Author Topic: British Virgin Islands: collector coins  (Read 307 times)

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Offline <k>

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British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« on: August 29, 2019, 03:05:52 PM »

Map of the Caribbean region.





Map of the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.





Map of the British Virgin Islands.



The British Virgin Islands, officially simply the Virgin Islands, are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 16 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the largest island. Tortola is about 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands had a population of about 28,000 at the 2010 Census, of whom approximately 23,500 lived on Tortola. Current estimates put the population at 35,800 (July 2018).

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2019, 03:12:41 PM »



The flag of the British Virgin Islands was adopted by Royal Warrant on 15 November 1960 after the islands were made into a separate British colony. Previously, the territory was administered as part of the British Leeward Islands. The flag features a defaced Blue Ensign with the Union Flag in the canton, and defaced with the coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands.

The coat of arms, which date to the early nineteenth-century, features Saint Ursula holding a flaming gold oil lamp and surrounded by a further eleven lamps, which represent her 11,000 virgin followers. The islands were named after these virgin followers by Christopher Columbus when he discovered the islands in 1493, because the multiplicity of islands reminded him of the numerous followers. The motto present on the flag reads Vigilate, which translated from Latin is be watchful. The flag was modified in 1999, when the shield was enlarged and outlined in white.

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 03:19:56 PM »
From Wikipedia:

It is thought that the Virgin Islands were first settled by the Arawak from South America around 100 BC-200 AD. However, there is some evidence of Amerindian presence on the islands as far back as 1500 BC. The Arawaks inhabited the islands until the 15th century, when they were displaced by the more aggressive Caribs, a tribe from the Lesser Antilles islands.

The first European sighting of the Virgin Islands was by the Spanish expedition of Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage to the Americas, who gave the islands their modern name. The Spanish Empire claimed the islands by discovery in the early 16th century, but never settled them. Subsequent years saw the English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Danish all jostling for control of the region, which became a notorious haunt for pirates. There is no record of any native Amerindian population in the British Virgin Islands during this period; it is thought that they either fled to safer islands or were killed.

The Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola by 1648, frequently clashing with the Spanish who were based on nearby Puerto Rico. In 1672 the English captured Tortola from the Dutch, and the English annexation of Anegada and Virgin Gorda followed in 1680. Meanwhile, over the period 16721733, the Danish gained control of the nearby islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix (i.e. the modern US Virgin Islands).

The British islands were considered principally a strategic possession. The British introduced sugar cane, which was to become the main crop and source of foreign trade. Large numbers of slaves were forcibly brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations. The islands prospered economically until the middle of the nineteenth century, when a combination of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1834, a series of disastrous hurricanes, and the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States significantly reduced sugar cane production and led to a period of economic decline.

In 1917, the United States purchased the Danish Virgin Islands for US$25 million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands. Economic linkages with the US islands prompted the British Virgin Islands to adopt the US dollar as its currency in 1959.

The British Virgin Islands were administered variously as part of the British Leeward Islands or with St. Kitts and Nevis. An administrator represented the British Government on the islands. The islands gained separate colony status in 1960. They became autonomous in 1967 under the new post of Chief Minister. Since the 1960s the islands have diversified away from their traditionally agriculture-based economy towards tourism and financial services, becoming one of the wealthiest areas in the Caribbean. The constitution of the islands was amended in 1977, 2004 and 2007, giving them greater local autonomy.

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 06:12:21 PM »
In 1973 the British Virgin Islands issued its first collector coins. This was an officially endorsed set that was designed to look like circulation coinage, in that it consisted of several different denominations, from 1 cent to $1. However, these coins never circulated and were intended only for collectors. BVI officially continued to use US coinage and banknotes.

Below you see the reverse designs, which feature birds of the islands. The designs were created by American sculptor Gilroy Roberts, who had designed the famous portrait of J F Kennedy on the 1964 US half dollar. Mr Roberts had also helped set up and run the Franklin Mint.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 06:47:45 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 06:16:12 PM »


Above right you see, on a later strike, the typical obverse used on the collector coins. It featured the familiar Machin portrait of the Queen.

On the reverse design (left), you see Gilroy Robert's designer signature at bottom left and the Franklin Mint mark at bottom right. When the Kennedy half dollar was issued, a rumour was started that Mr Roberts' signature represented the hammer and sickle symbol of the Soviet Union!

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 06:18:52 PM »




The Franklin Mint produced another such "circulation-like" set for BVI in 1985. This time marine life as featured on the reverse designs.

See also: Official "circulation-like" sets.

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 06:32:30 PM »












In 1977 and 1978, BVI issued collector sets with altered obverse legends, to commemorate the Silver Jubilee and Coronation Jubilee of the Queen.

See also: Altered legend with same or similar design.

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 06:38:31 PM »
When the UK adopted Raphael Maklouf's new numismatic portrait of the Queen in 1985, BVI did likewise for its collector coins.

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 03:47:56 PM »
In 1978 a series of collector coins was issued to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Queen's coronation.

See: The Queen's Beasts.

A few Commonwealth countries and British overseas territories issued these coins, featuring heraldic beasts.

Below you see BVI's contribution.





British Virgin Islands, $25, 1978.

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2019, 03:55:47 PM »
In 1985 BVI issued a series of silver collector coins, each with the denomination of $20. The series was entitled 'Sunken Ship Treasures of the Caribbean' and carried a lively set of mostly nautical reverse designs.

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2019, 04:14:28 PM »
The themes shown so far all have relevance to BVI. However, in recent years BVI has issued collector coins featuring the mythical horse Pegasus. Of what relevance is this theme to BVI? Is it just a theme chosen for BVI's bullion coins?

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2019, 04:31:31 PM »
In honour of the Queen's 60th year of reign, the tower housing Big Ben was renamed Elizabeth Tower. BVI issued this novelty in 2016 to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.

See also: Most ridiculous collector coins.

Offline <k>

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2019, 04:48:54 PM »
BVI, $1, 2005.  Another nautical theme: 'The Chase to the West Indies'.

Not something I have ever heard of, but my knowledge of history is poor.

In the exergue appears a reproduction of Nelson's signature.

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Re: British Virgin Islands: collector coins
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2019, 04:57:48 PM »
BVI issues some nice wildlife designs. Some of the wildlife is very colourful, but you can't usually see that on coins. There are solutions, however.

Below you see a pink titanium $5 coin of 2015 and the reverse of a 2019 $1 coin.

See also: Coloured coins.