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Modern European coins except the euro => UK and Ireland => UK Pre-decimal coins => Topic started by: <k> on October 21, 2011, 09:26:27 PM

Title: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on October 21, 2011, 09:26:27 PM
Britain's defunct pre-decimal system of pounds, shillings and pence (£sd) was once also used by many of its overseas territories and colonies. Several of these were eventually given their own national coinage, but denominated in pounds, shillings and pence. Usually we look at these coinages in isolation, but it is also instructive to compare and contrast the denominations. Coins of the same denomination often conformed to the British standard, that is, to the specifications of the coin that circulated in the UK. This was not always the case, however, and the lower down the denominations you go, the more likely you are to see some interesting variations.

You will see that I originally conceived of the denominations as separate topics. However, I think it is more useful to keep them together, so I have merged them. They are not all in denominational order, as I started with the threepence and moved onto the silver and cupro-nickel coins, before returning to the penny and its siblings.

Let the parade commence!



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Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 20, 2011, 11:38:54 PM
The threepence was part of the now defunct pound, shillings and pence system. The British exported this system to various parts of their empire. Often the size, shape, metal and weight of the various versions of these coins was more or less uniform across the Empire: this can be observed in the shillings, florins and halfcrowns. However, the lower the denomination, the more likely the different coins were to show variations. The threepence is a nice example, because most of them did match one another in size, shape, weight and metal, and the different designs are interesting to look at. But there were a few that deviated in various ways from the standard.

The silver and cupro-nickel threepences of the UK and the various countries of the Empire that used it were around 16mm in diameter and around 1.4 grams in weight. I'll start with this UK threepence of 1925, because the reverse design it carries had been more or less standard since 1822, but from 1927 onward a new design was adopted.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 20, 2011, 11:39:34 PM
A new reverse design was adopted in the UK from 1927 to 1936, depicting three acorns. From 1937 to 1945 the reverse design honoured England and showed a Tudor rose surmounted by the flag of St George, the English national flag.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 20, 2011, 11:48:25 PM
Bear in mind that the images in this topic are NOT to scale!

Of the overseas threepences, these ones from British West Africa (a currency union) and South Africa are a good point to start from, as they both have rather old-fashioned reverse designs that portray a wreath.

The British West Africa threepence was issued from 1913 to 1957 with the same reverse design. The South African reverse design was issued from 1923 to 1925.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 20, 2011, 11:54:07 PM
From 1925, the reverse of the South African threepence carried a new design of a protea, the national plant. From 1925 to 1930, the denomination was shown as "3 PENCE", but from 1931 to 1960, the last year of its issue, it was shown as "3D".
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 12:01:57 AM
Australia introduced its own threepence in 1911. The reverse design showed the coat of arms until 1936, but from 1938 until 1964, the last year of its issue, it showed three wheat stalks.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 12:04:52 AM
The New Zealand threepence was issued from 1933 to 1965. The reverse design depicted Maori war clubs.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 12:21:00 AM
Southern Rhodesia's threepence, whose reverse design shows African spearheads, lasted from 1932 until 1952. In 1953, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), along with Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi), became part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, whose threepence depicted a flame lily. Zambia and Malawi eventually became independent, but in 1965 the Rhodesian Front, the white ruling party of Southern Rhodesia, illegally declared it independent under the new name of Rhodesia. This was without the agreement of the British. A Rhodesian threepence was issued in 1968 only.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 12:30:22 AM
In 1930s Britain, the public found the silver threepence an inconvenient coin, as it was very small and easily lost. As a result, in 1937 a new chunky brass twelve-sided threepence was introduced. The new coin weighed 6.8 g, was 21.8mm in diameter and 2.6mm thick. It circulated alongside the smaller threepences, which continued to be issued through to 1945.

The brass threepenny bit proved to be a very popular coin. It was last minted in 1970, a year before decimalisation.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 12:41:17 AM
The brass threepenny bit is also famous for its beginnings. When King Edward VIII ascended the throne in early 1936, he specifically requested that the British  coinage should be modernised. Various trials and patterns were produced with his effigy on the obverse. Some of the trials were sent out to vending machine manufacturers for testing purposes, but a few were never returned. No official circulation coins of Edward VIII were ever issued, because he abdicated at the end of 1936, so the existing trials became very valuable. Edward himself tried to acquire one during his lifetime but was unsuccessful.

In the 1990s, I read the story in Coin News of one coin collector. As a 10-year-old in 1950, he received an Edward VIII threepence in his change while buying an ice cream. He sent it to the Royal Mint for authentication. The Royal Mint wrote back to him, confirming its authenticity. They added that the piece was Royal Mint property, since all trials were meant to have been handed back, therefore they were confiscating it! In the same issue of Coin News there was by chance an article reporting on a sale of one of the scarce pieces, which had just fetched 25 thousand pounds sterling at auction! I'll bet that collector felt sick, both as boy and man.

The trial threepence comes with two different reverses.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 01:24:03 AM
Surprisingly, the UK brass threepence was not imitated by most other parts of the Empire, who continued to use their silver or cupro-nickel threepences. The first exception came in 1947, when Fiji issued its first threepence. It was made of nickel-brass, weighed 6.17 g, and had a diameter of 21.9mm. The last one was issued in 1967.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 01:25:23 AM
When Nigeria issued its first national coinage, it included a 12-sided threepence. Its was made of nickel-brass, weighed 3.3 g, and had a diameter of 19mm and a thickness of 1.4 mm. So, though it was clearly modelled on the UK threepenny bit, it was significantly smaller and thinner.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 01:25:52 AM
Jersey was the next to follow, issuing a brass threepenny bit in 1964, a one-year issue. Jersey called it one fourth of a shilling, but it had the same nominal value as a British threepence. It followed this up in 1966, with a commemorative threepence, which so far as I know is unique in the world. It commemorates 1066, when William I became King of England.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 01:26:19 AM
No other 12-sided threepences were issued. Now that I have dealt with those and with the round silver and cupro-nickel threepences, I will turn to the exceptions. Jersey itself had in fact issued a round nickel-brass threepence from 1957 to 1960. It weighed 6.8g and had a diameter of 21.05mm and a thickness of 2mm, so it was quite a chunky coin.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 01:42:57 AM
Going further back in time, we find another threepence that deviated from the two British standards. It was the Irish threepence of 1928, issued by the Irish Free State, which was a member of the Commonwealth until 1949. The beautiful design of a hare was the work of English engraver Percy Metcalfe. The threepence was last issued in 1968. It weighed 3.24 g, and it had a diameter of 17.7mm and a thickness of 1.81mm, so again it was quite a chunky coin. At first it was minted in nickel, but from 1942 it was made of cupro-nickel.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 01:47:09 AM
The world's only threepence with a centre hole was minted for New Guinea, in 1935 and 1944. It was made of copper-nickel, weighed 1.3g, and was 16.3mm in diameter, with a thickness of 1mm.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 01:52:41 AM
The Guernsey threepence of 1956 to 1966 had a scalloped shape and was made of cupro-nickel. It weighed 3.6g, and it had a diameter of 21mm and a thickness of 1.5mm.

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10347.0;attach=72192;image)

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 01:56:12 AM
The only other scalloped threepence was the one issued by Ghana in 1958 only, the year after its independence. It was made of cupro-nickel, weighed 3.3g and had a diameter of 19.5mm.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 02:01:42 AM
Gambia became independent in 1965, and the following year it issued its first national coinage. The reverse design of the threepence depicted a double-spurred francolin. Even though Gambia was and is a republic, it portrayed the Queen on the obverse in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth. It was made of nickel-brass, weighed 5.2g and had a diameter of 21.5mm. Unlike the other round brass threepence, from Jersey, it is not an especially thick or chunky coin.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 02:06:15 AM
Looking back in history, the only non-Commonwealth or Empire threepence (apart from the earlier issues of Britain itself and before that of England) that I can think of is the threepence of the Transvaal Republic, portraying President Paul Kruger.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 02:08:56 AM
After Zambia and Malawi became independent in the 1964, they issued a national coinage based on pounds, shillings and pence. Unfortunately, both coinages omitted a threepence denomination, for reasons unknown.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 02:18:09 AM
The UK brass threepence is popular with a lot of collectors, and to finish off I include a threepence-look-alike from the Seychelles. It is the 10 cents coin, issued from 1953 to 1974. It continued in a similar format in 1976 and 1977 after independence. It is made of nickel-brass, weighs 6g and is 21mm in diameter. Like the UK threepence, it is a thick and chunky coin.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 21, 2011, 10:43:12 PM
Here is a curiosity, a 1925 version of a coin that wasn't issued until 1927, the UK acorn threepence. Could it be a trial?

See: http://www.coindatabase.com/coin_detail_libras.php?cdb=M090104
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2011, 03:58:11 PM
Here's a threepence from Biafra, dated 1969. Biafra tried to secede from Nigeria but was defeated.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 08:58:49 PM
The sixpence was part of the now defunct pound, shillings and pence system. The British exported this system to various parts of their empire. Often the size, shape, metal and weight of the various versions of these coins was more or less uniform across the Empire: this can be observed in the shillings, florins and halfcrowns. However, the lower the denomination, the more likely the different coins were to show variations. The sixpence is a nice example, because most of them did match one another in size, shape, weight and metal, and the different designs are interesting to look at. But there were just a few that deviated in one or two ways from the standard.

The silver and cupro-nickel sixpences of the UK and the various countries of the Empire that used it varied slightly, between around 19mm and 19.5mm in diameter. If any sixpence I am displaying falls outside that range, I will say so. I'll start in the 20th century, by showing that the reverse design of Edward VII's sixpence, with a simple wreath, was the same as Victoria's. These images are from our member Tony Clayton's UK coins site.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:06:56 PM
South Africa's first sixpence reverse of 1923/4 also featured a wreath.

Compare South Africa's design with that of the Transvaal Republic, which was not part of the British Empire (until conquered) but used the pounds shillings and pence system nevertheless.

The reverse design of the sixpence of British West Africa (a currency union, not a country) also featured a wreath. From 1913 to 1919 its sixpence was silver; from 1920 to 1936, tin-brass; and finally from 1938 to 1947, it was made of nickel-brass.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:12:40 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39634.0;attach=74133;image)



From 1925 to 1930, the legend on South Africa's sixpence reads: "6 PENCE".

From 1931 until 1960, the final year of the sixpence, the legend reads "6D".
Notice that the protea flower is surrounded by six bundles of faggots: six pence, six bundles.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:16:14 PM
(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g5/6d/6d14.jpg)

The acorn reverse replaced this one, which lasted from 1911 to 1926.

The reverse design of the UK sixpence of 1927 to 1936 also plays the number game: six pence, six acorns.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:27:50 PM
Only three more reverse designs for the UK sixpence, and we have reached the end of its life.



(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g6/6d/6d46.jpg)

George VI is king and emperor.



(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g6/6d/6d50.jpg)

The king is no longer an emperor, so the reverse has to change.



(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/qe/6d/6d53.jpg)

The sixpence was last minted in 1970, but it survived decimalisation, being used as 2½p until it was demonetised in 1980.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:28:05 PM
From 1910 to 1963, the reverse of the Australian sixpence carried the same design, showing the coat of arms.
The other Australian reverse designs were all changed in 1938, but the sixpence alone was not updated.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:35:53 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2194.0;attach=73351;image)

Fiji's sixpence was another one to portray an animal: a turtle, by Percy Metcalfe, the same artist who designed Ireland's famous barnyard coin series.



Australia's coat of arms features stylised animals, but the reverse of New Zealand's sixpence carries a lifelike portrayal of a huia bird.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:38:41 PM
Here is Mr Metcalfe's famous wolfhound on the Irish sixpence. With a weight of 4.54 g and a diameter of 20.8 mm, it was the largest sixpence I know of.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:42:00 PM
Southern Rhodesia depicted a pair of crossed African axes on its sixpence.

Rhodesia and Nyasaland featured a watchful lioness.

A flame lily appeared on the Rhodesian sixpence, which was also denominated as 5 cents in the new decimal system.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:44:51 PM
The sixpence of independent Zambia depicts a morning glory flower.

Zambia's second sixpence of 1966 loses the coat of arms and portrays President Kaunda instead.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:47:26 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23809.0;attach=73161;image)

Nearby Malawi depicts President Banda and his political party's symbol, a cockerel.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:51:19 PM
On an agricultural theme, Gambia's sixpence featured peanuts.

Nigeria's sixpence of 1959 depicted cocoa beans. It had a diameter of 17.5mm, around 2mm smaller than normal for a sixpence.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:54:57 PM
Ghana's sixpence is, I believe, the smallest sixpence, weighing 2.2g and with a diameter of 16.5mm.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 09:56:26 PM
New Guinea had the world's only sixpence with a central hole, but then all its coins were holed. Diameter: 18.7mm.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 01, 2011, 10:05:27 PM
Biafra also issued a sixpence after it briefly broke away from Nigeria.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:10:22 PM
The shilling was part of the now defunct pound, shillings and pence system. The British exported this system to various parts of their empire. The lower the denomination, the more likely the different coins were to show variations, as can be observed in the threepences particularly, but the shillings were fairly uniform acroos the empire in terms of size, shape, weight and colour.

The silver and cupro-nickel shillings of the UK and the various countries of the Empire that used it were usually around 23.5mm in diameter. If any shilling I am displaying falls outside that range, I will say so. My focus is not primarily on the UK itself (the British and English shillings have far too long a history for a single topic), but on the Commonwealth and Empire, which means I will be concentrating overwhelmingly on the 20th century. However, I will start off with a Victorian shilling, in order to compare it with a shilling that was used by a country that was not in the Empire (though it was conquered by the British later) but which used the pounds shilling and pence system nevertheless: the Transvaal Republic.




(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/qv/1s/1s55.jpg)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10412.0;attach=73157;image)

Notice how both coins portray a tied wreath.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:17:22 PM
The Transvaal Republic was eventually defeated, and its territory was merged into the Union of South Africa.

South Africa's first shilling, of 1923 and 1924, had a inner ring on the reverse design, and the denomination was shown as "1 SHILLING 1".

As of 1926 onwards, the ring was lost and the denomination changed to simply "SHILLING".

From 1951 until 1960, the end of the coin's life, the denomination was "1s".
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:21:29 PM
Two other shillings with similar designs are the English-themed shilling of Elizabeth II, showing the three lions of England, and the Cyprus shilling, with a somewhat similar design of two heraldic lions.

The Cyprus shilling was divided into 9 piastres - not 12 pence.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:27:50 PM
From 1910 to 1936 Australia also used a heraldic design on its shilling, though its animal supporters look far more realistic than the heraldic lions.

In 1938 the coinage was updated, and the shilling now depicted a prize Merino ram.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:33:07 PM
New Zealand used the same reverse design through the life of its shilling, from 1933 to 1965. It depicts a Maori warrior.

After decimalisation, New Zealand's 10 cents coin was doubly-denominated, as 10 cents and one shilling. Strangely, none of the other decimal coins with a pre-decimal counterpart was given a double denomination.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:38:45 PM
The famous Zimbabwe bird appeared on the reverse of the Southern Rhodesian shilling.

The reverse of the shilling of Rhodesia and Nyasaland depicts a sable antelope.

Like the New Zealand 10 cents of the 1960s, the 1964 10 cents of Rhodesia was also doubly-denominated.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:44:30 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26954.0;attach=72283;image)

Fiji's shilling depicted an outrigger. The design was the work of English engraver Percy Metcalfe, who also designed the Irish barnyard series.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10347.0;attach=72951;image)

Here is Metcalfe's bull on the Irish shilling.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:51:19 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=8770.0;attach=73455;image)

Over to British West Africa now (a currency union, not a country), whose shillings started off as silver, became tin-brass, then ended up as nickel-brass, like the one you see here.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=8770.0;attach=73405;image)

Gambia, prior to independence, used British West African coinage, so perhaps it is no coincidence that the Gambian shilling also portrays a palm tree.

 
Only the shillings of Rhodesia and Gambia use the Arnold Machin portrait of Elizabeth II.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 02, 2011, 11:58:28 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=22419.0;attach=36264;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=22419.0;attach=36267;image)

East Africa, another currency union, used 50 cents to a shilling. The fine design of a lion is by George William de Saulles.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39368.0;attach=71739;image)

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39368.0;attach=71738;image)

How did you guess that Uganda used the East African coinage? Here we see a crested crane. The Muhavura volcano is in the background, and I suspect that it also appears on the illustrated East African coin.
 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 12:07:43 AM
Kenya was another country that used East African coinage before independence.

And Tanzania too. The shillings of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are equal to 100 cents, not 12 pence.
Curiously, the East African shilling was equal to 50 cents. A hundred East African cents were equal to a florin.

The first Tanzanian shilling issue is listed as 27.5mm in diameter, compared to 26mm for the first Ugandan shilling coin and 27.8mm for the first Kenyan shilling.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 12:22:11 AM
After independence Nigeria used pounds, shillings and pence, before adopting the naira in 1973. The reverse design depicts palm branches.

Malawi also used pounds, shillings and pence, before adopting the kwacha in 1971. The reverse design depicts corn cobs.

Zambia also used pounds, shillings and pence, before adopting the kwacha in 1971. The reverse design depicts a trumpeter hornbill. The portrait of President Kaunda replaced the coat of arms in 1966.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 12:26:29 AM
Ghana also used pounds, shillings and pence, before switching to the cedi in 1967. Ghana's shilling was only 21mm in diameter.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 12:30:58 AM
New Guinea's shilling was the only one to have a central hole, although all the other New Guinea coins were holed.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 12:32:29 AM
Biafra issued a shilling after briefly breaking away from Nigeria in the 1960s.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 12:35:34 AM
Admittedly this is not a coin, but did you know the Japanese issued shillings too? Who knows in which present-day territories this note was issued?
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 07:50:00 PM
The florin or two shillings coin was part of the now defunct pound, shillings and pence system. The British exported this system to various parts of their empire. The lower the denomination, the more likely the different coins were to show variations, as can be observed in the threepences particularly, but the florins were fairly uniform across the empire in terms of size, shape, weight and colour.

From Wikipedia:

In 1847 a motion was introduced in Parliament calling for the introduction of a decimal currency and the striking of coins of one-tenth and one-hundredth of a pound. The motion was subsequently withdrawn on the understanding that a one-tenth pound coin would be produced to test public opinion. There was considerable discussion about what the coin should be called. The name florin was eventually chosen, partly because of its connection with old English coinage, and partly because other European countries also had coins of approximately the same size and weight called florins.

The first florins were struck in 1849 as silver coins weighing 11.3g and having a diameter of 28mm. These first coins would have come as rather a shock to the public, as for the first time in nearly 200 years a British coin featured a portrait of the monarch wearing a crown.

(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/qv/2s/2s49a.jpg)

In 1851, the florin was redesigned in a most unusual way. The diameter was increased to 30mm, and all the lettering on the coin was in Gothic script, resulting in it being known as the Gothic florin. The date was rendered in Roman numerals.

(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/TT/Gothic_florin.jpg)

Notice that the florin is also denominated as "one tenth of a pound".



(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/e7/2s/2s05.jpg)

From 1901 to 1910, the florin was doubly denominated as a florin and two shillings.

(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g5/2s/2s28.jpg)

From 1910 to 1936, the florin was simply denominated as "one florin". These pictures are from the UK coins site of our member Tony Clayton.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 07:55:16 PM
(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g6/2s/2s48.jpg)

From 1937 and the reign of George VI, the florin was now denominated simply as two shillings.

(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/qe/2s/2s66.jpg)

This is the final UK two shillings reverse design of the 20th century. The modern florin or two shillings had a diameter of around 28.5mm. If any of the Empire and Commonwealth coins in this topic vary significantly from that diameter, I will say so.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 08:06:13 PM
Until 1938, the coat of arms appeared on the reverse of the Australian threepence, sixpence, shilling and florin.

The coat of arms on the Australian florin was redesigned in 1938, and the rest of the set assumed a thematic character: the reverse designs showed animals or a wheat stalk, though curiously the sixpence retained the original old coat of arms design.

In the UK, the half crown was the highest denomination of circulating coin. However, many countries in the Empire and Commonwealth never issued a half crown, and Australia was one of those countries. It became standard for many countries to show their coat of arms on their highest circulating coin, even if the designs on the lower denominations were thematic (e.g., animals, plants, ships, etc.).
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 08:10:46 PM
Australia frequently used the florin for commemorative issues. Other Commonwealth countries preferred the crown for this purpose.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 08:17:35 PM
In Fiji, the florin was the highest denomination, so it depicted the country's coat of arms. The English lion stands above the Cross of St. George, but in its paws it holds a cocoa pod. In the middle row of the arms you can see sugar cane next to a palm tree, with a dove and a bunch of bananas underneath.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 08:24:00 PM
The South African florin also carries a coat of arms, but do not be deceived: South Africa DID have a circulation half crown, which featured a crowned coat of arms. From 1923 to 1930, the florin showed the word "FLORIN" in the legend.

From 1931 to 1950, the denomination was shown as "2 SHILLINGS".

From 1951 to 1960, the final year of the denomination, the legend simply reads as "2s".
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 08:28:28 PM
Paul Kruger's South African Republic, known informally as the Transvaal Republic to English speakers, was eventually defeated and its territory was merged into the Union of South Africa. Although its two shillings coin shows the coat of arms, these also appeared on its half crown and crown.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 08:49:31 PM
The two shillings coin was the highest circulation coin in Cyprus at the time it circulated. It had previously been denominated as 18 piastres.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 08:52:16 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=30889.0;attach=51673;image)

British West Africa was a currency union, not a country, so didn't have a coat of arms, therefore it used a palm tree on its highest denomination, the two shillings coin - the same design that appeared on the shilling. The two shilling coin started off as silver, became tin-brass, then ended up as nickel-brass, like the one you see here.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 08:57:32 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17663.0;attach=72953;image)

Southern Rhodesia features a sable antelope on its two shillings coin.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23620.0;attach=72807;image)

Rhodesia and Nyasaland depicts an African fish eagle with a fish in its talons.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=16141.0;attach=73167;image)

Rhodesia features the Zimbabwe bird, which previously appeared on the Southern Rhodesian shilling. The coin is doubly denominated as 20 cents and 2 shillings.

All three of the historical states above also issued half crowns as the highest denomination of circulating coin.

   
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:00:50 PM
Ireland featured a salmon on its florin. It also used half crowns. Ireland was a member of the Commonwealth until 1949.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:04:12 PM
New Zealand depicted a kiwi, the national bird, on its florin. The coat of arms was reserved for its half crown.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:08:15 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3039.0;attach=72091;image)

Reverse of the briefly circulating florin of East Africa, a currency union.

This superb lion appeared on the reverse of all East Africa's silver and cupro-nickel coins. There was no half crown, and the florin was in any case equal to 100 cents, not 24 pence. It was issued only in 1920 and 1921 and was 30mm in diameter.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:10:10 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39368.0;attach=71740;image)(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39368.0;attach=71741;image)

Uganda used to be a part of the East Africa currency union, as can be seen from this design, and it retained the shillings system after independence. This first two shillings coin was 30mm in diameter.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:14:35 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10347.0;attach=72965;image)

Gambia, prior to independence, used British West African coinage. It also briefly retained the pounds shillings and pence system after independence. Gambia never issued a half crown.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:21:51 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17663.0;attach=71651;image)

A charming depiction of a Bohor reedbuck, a native antelope, appears on the reverse of the Zambian two shillings.



Zambia also used pounds, shillings and pence, before adopting the kwacha in 1971. The portrait of President Kaunda replaced the coat of arms in 1966. Zambia never issued a half crown.
 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:24:19 PM
Malawi also used pounds, shillings and pence, before adopting the kwacha in 1971. Another charming wildlife design appears on the Malawi florin. The coat of arms was reserved for the half crown and crown.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:28:56 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=13862.0;attach=43753;image)

After independence Nigeria used pounds, shillings and pence, before adopting the naira in 1973. The reverse design of the two shillings depicts a peanut plant. Nigeria never issued a half crown.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:33:14 PM
Kenya used East African coinage before independence, hence its adoption after independence of the shilling, divided into 100 cents.

The coat of arms appears on the reverse of all Kenyan circulation coins.

Both these coins are 32mm in diameter.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:34:31 PM
Ghana used pounds, shillings and pence, before switching to the cedi in 1967. The star appeared on the reverse of all its circulation coins. There was no half crown. It two shillings was 26.5mm in diameter.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 09:49:32 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=29769.0;attach=72122;image)

To finish, let me show you the most beautiful florin that never was. This is the plaster of the design that was originally intended for Malawi's florin, but eventually the elephant mother and baby, another fine design, graced the reverse of the coin. Click on the links below to find out more.

Malawi: pre-decimal variations (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,12545.0.html)

Paul Vincze, Coin Designer (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,8763.0.html)
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 03, 2011, 10:08:03 PM
The reverses of Australia's pre-decimal coins were re-designed in 1938 - though the sixpence remained the same. In one respect, however, the reverse design of the threepence is the odd-man-out of the whole set. Can you see why?
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:14:28 AM
The half crown (two shillings and sixpence) was part of the now defunct pound, shillings and pence system. The British exported this system to various parts of their empire. The lower the denomination, the more likely the different coins were to show variations, as can be observed in the threepences particularly, but the half crowns were fairly uniform across the empire in terms of size, shape, weight and colour.

The 20th century silver and cupro-nickel half crowns of the UK and the various countries of the Empire that used it were usually around 32mm in diameter. If any half crown I am displaying falls outside that range, I will say so. My focus is not primarily on the UK itself (the British and English half crowns have too long a history for a single topic), but on the Commonwealth and Empire, which means I will be concentrating overwhelmingly on the 20th century.

Not every country of the Empire and Commonwealth had its own half crown: in some countries, the florin or two shilling coin was the highest circulating denomination. Those countries that did issue a half crown often placed their coat of arms on the reverse, a standard practice on the highest denomination of coin, even when the lower denominations used representational designs such as wildlife or ships.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:18:29 AM
(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g6/hc/hc52.jpg)



(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/qe/hc/hc53.jpg)



(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g5/hc/hc34.jpg)


Here are three examples of British half crowns from the 20th century. All follow a similar style, displaying the royal coat of arms on the reverse.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:24:18 AM
South Africa's half crown followed the same pattern.

From 1923 to 1925 the denomination reads: "2½ SHILLINGS 2½", then from 1926 to 1950 it reads simply "2½ SHILLINGS".

From 1951 to 1960, the final year of the denomination, the legend simply reads as "2½s".
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:27:27 AM
Paul Kruger's South African Republic also issued a 2½ shillings coin. The republic was eventually conquered by Britain and its territory was merged into the Union of South Africa.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:32:36 AM
Australia never issued a half crown, but New Zealand did. New Zealand also issued a commemorative half crown to celebrate its centennial. The usual choice for commemoratives in the British Empire was the crown.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:40:24 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=18887.0;attach=73174;image)

The reverse of the half crown of Southern Rhodesia also carried the coat of arms.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=18887.0;attach=73173;image)

Rhodesia and Nyasaland stayed true to that tradition. The Latin motto "Magni Esse Mereamur" means "Let us deserve Greatness".



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17663.0;attach=73172;image)

The 25 cents coin of Rhodesia was also denominated as "2/6": two shillings and sixpence. A sable antelope appears on the reverse. This is the only half crown to carry Arnold Machin's portrait of Elizabeth II.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:43:46 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2255.0;attach=72210;image)

Ireland was a member of the Commonwealth until 1949. It featured a horse on its half crown. The Irish harp, which could almost be considered as the country's coat of arms, appeared on the obverse of all its coins.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:47:36 AM
Malawi was the only black-ruled African country to issue a half crown after independence.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 04, 2011, 12:52:38 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39527.0;attach=73119;image)

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39527.0;attach=73121;image)

Biafra issued a 2½ shillings coin after briefly breaking away from Nigeria in the 1960s.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 10:16:47 PM
The penny, halfpenny and farthing were part of the now defunct pound, shillings and pence system. The British exported this system to various parts of their empire. The lower the denomination, the more likely the different coins were to show variations from the standard, and this was true of these three denominations.

The standard diameters of the Uk 20th century versions of these coins were as follows: the farthing - 20mm; the halfpenny - 25.5mm; and the penny - 31mm. If any of the countries of the Empire that used them wandered significantly from these standards, I will say so. My focus is not primarily on the UK itself (these coins have too long a history for a single topic), but on the Commonwealth and Empire. This means I will be concentrating on the 20th century, though by no means all overseas versions of these coins were first issued in that century.

Not every country of the Empire and Commonwealth had its farthing or halfpenny: in some countries, the penny was the lowest circulating denomination. Countries that did have two or all three of these denominations often gave them similar designs, as if to show the relationship between them, so it makes sense to group them together in one topic.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 10:20:04 PM
(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g5/fa/fa16.jpg)



(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g5/ha/ha36.jpg)



(http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/pics/g5/1d/1d36.jpg)

These images come from the UK coins site of our forum member, Tony Clayton.



From the beginning of the 20th century through to 1936, the UK farthing, halfpenny and penny shared the same reverse design of a seated Britannia. The farthing was demonetised in 1960, the halfpenny in 1969, and the penny in 1971. When the UK introduced decimalisation, Britannia found a new home on the reverse of the 50 pence coin, but in 2008 a new design series was adopted, and she disappeared from the UK’s circulation coins.



When Edward VIII ascended the throne in 1936, he made it known that he would like to see the coinage modernised. As a result, the farthing gained a new design of a wren, and the Golden Hind, Sir Francis Drake’s ship, was portrayed on the reverse of the halfpenny. Edward abdicated before any coins in his name could be issued in the UK, but the designs were used on the coinage of George VI and Elizabeth II after him.



(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Farthing_1937_Rev.jpg)  (http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/HalfPennyShip.jpg)
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 10:28:06 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=40458.0;attach=76558;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=40458.0;attach=76722;image)



When Australia introduced its own coinage in 1911, it also gave the halfpenny and penny a similar reverse design.
Australia never issued a farthing.



In 1938 Australia redesigned its coinage. A kangaroo now graced the reverse of the halfpenny, and the same design, though facing the opposite way, was placed on the reverse of the penny.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=40458.0;attach=76584;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=32540.0;attach=76617;image)

 
 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 10:42:12 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=4018.0;attach=73205;image)

New Zealand followed Australia's lead by using a wildlife design on its penny. It depicts a tui bird. The halfpenny depicts a Maori tiki, a symbol of fertility. These first coins were issued in 1939 but carried the date of 1940. New Zealand never issued a farthing.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 10:48:58 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23679.0;attach=72203;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23809.0;attach=72990;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3515.0;attach=72204;image)

Ireland started the trend for wildlife designs with its barnyard series of 1928. It remained a member of the Commonwealth until 1949.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 11:21:27 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23679.0;attach=72937;image)

The Union of South Africa introduced its first coinage in 1923. The reverse of the farthing depicted sparrows, the only wildlife design of the set.
South Africa's farthing of 1923 showed the denomination as "¼ PENNY ¼".



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23679.0;attach=80575;image)

From 1926 to 1931, the denomination changed to simply "¼ PENNY".



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23679.0;attach=89169;image)

From 1931 onwards, the denomination was given simply as "¼D". Note that the legend "¼ PENNY" also occurs on some farthings of 1931.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=73212;image)

The halfpenny depicted a ship. South Africa's halfpenny of 1923 to 1926 showed the denomination as "½ PENNY ½".



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=73213;image)

From 1928 to 1931, the denomination changed to simply "½ PENNY".



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=73211;image)

From 1931 onwards, the denomination was given simply as "½D". Note that the legend "½ PENNY" also occurs on some halfpennies of 1931.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=73209;image)

South Africa's penny shared its ship design with the halfpenny. The penny of 1923 and 1924 showed the denomination as "1 PENNY 1".



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=73210;image)

From 1928 to 1930, the denomination changed to simply "PENNY".



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=44766;image)

From 1931 onwards, the denomination was given simply as "1D".

   
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 11:31:05 PM
Paul Kruger's South African Republic, known informally as the Transvaal Republic to English speakers, was eventually defeated and its territory was merged into the Union of South Africa. It never issued a farthing or halfpenny.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 11:45:08 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2677.0;attach=73227;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2677.0;attach=73228;image)

Southern Rhodesia issued its halfpennies and pennies in cupro-nickel until 1942, after which they were minted in bronze. The halfpenny was 21mm in diameter, whilst the penny was 27mm. Farthings were never issued. The Tudor rose design was the work of Derwent Wood.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17472.0;attach=73223;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3877.0;attach=73221;image)

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3877.0;attach=73222;image)

The halfpennies and pennies of Rhodesia and Nyasaland were also non-standard, in that they had a central hole. The halfpenny was 21mm in diameter, whilst the penny was 27mm. Farthings were never issued. The attractive elephant and giraffe designs were the work of English sculptor and engraver Bernard Sindall.

   
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 06, 2011, 11:52:46 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2677.0;attach=73224;image)

Fiji was another country whose halfpennies and pennies had a central hole. Usually they were made of cupro-nickel, but in 1942 and 1943 they were issued in brass. The halfpenny was 21mm in diameter, whilst the penny was 26mm. Farthings were never issued.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2677.0;attach=73225;image)

Fiji was one of the few countries to issue coinage in the name of Edward VIII. See also: King Edward VIII: His Place in Numismatics (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,12573.0.html)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=12670.0;attach=73363;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=12670.0;attach=73226;image)

New Guinea also issued a halfpenny and a penny with a central hole. The halfpenny exists only for 1929, but most of the issue was later melted down, with only a few pieces being sold in sets. Both denominations were minted in cupro-nickel in 1929, but from 1936 the penny was minted in bronze. The penny had a diameter of 26.7mm. A farthings was never issued. New Guinea was one of the few countries to issue coinage in the name of Edward VIII in 1936.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 12:02:08 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=30889.0;attach=51676;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=30889.0;attach=51669;image)



The halfpennies and pennies of British West Africa (a currency union, not a country) had a central hole and were made of cupro-nickel until 1952, when they were issued in bronze. They were similar in size to their UK halfpenny and penny counterparts. Farthings were never issued. Coinage in the name of Edward VIII was issued in 1936.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 12:25:50 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=12667.0;attach=73409;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=12667.0;attach=73410;image)

Nigeria issued a holed halfpenny and penny after independence. Previously it had used the coinage of British West Africa, a currency union. The halfpenny was 21mm in diameter, while the penny was 28mm. A farthing was never issued.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 12:30:19 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9881.0;attach=14066;image)

Zambia issued a holed penny after independence. It was 27mm in diameter. A farthing or halfpenny were never issued.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39350.0;attach=72105;image)

Malawi also issued a penny after independence. It was also 27mm in diameter. Although it was not holed, its very basic design was very similar to that of Zambia's penny. A farthing or halfpenny were never issued.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 12:33:44 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=12667.0;attach=73279;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=12667.0;attach=73280;image)

Ghana issued a halfpenny and penny after independence. The African star of freedom, also featured on Ghana's flag, appeared on the reverse of all the coins. The halfpenny was 21mm in diameter, while the penny was 25.5mm. A farthing was never issued.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 12:41:01 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27412.0;attach=50876;image)

The Gambia issued a 1966-dated penny after independence. A farthing or halfpenny were never issued. The penny, which was 25.5mm in diameter, depicted a yacht on the reverse. Though the country had become a republic, Elizabeth II was portrayed on the obverse in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth.

See also: The Worldwide Usage of the Effigy of Queen Elizabeth II (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,10156.0.html)

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 01:36:58 AM
(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Jamaicad1907.jpg)



(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Jamaicad1903.jpg)



(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Jamaica1d1903.jpg)



Jamaica as a British colony issued a farthing, halfpenny and penny, but no other denominations. The farthing and halfpenny were introduced during Queen Victoria's reign, with the same reverse design as shown above. The coins were issued only in cupro-nickel until the reign of George VI, from which time they were minted in nickel-brass. Apparently the Jamaicans disliked bronze and copper coins.

The coat of arms, which is depicted on the reverse of the coins, includes the cross of St George, five pineapples and a crocodile. According to Wikipedia:

The motto of the seal has been a matter of discussion for years since inception. The original motto, INDVS VTERQVE SERVIET VNI is the Latin translation for "The two Indians will serve as one", or rather "Both Indies will serve Together", in reference to the collective servitude of the Taino and Arawak Indians to the colonizers. The motto was later replaced with the English motto "Out of Many, One People", as tribute to the unity of the different cultural minorities inhabiting the nation. Perhaps as coincidence, the motto has the same meaning with the motto of the United States; E Pluribus Unum.

Before the reign of George VI, the diameter of the 20th century coins was: farthing - 20.2mm; halfpenny - 25.3mm; penny - 30.9mm.



(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Jamaicad1952.jpg)

With the reign of George VI, the inner circles were removed from the obverse and reverse of the coins, which were now minted in nickel-brass. The penny was reduced in size to 27mm in diameter, whilst the halfpenny was reduced to 22m in diameter. The farthing retained a diameter of 20.2mm and was last issued in 1952.



(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Jamaicad1955.jpg)



(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Jamaica1d1965.jpg)

In the reign of Elizabeth II, only the halfpenny and penny were issued, and in 1964 two supporters were added to the coat of arms: a male and female Taino (Arawak), representing the original Amerindian inhabitants of the island.



(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Jamaicaset1969.jpg) 

(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Jamaica1d1869.jpg)

In 1969 a commemorative penny and halfpenny were minted to celebrate the centennial of Jamaican coinage.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 05:15:06 PM
(http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/24R_11.jpg)  (http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/24R_23ii.jpg)



(http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/24O_31.jpg)  (http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/24R_31.jpg)

All the Jersey images here are from Harold Fears' Jersey Coins and Banknotes (http://jerseycoins.com) web site. It is well worth a visit.



In Jersey in the 20th century, 1/24th of a shilling was equivalent to a British halfpenny, and it matched its British counterpart in size, shape and metal. The reverse of the coin depicted the state arms, but it was amended three times in the reign of George V. The reverse design dated 1931 remained for the rest of the coin's life - only the date changed.



(http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/12O_37.jpg) (http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/12R_37.jpg)

1/12th of a shilling was equivalent to a British penny, and it matched its British counterpart in size, shape and metal. The arms were amended throughout the reign of George V (see previous images), but remained unchanged in the reigns of George VI and Elizabeth II.



(http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/12O_45_G6_Proof.jpg) (http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/12R_45_G6_Proof.jpg)

This version was issued in 1949 to commemorate the liberation of the island from the Nazis.



(http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/12O_ELUP.jpg) (http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/12R_mule60.jpg)

This coin commemorates Charles II, who became king of England in 1660. He made two visits to the island during the English Civil War.



(http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/12O_ELUP.jpg) (http://jerseycoins.com/pen12/12R_66.jpg)

This coin celebrates the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest. The Queen's title in Jersey is "the Duke of Normandy" (yes, Duke - never Duchess). Apart from Jamaica, I know of no other territory that has issued commemorative pre-decimal pennies or penny equivalents.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 06:33:05 PM
(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Guernsey4d1945.jpg)

(http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae231/octoid/Guernsey8d1918.jpg)

The currency of Guernsey, another Channel Island and British crown dependency, was influenced by French currency, and it ended up with a currency unit called "the double" (from "double denier"), which was pronounced "dooble". There was a one double coin, which was not minted after 1938; a 2 doubles coin, equivalent to a British farthing and last minted in 1929; a 4 doubles coin, which equalled a British halfpenny; while the 8 doubles was equal to a penny. The reverses of the 1, 2 and 4 doubles were originally similar (only the denominational numeral was different), whilst the 8 doubles sported a wreath. Note the old-fashioned spelling of Guernsey: "Guernesey".



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23017.0;attach=73400;image)

In 1956, the designs of the coins were updated. The 4 doubles featured a single Guernsey lily, while the 8 doubles depicted an arrangement of lilies. The obverse showed the state arms. The monarch was not depicted on the obverse of Guernsey's coinage until 1985.

Jersey and Guernsey each had a threepence coin. That was their highest denomination, but this was not a problem, since a full set of UK coinage also circulated on the islands. In 1971 both Jersey and Guernsey went decimal and introduced a full series of their own coins, denominated in pence and pounds, and the old names ("double", "1/12th of a shilling") disappeared.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 06:46:57 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=44840;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=44763;image)(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=44764;image)

The colonial penny predates the 20th century, of course, as can be seen from these pennies of Bermuda and the Bahamas.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 06:55:28 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23634.0;attach=73275;image)



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=23634.0;attach=73276;image)

There were many penny tokens, too. These tokens from Lundy Island, an English island in the Bristol Channel, were actually used in the local tavern. They were designed and minted by Martin Coles Harman, the owner of the island. The puffin was a common bird on the island, so he used it to make a humorous reference to the British penny and halfpenny. He was eventually fined for illegally minting his own currency.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 07, 2011, 06:59:04 PM
That finishes my brief survey of the low denominations. I had never noticed it before, but perhaps the early South African farthing and halfpenny, first issued in 1923, depicting sparrows and a ship respectively, inspired the designers of the British farthing and halfpenny of 1937, which depicted a wren and a ship respectively?
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 10:44:23 PM
From Wikipedia:

The crown, originally known as the "crown of the double rose", was an English coin introduced with the value of 5 shillings as part of King Henry VIII's monetary reform of 1526. The first coins were minted in 22 carat crown gold, and the first silver crowns were produced in 1551 during the reign of King Edward VI. The crown is one of many silver coins that appeared in various countries from the 16th century onwards (the most famous example perhaps being pieces of eight), all of which were of a similar size and weight (approx 38mm in diameter and containing approx 25 grams of fine silver) and interchangeable in international trade. Crowns were minted in all reigns between Elizabeth I of England and Elizabeth II.

The British exported their pre-decimal pounds, shillings and pence system to various parts of their empire, so the crown or five shillings coin was to be found in various colonies and dominions. My focus is not primarily on the UK itself (these coins have too long a history for a single topic), but on the Commonwealth and Empire, so in this topic I will be concentrating mainly on the 20th century.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 10:53:27 PM
I'll start with a few examples from Britain.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=4001.0;attach=73398;image)

From Wikipedia: The Queen Victoria 'Gothic' crown from 1847 (mintage just 8,000 and produced to celebrate the Gothic revival) is considered by many to be the most beautiful British coin ever minted.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=4722.0;attach=6362;image) (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=4722.0;attach=6363;image)

Another well known British crown is Percy Metcalfe's 1936 art deco version of St. George and the dragon.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=38129.0;attach=73396;image)

This is my own favourite: exactly how a crown should look. The lion represents England, while the unicorn represents Scotland.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 10:59:44 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=11037.0;attach=73397;image)

This is Australia's only crown. This version, which is also found with the date of 1937, was originally minted to celebrate the coronation of George VI. Because of its popularity, and because the Australian treasury hoped it would become a regular circulation coin, it was minted again in 1938, though with much less success.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=11037.0;attach=73401;image)

It is interesting to compare the Australian crown with this wreath crown, issued in the UK from 1927 to 1936. The reverse of both coins was designed by Royal Mint engraver George Kruger-Gray.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 11:06:43 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9473.0;attach=72821;image)

New Zealand issued its first crown in 1935. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Maori chiefs. For some reason, the New Zealanders chose to commemorate this event on a crown dated 1935. The reverse design for the crown was created by James Berry, who went on to design the reverses of New Zealand's first decimal circulation coins of 1967.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=22697.0;attach=72823;image)

New Zealand's next crown famously commemorated the proposed visit by King George VI, which never took place. It features a fern leaf.



New Zealand's final crown was minted to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth II.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 11:19:48 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17663.0;attach=73217;image)

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17663.0;attach=73218;image)

From 1947 to 1951, South Africa issued a crown with a reverse featuring a Springbok.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=44768;image)

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=27107.0;attach=44769;image)

In 1952, South Africa issued a crown commemorating the 300th anniversary of Capetown.

Jan van Riebeeck's three-master, Dromedaris, sails into Table Bay on April 6, 1652, to establish a new colony.




(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17663.0;attach=73248;image)

From 1953 until 1959, the springbok design was again used, this time with Elizabeth II on the obverse.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=13615.0;attach=73249;image)


South Africa's final crown, before independence and adoption of the Rand, commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Union of South Africa.

The reverse features the South African parliament building, while the obverse replaces Elizabeth II with the coat of arms.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 11:21:37 PM
Paul Kruger's South African Republic had also issued a five shillings coin. I do not know whether it was intended as a circulation coin.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 11:26:05 PM
Southern Rhodesia issued its only crown in 1953. It commemorates the birth centenary of the British imperialist, Cecil Rhodes. The reverse was designed by Humphrey Paget, who had also designed the uncrowned effigy of King George VI.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 11:36:46 PM
Cyrpus issued its only crown in 1928, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of British rule. 9 piastres were equal to one shilling, so 45 piastres were the exact equivalent of a crown, and coin also had the proportions of a crown.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 11:47:48 PM
(http://en.numista.com/catalogue/photos/bermudes/g94.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-htZHJi_QnIE/UBfkAS2gQKI/AAAAAAAAJY0/vo_mq_C40g4/s360/Bermuda%25201959%2520Reverse.jpeg)

Bermuda issued its first crown in 1959. It commemorates the 350th Anniversary of the founding of the colony. The reverse design was the work of Royal Mint engraver, Norman Sillman.




(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=13282.0;attach=72961;image)

Bermuda's second and final crown features the coat of arms on the reverse.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 11:54:13 PM
Jersey issued its only five shillings coin in 1966, to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest of England. When in Jersey, Queen Elizabeth II is known by the title of "the Duke of Normandy" ("Duke" - never "Duchess").
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 09, 2011, 11:58:23 PM
(http://en.numista.com/catalogue/photos/ile_de_man/g382.jpg) (http://en.numista.com/catalogue/photos/ile_de_man/g383.jpg)

The Isle of Man issued its only crown in 1970, depicting a Manx cat. It later issued many crown-sized collector coins with a value of 25 decimal pence, but I am defining a crown here as strictly five shillings or its pre-decimal equivalent.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 12:00:14 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=13636.0;attach=72314;image)

Gibraltar issued a collector crown from 1967 to 1970, featuring its coat of arms on the reverse.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 12:01:07 AM
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-RptvnMB05Cw/T_xppkUyLuI/AAAAAAAAJMk/1V6e5Qq_Fiw/s551/Jamaica%25205s%25201966.jpg)

In 1966 Jamaica issued its only 5 shillings coin, to celebrate its hosting of the Commonwealth Games.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 12:02:12 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39350.0;attach=71652;image)(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39350.0;attach=71653;image)

Zambia released its only five shillings coin in order to celebrate its independence.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 12:03:25 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=89695;image)

Malawi issued a crown celebrating its independence in 1966.

 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 12:06:49 AM
The Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory, issued a collector crown in 1969. However, in this case it was equivalent to one US dollar, not five shillings.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 12:09:59 AM
This ends my brief survey of the crown in the British Empire and Commonwealth. There have been other interesting five shillings coins, notably from Uganda and Kenya, but these were not directly related to the UK pound, since in those countries a shilling is divided into 100 cents.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 05:06:45 PM
Guernsey: for the time, an unusally-shaped collector ten shillings coin from Guernsey, to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest of England. In Guernsey the Queen's title is "the Duke of Normandy" - never "Duchess".

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3341.0;attach=72778;image)
 
 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 05:08:53 PM
In 1966 Rhodesia issued a set of gold coins, of which this ten shillings coin was the lowest denomination. The other two were one pound and five pounds. Tommy Sasseen of South Africa was responsible for the reverse design, on which his initials also appear.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 05:10:49 PM
Ghana released a collector ten shillings coin as part of its first independence coinage of 1958.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 05:18:54 PM
Ireland was part of the Commonwealth until 1949, which is why it used pounds, shillings and pence. In 1966 it issued a 10 shillings to commemorate Pádraig (Patrick Pearse), who led the Easter Rising in 1916. The reverse depicts Cúchulainn, an Irish mythological hero from ancient Gaelic literature.

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=20133.0;attach=72817;image) (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=20133.0;attach=72816;image)
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 05:23:14 PM
Gambia's four shillings coin is an interesting denomination, but it is said to have circulated, because it was apparently a traditional and popular denomination for Gambians.
 
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 10, 2011, 05:25:25 PM
Gambia's 8 shillings coin of 1970 is a unique denomination, but it was a collector coin only and never circulated.
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on December 22, 2011, 07:10:13 PM
British West Africa: one tenth of a penny, last issued in 1957. What could one tenth of a penny buy you in 1957? Scrooge died long before then, surely?

(http://en.numista.com/catalogue/photos/afrique_occidentale_britannique/g138.jpg)

(http://en.numista.com/catalogue/photos/afrique_occidentale_britannique/g139.jpg)
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on August 27, 2013, 11:04:20 PM
Click on the link below to post comments about this topic:

Comments on "British Empire & C/W: pre-decimal denominations" (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,23017.0.html)
Title: Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
Post by: <k> on October 17, 2017, 03:13:26 PM
See also: The pound: predecimal to decimal design continuity (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,40487.0.html).