Author Topic: Isle of Man half penny token  (Read 7300 times)

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Offline bart

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Isle of Man half penny token
« on: May 02, 2008, 08:57:19 AM »
Yesterday, May 1st, I went to the International Numismatic bourse in Leuven (Louvain), one of the biggest numismatic events in Belgium.
As I am a junk-box fanatic, I spent hours and hours searching through the dealer's junk-boxes. After some time, I had some remarkable findings (and really black fingers).
One of those is a Isle of Man half penny token from 1831. It is in Krause as KM#Tn21
In Coincraft it is discribed as: issued by William Callister (1808-1872) a timber importer of Ramsey, and struck by Sir Edward Thomason at Birmingham. It was designed by Thomas Halliday, and the incuse lettering design was probably inspired by the 1798 and 1813 coinage issues.
Callister later became a Member of the House of Keys.
Obv: HALF PENNY TOKEN, PRO BONO PUBLICO (for public benefit)
Rev. Triune (or triskelion) QUOCUNQUE IECERIS STABIT (the motto of the Isle of Man, meaning: wherever it's thrown, it stands)

Bart

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 01:36:38 PM »
Davis Isle of Man 25. There are only 28 19th century types known for the Isle of Man, of which 5 for Ramsay. This anonymous piece was clearly inspired by the Birmingham coins for India and Britain. It is not surprising that this piece was also struck in Birmingham as the Royal Mint did not yet have the required technology.

One fun detail is that this is a halfpenny Manx, which is not the same as on English halfpenny. At the time, a Manx shilling was not 12 English pence, but 10 1/4d.. Therefore, this piece was not 0.5 penny English, but 0.427 pence. This served as a tax on British visitors: their money was accepted in change on a 1:1 basis, but their change came in local coins, so the shopkeepers profited twice. Those who were rich enough to travel probably didn't care. In 1840, British money was made the only legal tender on the Island.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 01:39:10 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 09:58:24 PM »
Curious - I thought the shilling was tariffed at 14 pence Manx, not tenpence farthing - where did you get that figure from?  Likewise the shilling in Jersey was worth 13 local pence, hence the coins valued at 1/52, 1/26 and 1/13 shilling from that territory on early Victorian issues.


translateltd

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2008, 10:06:03 PM »
Looking at this again, we are probably saying the same thing from two different angles: the English shilling was worth 14d Manx, so a (theoretical) Manx shilling would have been worth 12/14 of an English shilling. 

12 x 6/7 = 10.28, or slightly more than tenpence farthing.

I suspect the problem lies in the fact that there was no Manx shilling, and English coins would have been used - tariffed at 14d Manx, as I say.  I can't imagine English coins circulating for 6/7 of their face value halfway across the Irish Sea, and the Jersey example would appear to support this theory (i.e. if 13 pence made a shilling there, why not 14 in the IOM?).




Offline Prosit

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2008, 03:13:49 AM »
OOooooowwwwwwwweeeeee!!!!
How do you guys learn this stuff?  Trying to follow makes my head hurt  ;D

Dale

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2008, 11:12:28 AM »
Hehehe. Martin's right, Dale. It's all the fault of Charlemagne, who decided to use fractions for money (1 Frankish pound = 20 solidi = 240 denarii). It follows logically :P that a shilling equals 12 pence. This works well in a number of circumstances, until you get to rates of exchange. Consider the poor Manxmen. They actually had to know if they were sailing East or West all the time. In both directions, they would find shillings of 12 pence, but the rate of exchange was different. In Ireland, the local shilling would be worth 13 pence Manx (11 1/4 Irish pence for a Manx shilling) but in England, a local shilling would be worth 14 pence Manx (10 1/4 English pence for a Manx shilling).

The "tourists" of those days, rich conscience-less English traders and snooty second rate or young English nobility, wouldn't care, until they came to large numbers (after all, £100 English would be £116 13s 4d Manx) but the fishermen and ferrymen of those days probably developed some skill in defrauding their neighbours. :)

BTW, it is clear from the rates of exchange that the central value in the British system was the shilling, not the pound. I think this is one of the reasons why the British upper class loved to quote prices in sovereigns. It set them apart from the hoi polloi.

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

translateltd

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2008, 11:08:21 PM »
I still want to confirm that the Manx actually used a shilling of 12

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2008, 11:16:34 PM »
That's what I was trying to say. We're talking about exchange rates (how much is a coin worth in terms of a "foreign" coin), not about tarification (how much is a coin worth in terms of another coin of the same currency area). 1 manx shilling is 12 manx pennies, but 1 manx shilling is 10 1/4 English pennies.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 04, 2008, 12:34:15 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2008, 11:21:10 PM »
Don't know what happened there - the msg posted itself in mid-sentence.  Let's try that again:

I still want to confirm that the Manx actually used a Manx shilling of 12 Manx pence, and not just the English shilling of 14 Manx pence.  Have we any evidence?  To return to the Jersey analogy: it's clear that there was never a Jersey shilling, since the local pence were always denominated in fractions of a shilling - 13ths when the Jersey penny was 13 to the English shilling, and 12ths thereafter.  So was the situation different in the Isle of Man, or not?

I also never knew the Irish penny was tariffed at 13 to the shilling like the Jersey one - have you a source for that?

Yes, the shilling used to be the "major" denomination in Britain, simply because the pound was, for many centuries, far too big a sum to be represented by a coin, and indeed, the shilling itself was only a "money of account" for several centuries until inflation brought it down to a usable value.  It will also explain why many items were priced in large numbers of shillings right until 1971 - if you look at dealers' price lists from the 1960s, you'll see coins priced at 65/-, 80/-, 100/- etc., even though these should technically have been written as 3 pounds 5 shillings, 4 pounds, 5 pounds, etc.  I never managed to work out what the upper limit was beyond which you would stop using shillings and switch to pounds, but it would appear to have been around 120/- (6 pounds), after which all three denominations would be used appropriately (pounds, shillings, pence).  If anyone has any pre-1971 publications containing advertisements (whether for coins or not), I'd be interested to know the highest price quoted in shillings that they find.

The upper professional classes (lawyers, doctors) would quote their fees in guineas (21 shillings once the value of that gold coin had stabilised), and the practice continued into the 1970s (as £1.05) but I suspect didn't last long once decimalisation had properly taken hold.  The advantage was that the amount being paid sounded less (100 guineas doesn't sound much different to 100 pounds, but is actually 105 pounds, for instance).

And to confuse things still further, the Egyptian pound is called (in Egyptian Arabic), gineah (pick your preferred transcription), from, you guessed it, guinea ...

Martin
NZ



translateltd

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2008, 11:22:32 PM »
That's what I was trying to say. We're talking about exchange rates (how much is a coin worth in terms of a "foreign" coin), not about tarification (how much is a coin worth in terms of another coin of the same currency area). 1 manx shilling is 12 manx pennies, but 1 manx shilling is 14 English pennies.

Wrong way round!  1 English shilling was 14 Manx pence :-)

See my longer reply posted a moment ago for the rest of my query, with supporting comments ...

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Isle of Man half penny token
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2008, 12:40:12 AM »
Source for both the Manx and Irish valuations is W. J. Davis, The Nineteenth Century Token Coinage, reprint 1979, ISBN 0-915262-28-2, page 248. I corrected my previous contribution. Thanks.

Even where there were no shilling coins, you can make a local shilling with local coppers, e.g. 12 local pence.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 04, 2008, 12:47:02 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.