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Author Topic: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia  (Read 35154 times)

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Offline eurocoin

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Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« on: July 22, 2015, 04:57:07 PM »

Flag of Southern Rhodesia



In the 1880s the British explorer and entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes arrived in southern Africa with his British South Africa Company. By 1888 he had obtained a concession for mining rights from King Lobengula of the Ndebele peoples, and he used this to persuade the British government to grant his British South Africa Company (BSAC) a royal charter over Matabeleland.

Rhodes gradually negotiated similar concessions, which eventually covered all the territory between the Limpopo River and Lake Tanganyika, then known as Zambezia. In 1895 the BSAC renamed it Rhodesia in his honour. The region south of the Zambezi, now known as Zimbabwe, was officially renamed Southern Rhodesia in 1898. The region to the north was administered separately by the BSAC and later named Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).

As a result of a referendum held in 1922, Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing British colony in October 1923.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 04:57:35 PM »
Prior to 1923, British coins were the only ones that were in circulation in the Rhodesian colonies. Rhodesian branches of South African trading banks issued their own notes from just after 1900 to around 1940 from their Salisbury branches.
 
Between 1923 and 1932, both British & South African coins were in circulation, but the South African coins were never legal tender in the Rhodesian colonies.
 
From 1932 to 1954, Southern Rhodesia had its own coins. British coins were legal tender in the Rhodesian colonies until 1953, but Southern Rhodesian coins were in use in both Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland as well.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 04:59:04 PM »

Portrait of King George V.



From 1932 Southern Rhodesia introduced its own silver coins and the British Imperial and South African coins, which had been in use there, were withdrawn. The new coinage was provided by Britain's Royal Mint. Percy Metcalfe designed the portrait of King George V that appeared on the obverse of the coins.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 05:01:31 PM »


The reverse designs were created by George Kruger-Gray. The themes were as follows:

3d.   Three spear tips.           
6d.   Crossed axes.               
1s.   Zimbabwe soapstone bird.     
2s.   Sable antelope.     

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 05:02:28 PM »

The half crown showed the coat of arms. You can see Kruger-Gray's initials on the design. The design remained unchanged, apart from the letters indicating the reigning monarch. This image shows a half crown from the reign of George VI.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 05:03:31 PM »

1933 saw a request for the lower denominations of penny and halfpenny sent to the Royal Mint, London. As the Southern Rhodesian government wished to keep the costs of this coinage as low as possible, a rejected pattern for a 1927 Imperial sixpence was adapted. That piece had featured a Tudor rose, now struck with a hole through its centre. The original design was the work of the artist Derwent Wood. The coins were produced in copper-nickel, unlike their British bronze counterparts.

The coins were proclaimed current in Southern Rhodesia on 26 June 1934 and in Northern Rhodesia on 9 January 1935.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 05:04:34 PM »

A Southern Rhodesian penny, dated 1934.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 05:05:49 PM »

Crowned effigy of King George VI.

Prior to 1936, only Britain was allowed to use the uncrowned effigy of the monarch on her coins. The colonies, dependencies and dominions were required to use the crowned effigy, in order to distinguish "Homeland" (British) coinage from local coinage, where they co-circulated.

During the reign of George V, pressure grew throughout the Dominions for them to be allowed, like Britain, to use the uncrowned effigy. After all, they were now equal to Britain (even if Britain was, as head of the Empire, still first among equals), yet their coinage still resembled that of the colonies in being required to use the crowned head. Curiously, a system that had developed for very practical reasons was now seen as symbolic of a hierarchy, and the Dominions were keen to see their new status acknowledged on that most visible of national symbols, the coinage. However, George V died in January 1936, without their wish having been realised.

After the death of George V, King Edward VIII decided to allow the Dominions to use the uncrowned effigy. However, he did not reign long enough to see the decision implemented, and it did not happen until the reign of George VI. Southern Rhodesia was technically a colony, but her constitutional position was somewhere between a colony and a Member of the Commonwealth, and her affairs were handled by the Dominions Office in Westminster - not the Colonial Office. The Dominions Office had asked if Southern Rhodesia would prefer to use an uncrowned effigy at the start of the reign of George VI, but Southern Rhodesian officials decided  to retain the crowned effigy, for the very practical reason of avoiding confusion between their coinage and that of South Africa. The effigy used (see image above) was designed by the Royal Mint engraver Percy Metcalfe.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2015, 05:06:42 PM »

This is how the common side of the penny and half penny looked after George VI ascended the throne.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2015, 05:07:37 PM »

British coins were demonetized on 8 July 1939 in Southern Rhodesia. From 1942 onward, the half penny and penny were produced in bronze, like their British counterparts, instead of in copper-nickel.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2015, 05:09:38 PM »




In 1947 India became independent. George VI was no long Emperor of India, so from 1948 onward his title on the South Rhodesian coins was changed from "GEORGE VI KING EMPEROR" to "KING GEORGE THE SIXTH".

On the reverse on the half crown, "RI" ("Rex Imperator") has now become merely "R".

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2015, 05:11:00 PM »

George VI died in 1952. He was succeeded by his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. The first South Rhodesian coin issued during her reign was a crown commemorating the centenary of the birth of Cecil Rhodes. The intricate design was the work of British engraver Humphrey Paget. Beneath the portrait of Rhodes, you can see the coat of arms, from left to right, of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and Nyasaland (now Malawi). Southern Rhodesian coinage circulated in all these territories.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2015, 05:12:00 PM »

On the change of reign, the Dominions Office once again asked if Southern Rhodesia would prefer to use an uncrowned effigy of the monarch. This time, the answer was yes.

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2015, 05:16:45 PM »




The first circulation coins of the new reign did not appear until 1954. Above you can see the penny and half penny (not to scale).

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Re: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2015, 05:18:01 PM »

The only two other circulation coins to be issued in 1954 were the two shillings and the half crown. You can see the reverse of the half crown above, with the letters "EII" and "R" within the scrolls, indicating the new monarch. The obverse portrait remained as before, on the Rhodes commemorative crown, with the legend "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND". The reverse of the two shillings coin remained unchanged. These coins of 1954 were the last to be issued specifically for Southern Rhodesia.