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Bahamian Variations

Started by <k>, July 15, 2010, 02:19:41 AM

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<k>

Bahamas 1c coins plated.jpg


The Bahamas 1 cent coin has seen many variations over the years. As of 1985, it switched from brass to copper-plated zinc. The 1998 example, whose obverse and reverse you can see on the left of the image above, carries the original design of the starfish [as we say in the UK, but I believe the Americans call it a seastar], which appeared on the first 1 cent coins of 1966. This design was created by English artist Arnold Machin while contracted to the Royal Mint (UK).

In 2006 a new updated starfish design appeared on the 1 cent coin. This was as a result of the Royal Canadian Mint taking over the contract. This time we can see three starfish on the coin. The main starfish does not look all that different from the Royal Mint's version. Maybe this is because all starfish look alike (sorry if that sounds species-ist), or maybe the Royal Canadian Mint portrayed the twin brother of the original starfish. This design appears third from the left in the image below. Notice that the denomination now appears as a numeral ("1"), whereas formerly it was shown as a full word ("ONE").

As of 2009, yet another 1 cent variation appeared. You can see it on the far right of the image above. As you will notice, the design has not changed; however, the coin itself is now considerably smaller, thinner and lighter. Why it was considered worthwhile or cost-effective to reduce the size of a coin of such low value, I don't know. I think it would have made more sense just to demonetise the 1 cent denomination, but as a collector I am pleased to see yet another variation on this theme.
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<k>

#1
baha2009.jpg


Here is a nicer image of the two most recent 1 cent coins.

Since 1970, the 1 cent coin had always been 19mm in diameter.


The new smaller version is only 16mm in diameter.

It is considerably thinner than the previous version.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#2


Bahamas, 1 cent, 1966.


Let's return to 1966, when the first modern coinage of the Bahamas was issued.

We find that the obverse of the one cent coin portrayed Queen Elizabeth II.

This is because the Bahamas were still a British possession at the time.


The effigy of the Queen is by Arnold Machin.

It first appeared on the coins of Rhodesia in 1964.

It did not appear on the coins of the UK until 1968.


Arnold Machin also created the reverse designs of the Bahamian coinage.

His designs appear on both sides of the coins.


This very first one cent type was made of nickel-brass.

It had a diameter of 22.5mm.


The country name was given as "Bahama Islands".

"Commonwealth of the Bahamas" is the legend on current coins.

This one cent type was issued from 1966 to 1969.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#3
1970.jpg

Bahamas, 1 cent, 1970.


In 1970 a new one year type was issued.

The obverse and reverse designs and legends remained the same.


However, the coin was reduced from 22.5mm to 19mm in diameter.

The coin colour still appears yellowish in colour.

The catalogues record that it was actually minted in bronze.


Proof specimens were apparently struck in special brass.

That looks like a pale bronze.
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<k>

#4
1972 obv.gif 1972 rev.gif

Bahamas, 1 cent, 1972.


From 1971 to 1973, a new type was circulated.

The proof and uncirculated versions of the coin were now struck entirely in brass.


The only other change was to the country name.

It now appeared as "Commonwealth of the Bahama Islands".


The small "f" beneath the starfish is the Franklin Mint's mintmark.

Quantities of the coins were also struck, as before, by the Royal Mint.
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<k>

#5
1975 1c.jpg

Bahamas, 1 cent, 1975


On the 10th July 1973, the Bahamas became independent.

The next one cent type appeared in 1974.


The effigy of Queen Elizabeth was replaced by the Bahamian coat of arms.

The legend changed from "Commonwealth of the Bahama Islands" to "Commonwealth of the Bahamas".


The coin was still the same size and minted in brass.

The starfish design remained on the reverse.

However, the date was moved from the reverse to the obverse.

It has remained there ever since.


This coin was minted up to and including 1985.

It was the last one cent type to be minted in brass.

For types after 1985, revisit the first post of this topic.
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Figleaf

As the signs on the 1972 and 1975 pieces show, they were produced by the Darth Vader of pseudo coins, Franklin Mint. They had conquered the islands from 1971 to 1985, producing such a skewed supply of coins that proofs from this period are generally cheaper than bu pieces and KM quotes proof sets below issue price. Proofs of this period are much easier to find than circulation strikes.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

<k>

#7
Quote from: Figleaf on July 15, 2010, 09:32:19 AM
As the signs on the 1972 and 1975 pieces show, they were produced by the Darth Vader of pseudo coins, Franklin Mint. They had conquered the islands from 1971 to 1985, producing such a skewed supply of coins that proofs from this period are generally cheaper than bu pieces and KM quotes proof sets below issue price. Proofs of this period are much easier to find than circulation strikes.

Peter

Well, that's commercialism for you. In their defence, I will add that their coins were every bit as well minted as those from the Royal Mint. The 1970s proof sets I have from FM are very well packaged, and the condition of the coins contained in them has not deteriorated one jot: they still look FDC. Though the Bahamas designs were not by FM, they did provide circulation designs for other countries, e.g. Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago. These designs were created by top-flight artists and engravers and are of very high quality, much higher than the stuff you see emanating from the Pobjoy Mint and "Commonwealth Mint" these days. More than a few top-ranking numismatic artists cut their teeth at FM, including the Englishman Philip Nathan, who went on to create the Britannia for the Royal Mint.

On the other hand, FM did produce shedloads of art medals and ornaments which are very sentimental in style, or "sugary", as Figleaf would say, but I still say they had their moments, and the physical quality (if not always the artistic quality) of what they produced in the 1970s was always high and meant to last. I can still look at Papua New Guinea's circulation coins and marvel that they were produced by a team, and not by one person, yet still retain a unity of style, and I'd add that those designs are on a par with the Royal Mint's best modern thematic circulation designs for overseas countries.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Prosit

Back then I got a Franklin Mint catalog fairly regularly.  I was always impressed with the apparant quality of the items although I never bought any of their products.  The were expensive for the times.  Memory is not what it used to be but didn't Gilroy Roberts run the Franklin  Mint one itme?  (designer of the Kennedy half-dollar).  The Kennedy half is not what I would call an attractive coin although I put together several sets in uncirculated and proof at one time.

I liked the Franklin Mint's metal model cars but never had one of those either.
Dale

<k>

From "Coin Designers, Modelers and Engravers" (2008 edition) by Charles Hosch.

Just months after the Kennedy half dollar entered circulation, Gilroy Roberts left the Mint on 08 OCT 1964. This in itself is a noteworthy event, for he thus became the first Chief Engraver to leave by means of retirement, rather than death.
Shortly thereafter he teamed up with Joseph M. Segel, a Philadelphia advertising executive, to transform a small company
called General Numismatics Corporation into the Franklin Mint. Roberts' contributions at the fast-growing Franklin Mint
were both technical and artistic. At the outset, he oversaw the purchase and installation of minting equipment. Then,
through the years, he personally created many coin and medal designs for the mint, including a series of coins for the
British Virgin Islands and a set of medals depicting birds. In 1971, after more than six years as chairman of the board, he
curtailed his Franklin Mint duties and in 1980 retired completely. However, he continued to accept commissions from the
Franklin Mint and other clients. In 1986 he designed a Franklin Mint medal commemorating the 25th anniversary of John
F. Kennedy's inauguration.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Quote from: dalehall on July 15, 2010, 12:29:06 PM
The Kennedy half is not what I would call an attractive coin although I put together several sets in uncirculated and proof at one time.

I think the overall coin is not a classic, but the portrait of Kennedy is. You know instantly who it is. Gilroy Roberts' bird designs for the pseudo-coin set of the British Virgin Islands (1970s) are really very attractive, so I had to have them, whether they were pseudo-coins or not. They are actually legal tender coins but of course never circulated, and were not meant to, as the BVI use the US dollar.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Prosit

The first problem with the Kennedy half is that it doesn't actually show much artistic independance.  The portrait design is not that much of a change over the Franklin half and the reverse is the presidential seal.  Obviously it did not take a lot of inovation to do the coin.  With that being said, it was one of my favorite sets to put together.  Back in the middle 1970's the 1970-d was a toughie to get.  A 1970 mint set was $40 for a while.  The 70-d is no big deal today.  Gilroy Roberts showed more a little more freedom in design at the Franklin Mint and did good work.  Just my opinion.

Dale



Quote from: E.M.U. on July 15, 2010, 12:37:05 PM
I think the overall coin is not a classic, but the portrait of Kennedy is. You know instantly who it is. Gilroy Roberts' bird designs for the pseudo-coin set of the British Vrigin Islands (1970s) are really very attractive, so I had to have them, whether they were pseudo-coins or not. They are actually legal tender coins but of course never circulated, and were not meant to, as the BVI use the US dollar.

<k>

#12


The original 10 cents design, introduced in 1966.





The new design, introduced in 2007.


The Bahamas claims that it will update all its coin designs over the coming years.

The first one was of course the 1 cent coin, whose starfish design was updated in 2006.


Next was the 10 cents fish design. The new design was introduced in 2007.

Since then - nothing. That still leaves the 5c, 15c and 25c designs to be updated.


Apparently the 50 cents coins and above are found in sets only.

They are not used in circulation.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#13
Bahamas 1 Cent 2006.jpg

Bahamas, 1 cent, 2006.


Here is a nicer image of the 2006-dated cent.

The font on the obverse is nicely done.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#14
Bahamas 10c 1972.jpg

Bahamas, 10 cents, 1972.



Bahamas 10c 1973.jpg

Bahamas, 10 cents, 1973.


Another example, from 1973 this time.

The Bahamas became independent on 10th July 1973.

This is how the country name appears on the coins over the years:

Year     Obverse Legend                                             
1966-1970    Elizabeth II      BAHAMA ISLANDS                                         
1971-1973    Elizabeth II      COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS
1974 to date  Coat of arms    COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS           


Some of the 5 cents and 10 cents coins of 1973 carry the legend: "

THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS".

That is as opposed to just "COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS".

The former are Royal Mint products, whilst the latter are Franklin Mint products.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.