Author Topic: Coinage of the Bahamas  (Read 716 times)

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Offline <k>

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Coinage of the Bahamas
« on: March 29, 2019, 05:44:20 PM »


Map of the West Indies and surrounding region.





Map of the Bahamas.



From Wikipedia:

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is a country in the West Indies, within the Lucayan Archipelago. It has a population of around 391,000. The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. The designation of "the Bahamas" can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Bahamas is the site of Columbus's first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taíno people. Although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.

The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American Revolutionary War, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas; they brought their slaves with them and established plantations on land grants. Africans constituted the majority of the population from this period. The slave trade was abolished by the British in 1807; slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. Subsequently, the Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves.

Today, Afro-Bahamians make up nearly 90% of the population. The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining the British monarch, then and currently Queen Elizabeth II, as its head of state. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada), with an economy based on tourism and finance.

Offline <k>

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2019, 05:48:59 PM »



From Wikipedia:

The escutcheon (shield) of the national coat of arms is supported by a marlin and flamingo. The crest on top of the helm (helmet) is a conch shell, which represents the varied marine life of the island chain. Below the helm is the escutcheon itself, whose main charge is a ship, reputed to represent the Santa María of Christopher Columbus. It is sailing beneath a sun in the chief. The animals supporting the shield are the national animals: the flamingo is located upon land, and the marlin upon sea, indicating the geography of the islands.

The Coat of Arms was approved by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 December 1971. It was designed by Bahamian artist and clergyman, Dr. Hervis L. Bain, Jr.

Offline <k>

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2019, 05:53:04 PM »



From Wikipedia:

The national flag of the Bahamas was adopted in 1973.  It consists of a black triangle situated at the hoist with three horizontal bands: aquamarine, gold and aquamarine.

The gold alludes to the shining sun, as well as other key land-based natural resources. The aquamarine epitomises the water surrounding the country. The black symbolises the strength, vigour and force of the Bahamian people. The directed triangle evokes their enterprising and determined nature to cultivate the abundant natural resources on the land and in the sea.

Offline <k>

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 05:57:08 PM »
From Wikipedia:

By the middle of the nineteenth century, British coinage had replaced the Spanish dollar throughout all of the British West Indies. But it was only in the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Jamaica that the pound unit of account was used.

The pound was the currency of the Bahamas until 1966. It was equivalent to the pound sterling and was divided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. Ordinary UK coinage circulated.

The dollar replaced the pound at a rate of 1 dollar = 7 shillings in 1966, 7 years before independence. This rate allowed the establishment of parity with the US dollar, due to the sterling/dollar rate then being fixed at £1 = $2.80. To aid in decimalisation, three-dollar bills and fifteen-cent coins were created, as three dollars was roughly equivalent to one pound, and fifteen cents to a shilling, at the time of transition.

In 1966 coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, 50 cents, and 1 and 2 dollars. The 1 cent was struck in nickel-brass, the 5, 10, and 15 cent in copper-nickel, the 25 cent in nickel, and the 50 cent and 1 dollar in silver. The 10 cent was scallop shaped, whilst the 15 cent was square. Silver coins were not issued for circulation after 1966.

Offline <k>

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2019, 06:02:33 PM »
The common obverse of the coinage featured Arnold Machin's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the head of state. Arnold Machin had created the portrait specifically for use on the UK's planned decimal coins.

Mr Machin also designed the beautiful reverse designs of the Bahamian coins. The 1 cent coin featured a starfish, also known as a sea star.

Offline <k>

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2019, 06:10:38 PM »
Another view of the reverse design.

Offline <k>

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2019, 06:11:20 PM »
The 5 cents coin featured a pineapple on the reverse.

Offline <k>

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2019, 06:18:44 PM »
The scalloped 10 cents coin featured two bonefish (Albula vulpes) on the reverse.

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2019, 06:31:59 PM »
The square 15 cents coin featured a Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) on the reverse.

This denomination was created because it was equivalent to a UK shilling at the time of issue. Apparently the denomination is not commonly used these days, though it is still minted.

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2019, 08:27:58 PM »
The twenty-five cents coin features a sloop on the reverse.

Notice that the word "twenty-five", which is hyphenated in English, is spelled here as one word. That is incorrect.

See also: Spelling and grammatical errors on coins.

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2019, 08:37:23 PM »
The 50 cents coin featured a blue marlin on the reverse. The Atlantic blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) is a species of marlin endemic to the Atlantic Ocean. This coin was made of silver.

Like the Americans, the population of the Bahamas apparently prefers not to use 50 cents coins.

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2019, 08:45:06 PM »
The dollar coin was also made of silver. Presumably is was intended primarily as part of a collector set.

It depicted a queen conch (Lobatus gigas), a species of large edible sea snail,

Notice the small fish at top right.

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2019, 08:58:10 PM »
The reverse of the $2 coin carried an attractive design of two scarlet flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) against a setting sun.

This large silver coin, which was 40 mm in diameter, most definitely did not circulate. It was intended to fill out a collector set and thus earn more money for the Bahamas. Twenty-one years after the Second World War, prosperity was returning to many countries, and collectors had more spare cash. Hence, collector coins such as these began to proliferate.

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2019, 09:07:13 PM »
The silver $5 collector coin, which had a diameter of 45 mm, showed the shield of arms and motto of the Bahamas at that time:

EXPULSIS PIRATIS RESTITUTA COMMERCIA

This translates as "Pirates defeated, commerce restored".

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Re: Coinage of the Bahamas
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2019, 09:17:01 PM »
From 1971, the country name appeared on the coins as "COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS", instead of the former "BAHAMA ISLANDS".

From 1970 the Franklin Mint also started minted some of the country's coins, alongside the Royal Mint (UK). You can see the Franklin mint mark on the 1 cent coin below.