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British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations

Started by <k>, October 21, 2011, 09:26:27 PM

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<k>

ZAR 2s 1892.jpg


Paul Kruger's South African Republic was known informally as the Transvaal Republic to English speakers.

The British eventually conquered it and merged its territory into the Union of South Africa.

Although its 2 shillings coin showed the coat of arms, these also appeared on its half crown and crown.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Cyprus 2 shillings 1949.jpg


The 2 shillings coin was the highest circulation coin of its time in Cyprus.

It had previously been denominated as 18 piastres.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>




British West Africa was a currency union, not a country. It didn't have a coat of arms.

It therefore  used a palm tree on its highest denomination, the 2 shillings coin.

The same palm tree design appeared on the shilling.

The 2 shilling coin started off as silver then became tin-brass.

It ended up as nickel-brass, like the one you see here.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



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





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





Rhodesia featured the Zimbabwe bird.

It had 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.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Ireland 1966 florin.jpg


Ireland featured a salmon on its florin.

It also used half crowns.

Ireland was a member of the Commonwealth until 1949.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



New Zealand depicted a kiwi, the national bird, on its florin.

The coat of arms was reserved for its half crown.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>




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.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>




Uganda used to be a part of the East Africa currency union.

It retained the shillings system after independence.

This first 2 shillings coin was 30mm in diameter.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>




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.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



A charming depiction of a Bohor reedbuck, a native antelope.

It appears here on the reverse of the Zambian 2 shillings.


Zambia 2s 1966.jpg
 
Zambia also originally used pounds, shillings and pence.

It adopted the kwacha in 1971.

The portrait of President Kaunda replaced the coat of arms in 1966.

Zambia never issued a half crown.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Malawi florin 1964-.JPG


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.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Nigeria 1s-1959-.JPG


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.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>







Kenya used East African coinage before independence.

After independence it adopted the shilling, divided into 100 cents.


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

Both these coins were 32mm in diameter.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Ghana 2 shillings 1958.jpg


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.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>




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.

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

Paul Vincze, Coin Designer
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.