Dominica – Cut, Pierced & Counterstamped Coins

Started by Deeman, December 22, 2021, 06:32:36 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Deeman

Dominica was colonised by the Frenched in 1632, but captured by the British in 1761 and made a British colony in 1763.

Around 1762, Dominica imported coins from Gibraltar, the aim being to retain money in the islands of use. They were a Spanish 8 réales and its fractions with a pierced heart-shaped hole with patterned border on the cut edges. The pierced dollar was worth 10 bits (7/6), making one-bit worth 9d.

A council in 1798 acknowledged these pierced coins and a proclamation established a value of 11 bits (8/3) for an 8 réales piece and ordered further dollars to be cut in Dominica. The cut dollars had a crenated circular hole and were not counterstamped. The plugs were counterstamped on one side with a script 'D' radiate and a small star within the loop of the letter. They were given the value of 1½ bits (13½d). The value of an uncut dollar was 12½ bits.

A proclamation of Aug 1813 set a value of 16 bits (12/-) for the existing cut Spanish dollar. Dollars with a crenated circular hole were counterstamped with a crowned '16' on both obverse and reverse.

An edict of Sep 1813 ordered further dollars to be pierced, this time with a large circular hole and counterstamped four times with a crowned '12', indicating a value of 12 bits (9/-). The centre plugs were counterstamped with a crowned '6' for 6 bits (4/6). This gave such dollars an overall artificial value of 18 bits (13/6). These circular cuts were cut in half to produce a 3-bit piece with a counterstamped crowned '3'.

Circular centre plugs were also cut from previously pierced Spanish 8 réales with a crenated hole under authority of 1798. They were counterstamped with a crowned '4' for 4 bits (3/-).

Dominica continued its reckoning in bits until 1862 when they were demonetised and sterling became the standard.

There is a questionable attribution to Dominica here.

Deeman

Imported coins



Dominica (1762) 10 bits Gibraltar import, host coin 1756 Ferdinand VI 8 réales, Mexico City mint, assayer MM, heart-shaped hole with patterned border.






Dominica (1762) 1 bit Gibraltar import, host coin 1745 Philip IV réal, Mexico City mint, assayer M, heart-shaped hole with patterned border.






Dominica (1762) ½ bit Gibraltar import, host coin 1756 Ferdinand VI half-réal, Peru Lima mint, assayer JM, heart-shaped hole with patterned border.

Deeman

Authority of 1798



Dominica (1798) 11 bits, host coin 1791 Carlos IIII 8 réales, Mexico City mint, assayer FM, with crenated hole cut from reverse.






Dominica (1798) 1½ bits (moco), created from central crenated plug from Spanish 8 réales, stamped with script 'D' radiate and small star.

Deeman

Authority of 1813



Dominica (1813) 16 bits, host coin 1790 Carlos IIII 8 réales, Mexico City mint, assayer FM, crenated hole with crowned '16' counterstamp on obverse & reverse.






Dominica (1813) 12 bits, host coin 1792 Carlos IIII 8 réales, Mexico City mint, assayer FM, with large circular hole cut from obverse, counterstamped four times with crowned '12'.






Dominica (1813) 6 bits, central circular plug from Spanish 8 réales with crowned '6' counterstamp.






Dominica (1813) 3 bits, half cut central circular plug from Spanish 8 réales with crowned '3' counterstamp.






Dominica (1813) 4 bits, a circular centre segment with crowned '4' counterstamp cut from a previously pierced Spanish 8 réales with a crenated hole under authority of 1798.

Figleaf

The Gibraltar shipment of 1762 from Gibraltar is remarkable in that the pictures show colonial coins. Apparently, these coins came from international trade, not from Spain.

Another fun aspect of the monetary history of Dominica is the tarification of the 4000 cut dollars of 1798. At the time, a "new" peso was tariffed at 9 shillings. The Council minutes say that "such cut dollar (i.e. the ring) shall circulate at the rate of 8 s. 3d. and every piece cut out of such dollar (i.e. the pill) weighing 2 dwts. shall be paid at the rate of 1 s. 1½ d." In other words, when a 9 s. coin was cut, the total value of the two pieces was 9 s. 4½ d.

In a 1799 letter, the governor of Dominica writes: "the silversmith in this Island cuts them for 4½ d. each dollar". (Chalmers p. 75) Note the singular of silversmith. Amazingly, this means that the silversmith ended up with the whole profit of the exercise. I find it unthinkable that the Council, consisting of rich local merchants, would not have realised this. Graft? Or was the silversmith a government official who turned over his profits to the government and received a regular salary? It looks like the population of Dominica was too small to support a silversmith. Possibly the silversmith had a hybrid position, functioning as a government assayer as well as repairing and creating jewellery for his own account. However, that would be asking for hanky-panky.

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