jan Lingen who kindly sent me a 600dpi scan of this VF+ coin from his collection. The images was compessed to 300dpi to enable the full image to be displayed on most moniters and displayed at 200dpi.