Coins of the British Caribbean Territories - Eastern Group

Started by <k>, April 01, 2018, 08:53:52 PM

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<k>

From Wikipedia:

In 1912, the British West Indies were divided into different colonies: The Bahamas, Barbados, Guiana, Honduras, Jamaica (with its dependencies the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands), Trinidad and Tobago, the Windward Islands, and the Leeward Islands.




British Leeward Islands
Anguilla
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Dominica
Montserrat
Saint Kitts and Nevis


British Windward Islands
Grenada
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
 
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<k>

From Wikipedia:

Jamaica, Bermuda, and the Bahamas preferred to use sterling accounts whereas British Guiana used dollar accounts. British Guiana used dollar accounts for the purpose of assisting in the transition from the Dutch guilder system of currency to the British pound sterling system. In the Eastern Caribbean territories the private sector preferred to use dollar accounts whereas the government preferred to use sterling accounts. In some of the Eastern Caribbean territories, notes were issued by various private banks, denominated in dollars equivalent to 4 shillings 2 pence.

In 1946, a West Indian Currency Conference saw Barbados, British Guiana, the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and the Windward Islands agree to establish a unified decimal currency system based on a West Indian dollar to replace the current arrangement of having three different Boards of Commissioners of Currency (for Barbados (which also served the Leeward and Windward Islands), British Guiana and Trinidad & Tobago).

In 1949, the British government formalized the dollar system of accounts in British Guiana and the Eastern Caribbean territories by introducing the British West Indies dollar (BWI$) at the already existing conversion rate of $4.80 per pound sterling (or $1 = 4 shillings 2 pence). It was one of the many experimental political and economic ventures tested by the British government to form a uniform system within their British West Indies territories. The ISO 4217 code of the currency was XBWD. The symbol "BWI$" for frequently used and the currency was known verbally as the "Beewee" (slang for British West Indies) dollar. Shortly thereafter in the 1950, the British Caribbean Currency Board (BCCB) was set up in Trinidad, with the sole right to issue notes and coins of the new unified currency and given the mandate of keeping full foreign exchange cover to ensure convertibility at $4.80 per pound sterling. In 1951, the British Virgin Islands joined the arrangement, but this led to discontent because that territory was more naturally drawn to the currency of the neighbouring US Virgin Islands. In 1959, the British Virgin Islands withdrew from the arrangement and adopted the US dollar.

Until 1955, the BWI$ existed only as banknotes in conjunction with sterling fractional coinage. Decimal coins replaced the sterling coins in 1955. These decimal coins were denominated in cents, with each cent being worth one halfpenny in sterling.
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<k>

From Wikipedia:

Coins were introduced in 1955 in denominations of ​1⁄2, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, minted under the name of "British Caribbean Territories, Eastern Group". The ​1⁄2, 1, and 2 cent coins were bronze and of the same weight and diameter as British Pound Sterling farthing, ​1⁄2 penny, and 1 penny coins. The 5 cents coin was brass while the 10, 25, and 50 cents were cupro-nickel. These coins remained in circulation until 1981, with the exception of the ​1⁄2 cent, which was withdrawn in 1965. All coins bore the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.
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<k>

The obverse of the coins showed the crowned effigy of the Queen, which was designed by Cecil Thomas. British colonies were required to use the crowned effigy on their coins, whilst Britain and the Dominions (the independent countries of the Commonwealth) used the uncrowned effigy.
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<k>

The bronze half cent had a very plain design on its reverse and was last minted in 1958.
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<k>

The 1 and 2 cent coins had a design of sprigs of laurel leaves on the reverse.
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<k>

The reverse of the 5, 10 and 25 cent coins featured a superb design of the Golden Hind. All the reverse designs in this set were the work of Royal Mint artist and sculptor Humphrey Paget.
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<k>

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

The reverse of the 50 cents carried a most unusual design. I will explain some of the detail in subsequent posts, but first here is a glimpse of the design. In probably the most extraordinary design of the Queen ever, she is shown standing in a seashell and driving a chariot of mythical "sea horses".
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<k>

Compare the scene above to that on the Barbados penny, below.
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<k>

According to numista, the reverse of the 50 cents shows:

Coats of Arms of the British Caribbean Territories: coats of Arms of the British Leeward Islands, badge of Trinidad before the independence - boat entering harbour with motto-, badge for British Guyana -ship with motto-, British Windward Islands.
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<k>

From Wikipedia:

The West Indies Federation was a short-lived political union that existed from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962. Various islands in the Caribbean that were colonies of the United Kingdom, including Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and those on the Leeward and Windward Islands, came together to form the Federation, with its capital in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The expressed intention of the Federation was to create a political unit that would become independent from Britain as a single state—possibly similar to the Canadian Confederation, Australian Commonwealth, or Central African Federation; however, before that could happen, the Federation collapsed due to internal political conflicts over how the Federation itself would be governed or how it would viably function. The territories that would have become part of the Federation eventually became the nine contemporary sovereign states of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago; with Anguilla, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands becoming British overseas territories. British Guiana (Guyana) and British Honduras (Belize) held observer status within the West Indies Federation.
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<k>

Below is the flag of the West Indies Federation.

See: West Indies Federation.




From Wikipedia:

In 1958, the West Indies Federation was established and the BWI$ was its currency. However, although Jamaica (including the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands) was part of the West Indies Federation, it retained the Jamaican pound, despite adopting the BWI$ as legal tender from 1954. Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands were already long established users of the sterling accounts system of pounds, shillings, and pence.

In 1964 Jamaica ended the legal tender status of the BWI$ and Trinidad and Tobago withdrew from the currency union (adopting the Trinidad and Tobago dollar) forcing the movement of the headquarters of the BCCB to Barbados and soon the "BWI$" dollar lost its regional support.

In 1965, the British West Indies dollar of the now defunct West Indies Federation was replaced at par by the East Caribbean dollar and the BCCB was replaced by the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority or ECCA (established by the Eastern Caribbean Currency Agreement 1965). British Guiana withdrew from the currency union the following year. Grenada rejoined the common currency arrangement in 1968 having utilized the Trinidad and Tobago dollar from 1964. Barbados withdrew from the currency union in 1972, following which the ECCA headquarters were moved to St. Kitts.

Between 1965 and 1983, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority issued the EC$, with banknotes from 1965 and coins from 1981. The EC$ is now issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, based in the city of Basseterre, in Saint Kitts and Nevis. The bank was established by an agreement (the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Agreement) signed at Port of Spain on July 5, 1983.

The exchange rate of $4.80 = £1 sterling (equivalent to the old $1 = 4s 2d) continued right into up until 1976 for the new Eastern Caribbean dollar.
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<k>

Quite a complex history, then, and I have depended heavily on Wikipedia, as usual. Comments are very welcome.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.