Author Topic: Nigeria: predecimal coinage  (Read 130 times)

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Offline <k>

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Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« on: October 31, 2019, 12:48:45 AM »


Colonial flag of Nigeria.



Nigeria was formerly a British colony but became independent in October 1960. The colonial flag of Nigeria between 1914 and 1960 was a British blue ensign with a green Seal of Solomon surrounding a Tudor Crown (later changed to a St Edward's Crown in 1953). It was adopted by the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria following the amalgamation of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate.

Offline <k>

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2019, 12:53:54 AM »
Until 1958, Nigeria used the British West African pound, a common currency used by Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Gambia as part of a currency union. In 1959 the country adopted the Nigerian pound and issued its first national coinage.

Offline <k>

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 12:59:16 AM »



The obverse and reverse designs of the bronze halfpenny, the lowest denomination, greatly resembled those of the British West African lower denomination coins. Like its British West African counterpart, it had a central hole. At 21 mm in diameter, it was significantly smaller than the UK halfpenny, which was 25.4 mm in diameter.

Offline <k>

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2019, 01:02:09 AM »




The bronze penny was similar in design to the halfpenny. It had a diameter of 28 mm and was slightly smaller than its UK counterpart, which was 30.8 mm in diameter.

 
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 12:10:20 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2019, 01:07:10 AM »


Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.



The obverse of the threepence and the other higher denominations carried the crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, who was head of state. The effigy was designed by Cecil Thomas.

Because Nigeria was a colony, it was in those days required to use the crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. At that time only the UK and the dominions, such as Australia, Canada and South Africa, were allowed to use the uncrowned effigy.

Offline <k>

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2019, 01:18:44 AM »


Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.



The reverse of the threepence featured a cotton plant. Cotton played an important part in Nigeria's economy. The design was the work of Paul Vincze of the Royal Mint (UK).

Unlike other sub-Saharan countries, Nigeria's coin designs did not depict any animals. This was because the Muslims in northern Nigeria objected to the depiction of animals for religious reasons.

The brass twelve-sided threepence followed the example of its UK counterpart. However, it was smaller and thinner, weighing 3.3 g, with a diameter of 19 mm and a thickness of 1.4 mm. By contrast, the UK threepence weighed 6.8 g, with a diameter of 21.8 mm and a thickness of 2.6 mm.

The UK, Fiji, Jersey and Nigeria were the only countries to use a brass threepence. All the other countries and territories of the British Empire and Commonwealth who used the threepence denomination issued coins that were very small, round and made of copper-nickel or silver.

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2019, 01:29:28 AM »


Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.



The reverse of the copper-nickel sixpence featured cocoa beans. Humphrey Paget of the Royal Mint produced the design.

Usually only a single Royal Mint designer would produce all of the designs for a country's new coinage. However, Humphrey Paget and Paul Vincze had also already jointly produced the designs of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland coinage, first issued in 1955.

Offline <k>

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2019, 01:35:20 AM »


Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.



The reverse of the copper-nickel shilling featured palm leaves. The design was the work of Humphrey Paget.

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2019, 01:37:36 AM »


Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.



The reverse of the two shillings coin featured a tea plant. The design was the work of Paul Vincze.

This coin was the highest denomination of the series. There was no half crown.

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2019, 01:52:09 AM »


Here you see how the Queen's portrait looked on the copper-nickel coins.

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Re: Nigeria: predecimal coinage
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2019, 01:52:37 AM »
All these coins were dated 1959 only, except for the shilling, which was minted with the years 1960, 1961 and 1962.

The set is notable for including a Seal of Solomon, large or small, on the reverse of every coin.

Nigeria was the last country to use pounds, shillings and pence. It adopted a decimal currency in 1973 and issued a decimal coinage that same year.