Author Topic: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension  (Read 15975 times)

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Offline <k>

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Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« on: September 09, 2011, 11:49:02 PM »
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« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 09:23:09 PM by <k> »
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 05:18:10 PM »



Saint Helena and Ascension are British overseas territories, located in the South Atlantic ocean off the West coast of Africa. They share a joint coinage.

According to Wikipedia:

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha form a British overseas territory, consisting of the islands of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the Tristan da Cunha group. It was previously known as Saint Helena and Dependencies until 1 September 2009, when a new constitution came into force giving the three islands equal status within the territory.

 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 02:29:10 PM by <k> »
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2020, 04:23:01 PM »


Coat of Arms of Saint Helena.



The coat of arms of Saint Helena was authorised on 30 January 1984. They feature a shield, with the top third showing the national bird, the Saint Helena plover (Charadrius sanctaehelenae). The bottom two thirds depict a coastal scene of the island, a three-masted sailing ship with the mountainous island to the left. The coastal scene is taken from the colonial seal of the colony and shows the flag of England flying from the ship (when the shield was first introduced in 1874 the flag was a White Ensign).

The motto is Loyal and unshakable. The full coat of arms features, above the shield, a woman holding a cross and a flower. This represents Helena of Constantinople, also known as Saint Helena, after whom the island is named. The cross is shown because Helena is credited with finding the relics of the 'True Cross' (the cross upon which Christ was supposedly crucified).
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2020, 04:23:33 PM »


Saint Helena: flag.



From Wikipedia:

Saint Helena is a volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, around 1950 kilometres (1210 miles) from Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 16 by 8 kilometres (10 by 5 miles) and has a population of 4255 (2008 census). The island lies around 1300 km (800 miles) south-east of Ascension Island and 2000 km (1240 miles) north-east of Tristan da Cunha.

Saint Helena is Britain's second-oldest remaining overseas territory (Bermuda is the oldest). It was named after Saint Helena of Constantinople.

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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2020, 04:24:51 PM »

Jamestown, capital of Saint Helena.



From Wikipedia:

Saint Helena was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. For centuries it was an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa.

In 1657 Oliver Cromwell granted the English East India Company a charter to govern Saint Helena and the following year the company decided to fortify the island and colonise it with planters. The first governor, Captain John Dutton, arrived in 1659, making Saint Helena one of Britain's oldest colonies outside North America and the Caribbean. A fort and houses were built. After the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, the East India Company received a royal charter giving it the sole right to fortify and colonise the island. The fort was renamed James Fort and the town Jamestown, in honour of the Duke of York, later James II of England.

Between January and May 1673, the Dutch East India Company forcibly took the island, before English reinforcements restored English East India Company control. The company experienced difficulty attracting new immigrants, and sentiments of unrest and rebellion fomented among the inhabitants.

Saint Helena remained an important port of call of the East India Company. East Indiamen would stop there on the return leg of their voyages to British India and China. At Saint Helena ships could replenish supplies of water and provisions, and during war time, form convoys that would sail under the protection of vessels of the Royal Navy.

The importation of slaves was made illegal in 1792. Governor Robert Patton (1802–1807) recommended that the company import Chinese labour to supplement the rural workforce. The coolie labourers arrived in 1810, and their numbers reached 600 by 1818. Many were allowed to stay, and their descendants became integrated into the population.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2020, 04:25:25 PM »

Jamestown, as seen from the sea.



From Wikipedia:

In 1815 the British government selected Saint Helena as the place of detention of Napoleon Bonaparte. After his death, the thousands of temporary visitors were soon withdrawn and the East India Company resumed full control of Saint Helena. Under the provisions of the 1833 India Act, control of Saint Helena was passed from the East India Company to the British Crown, becoming a crown colony. Subsequent administrative cost-cutting triggered the start of a long-term population decline whereby those who could afford to do so tended to leave the island for better opportunities elsewhere.

Ascension Island was made a dependency of Saint Helena in 1922, and Tristan da Cunha followed in 1938. During the Second World War, the United States built Wideawake airport on Ascension in 1942, but no military use was made of Saint Helena. The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Saint Helena and the other Crown colonies as British Dependent Territories. The islanders lost their right of abode in Britain. For the next 20 years, many could find only low-paid work with the island government, and the only available employment outside Saint Helena was on the Falkland Islands and Ascension Island. The Development and Economic Planning Department, which still operates, was formed in 1988 to contribute to raising the living standards of the people of Saint Helena.

In 2002, the British Overseas Territories Act 2002 granted full British citizenship to the islanders, and renamed the Dependent Territories (including Saint Helena) the British Overseas Territories. In 2009, Saint Helena and its two territories received equal status under a new constitution, and the British Overseas Territory was renamed Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

The island had a monocrop economy until 1966, based on the cultivation and processing of New Zealand flax for rope and string. St Helena's economy is now weak, and is almost entirely sustained by aid from the British government. The public sector dominates the economy. The tourist industry is heavily based on the promotion of Napoleon's imprisonment. A golf course also exists and the possibility for sportfishing tourism is great.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2020, 04:25:54 PM »

Map of Saint Helena.



The ethnically mixed inhabitants of Saint Helena are mainly descended from people from Britain – settlers ("planters") and soldiers – and from slaves who were brought there from the beginning of settlement – initially from Africa (the Cape Verde Islands, Gold Coast and west coast of Africa), then India and Madagascar. English is the official language.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2020, 04:32:10 PM »


Coat of Arms of Ascension Island.



The arms were officially granted 2 February 2012. They feature two green turtles as supporters. The white tern (locally referred to as the 'fairy tern') appears on the shield, while the Ascension parsley fern (Cryptogramma crispa) protrudes from the rocks.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2020, 04:32:55 PM »

Flag of Ascension Island.



From Wikipedia:

Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around 1600 km (1000 miles) from the coast of Africa and 2250 km (1400 miles) from the coast of Brazil, which is roughly midway between the horn of South America and Africa. It is governed as part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, of which the main island, Saint Helena, is around 1300 km (800 miles) to the southeast.

Ascension became a dependency of St. Helena in 1922. Initially, Ascension was administered by the Board of Admiralty and flew the (British) White Ensign. On 1 September 2009 a new constitution came into force, giving Ascension equal status with Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha. Ascension was given its own Coat of Arms, which was approved by Queen Elizabeth II in May 2012. It shows important symbols from the Territory, including a shield emblazoned with the Green Mountain that dominates the skyline, together with three Wideawake Birds (sooty terns), secured by two Green Turtles. Previously Ascension used the British Union Flag was used, until a distinctive flag for the island was adopted in May 2013, which incorporated the coat of arms as part of its design.

Ascension Island has an area of 88 sq. km (34 sq. miles). There is no indigenous population on the island, and around 880 people live there as of 2010: 696 from Saint Helena nicknamed the "Saints" (who are British citizens), 106 British citizens from the United Kingdom, 70 US citizens and 12 of other nationalities. RAF Ascension Island is made up of 17 staff. The main economic activity on the island is centred on the military bases at Wideawake Airfield, and the BBC World Service's Atlantic Relay station. The main export items are Ascension Island postage stamps, first issued in 1922, and, since 2010, commemorative coins - which are legal tender but non-circulating - and commercial fishing licences for long-line tuna fishing vessels.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2020, 04:33:27 PM »

Georgetown, Ascension Island.



From Wikipedia:

Georgetown is the capital of Ascension Island. The island is named after the day of its recorded discovery, Ascension Day. It was an important haven and coaling station to mariners and for commercial airliners during the days of international air travel by flying boats. During World War II it was an important naval and air station, especially providing antisubmarine warfare bases in the Battle of the Atlantic. Ascension Island was garrisoned by the British Admiralty from 22 October 1815 to 1922.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2020, 04:33:50 PM »

Map of Ascension Island.



From Wikipedia:

Ascension Island consists of a volcanic peak rising from only 100 km (62 miles) west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Much of the island is a wasteland of lava flows and cinder cones; no fewer than 44 distinct dormant craters have been identified.

In 1503 the Portuguese navigator Afonso de Albuquerque sighted the island on Ascension Day and named it Ilha da Ascensão after this feast day. Dry and barren, the island had little appeal for passing ships except for collecting fresh meat, and was not claimed for the Portuguese Crown. Mariners could hunt for the numerous seabirds and the enormous female green turtles that laid their eggs on the sandy beaches. The Portuguese also introduced goats as a potential source of meat for future mariners.

Organised settlement of Ascension Island began in 1815, when the British garrisoned it as a precaution after imprisoning Napoleon I on Saint Helena to the southeast. On 22 October the Cruizer class brig-sloops Zenobia and Peruvian claimed the island for His Britannic Majesty King George III.  The location of the island made it a useful stopping-point for ships and communications. The Royal Navy used the island as a victualling station for ships. A garrison of Royal Marines was based there from 1823.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2020, 04:35:24 PM »
In modern times, prior to 1976, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha used the UK pound sterling as their sole official currency. Saint Helena passed the Currency Fund Ordinance of 1975 and the Currency Regulations of 1976 in the interest of generating seigniorage revenue. In 1976 the currency board of the Government of Saint Helena began issuing 1 and 5 pound notes, followed by 50 pence and 10 pound notes in 1979. These banknotes have always circulated alongside UK banknotes and coins. The Saint Helena banknotes also circulated on Ascension but not on Tristan da Cunha.

The Saint Helena pound is therefore a separate currency from the UK pound sterling, but it is pegged to the UK pound at a rate of one to one. The Saint Helena pound is created by the St Helena currency board and is fully backed, 100%, by reserves of the UK pound sterling, which is its anchor currency. For a fuller explanation of currency boards, read this topic: There are only four basic currency systems in the world.



See also: St. Helena Currency Board: History.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2020, 04:38:45 PM »
St Helena-Ascension issued its first modern coinage in 1984. The coinage and banknotes of the UK remain legal tender on the islands.

The territory's coins were minted to the same specifications of size, shape, colour and weight as their UK counterparts. They were produced by the Royal Mint (UK). The UK removed any reference to "NEW" pence from its coinage in 1982, and because St Helena-Ascension's coins were not minted until 1984, they also omit that reference.

The UK itself introduced a circulation 20 pence coin in 1982 and a circulation pound coin in 1983. Surprisingly, the 1984 coinage of St Helena-Ascension did not include a 20 pence coin. The obverse of St Helena-Ascension's coins carried Arnold Machin's effigy of Elizabeth II, and 1984 was also the last year that the UK's coinage used that effigy. The Saint Helena 50 pence and 1 pound notes were withdrawn after the issue of the corresponding coins.

The reverses of the coins of St Helena-Ascension carried some superb wildlife designs by Englishman Michael Hibbit, who has produced various designs for the Royal Mint, UK:



NOTE:  Tristan da Cunha has never used the coinage of St Helena-Ascension. Only UK currency is legal tender on TDC. However, currencies such as the Rand, the US dollar and the euro are accepted from tourists. TDC produces its own collector coin sets, but these are not intended for circulation. However, the TDC Post Office notes that there are a few TDC 5 pound coins in circulation. Given that the population of TDC is only 267, this is presumably known about by all and tolerated as a novelty for tourists.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2020, 04:47:24 PM »



The coinage carried a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

The legend indicated that this was the coinage of Saint Helena and Ascension.
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Re: Milestones in the decimal coinage of St. Helena-Ascension
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2020, 04:49:59 PM »



Here you see the Queen's effigy on a copper-nickel 10 pence coin of 1984.
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