Guernsey, Elizabeth II, 1971, New Penny, Bronze KM 21

Started by aws22, September 11, 2016, 08:53:12 PM

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Guernsey, Elizabeth II, 1971, New Penny, Bronze KM 21
Weight 3.56 gm
Diameter 20.32 mm
Metal Bronze
Mintage 1,922,000
Beautiful coin.

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


The bird is a gannet. It is appropriate, as it is common around the Channel islands.

Guernsey used French coins throughout most of its history. There are some tokens dated 1809, but a separate coinage started only in 1804. These coins were denominated in doubles, from the French double Tournois, a popular silver coin from the high middle ages that survived many centuries, though it eventually turned copper. Since there were 21 Guernsey shillings to the British pound of 20 shillings, the double coins may look like UK coins, but they don't have the same value, to the delight of local shopkeepers, who accepted British coins from tourists and sailors, but gave change in Guernsey coins. Though there are no portraits on Guernsey pre-decimal coins, the arms are English (not British).

By the time the Guernsey currency was decimalised (1971), it was already aligned with British money. It has since largely followed UK coinage specifications, so it is no longer clear what the function of Guernsey coins is.

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


The gannet on the 1p was, I think, specifically to represent Alderney as that island has a major gannet colony.  The designs were replaced in 1985, so this design is rarely seen now.  You're far more likely to see the crab design 1p (1985 to date).

Peter, immediately prior to decimalisation, the Guernsey pound was equal to sterling.  From Wikipedia (so it must be true  ;D)

"The 8 double coin was a "Guernsey penny", with twelve to the "Guernsey shilling" (worth 1.2 francs). However, this shilling was not equal to the British shilling (worth 1.26 francs, as the exchange rate according to the respective gold standards was 25.22 francs = 1 pound sterling). Banknotes were also produced by the States of Guernsey from 1827, denominated in pounds. In 1848, an ordinance was passed that the pound sterling should be legal tender at a value of £1 1s 3d (2040 doubles). This was rescinded two years later and French currency, supplemented by local issues, continued to circulate. In 1870, British coins were made legal tender, with the British shilling circulating at 12½ Guernsey pence. Bank of England notes became legal tender in 1873. In 1914, new banknotes appeared, some of which carried denominations in Guernsey shillings and francs.

"After the First World War, the value of the franc began to fall relative to sterling. This caused Guernsey to adopt a pound equal to the pound sterling in 1921. For amounts below 1 shilling, the conversion rate of 1 Guernsey penny (8 doubles) = 1 British penny applied, allowing the Guernsey coins to continue to circulate."