Author Topic: Mauritius, Elizabeth II, 1964, ¼ Rupee, Cu-Ni KM 36  (Read 661 times)

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Offline aws22

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Mauritius, Elizabeth II, 1964, ¼ Rupee, Cu-Ni KM 36
« on: September 02, 2016, 12:27:24 PM »
Mauritius, Elizabeth II, 1964, ¼ Rupee, Cu-Ni KM 36
Weight 2.95 gm
Diameter 19 mm
Metal Cu-Ni
Mintage 400,000
Nice coin.

Maythem
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Mauritius, Elizabeth II, 1964, ¼ Rupee, Cu-Ni KM 36
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2016, 09:42:38 PM »
The monetary history of Mauritius is like most other colonies: a "tale full of sound and fury" of tariffing errors that under and overvalued then this, then the other coin. All the while, real people used fixed rates over much of the 19h century and in the end, the fixed rates won out, as witnessed by this coin.

Mauritius was originally a Dutch colony, a staging point between the Cape and the Netherlands Indies. VOC money did not last, though. The French were the next owners. They used it as a staging point for piracy and making life miserable for Indian ocean ship owners in general. They left behind a currency based on Spanish colonial silver (notably the 8 reales or peso), the livre colonial, a money of account of a little less than one Spanish peso and the copper sol marqué.

In the Napoleonic wars, the British took over Mauritius as a staging point for Australia and Oceania - until the opening of the Suez canal altered shipping routes. They added the Indian rupee to the mix. They also tried to introduce British money, but at an unfavourable tariff, costing British taxpayers and enriching local merchants, who merrily exported the coins to other British colonies as soon as they came in. Next came an issue of 25 and 50 sous. They were conveniently accepted for 12½ and 25 cents of the livre colonial, therefore 1/8 and ¼ Spanish peso or 1 and 2 reales. The merchants accepted the Indian rupee for half a 5 franc coin and the 5 franc coin for a livre colonial, so that the coins were effectively current for ¼ and ½ Indian rupee. I am skipping the anchor money coins, as they were widely rejected and re-exported.

By the end of the 19th century, the British gave up. They had learned that the islanders liked the French decimal system and kept using the livre colonial, valued at 2 rupees. The obvious answer to get rid of the hated French denominations was to establish a fixed rate of 2 Indian rupees to what they called the "Mauritius dollar" (done in 1876) and introduce decimal rupee denominated coins. Your quarter rupee was handy in the prevalent trade of Mauritius with India, where ¼ rupees also circulated, but it also suited merchants within Mauritius, who could registered them at 1/8 of either a livre colonial, a 5 franc piece or a Spanish colonial peso.

Disclaimer: the above omits all kinds of detail, paper money, small differences and official tariffs that could in practice mean a fun extra income for seaborne traders. It reflects local customary tariffs only.

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

Offline aws22

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Re: Mauritius, Elizabeth II, 1964, ¼ Rupee, Cu-Ni KM 36
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2016, 07:20:30 PM »
Thank you Peter for your valuable comments.

Maythem
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".