Author Topic: Bahamian Variations  (Read 245817 times)

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Offline <k>

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Bahamian Variations
« on: July 15, 2010, 02:19:41 AM »
The Bahamas one cent coin has seen many variations over the years. As of 1985, it switched from brass to copper-plated zinc. The 1998 example, whose obverse and reverse you can see on the left of the image, carries the original design of the starfish [as we say in the UK, but I believe the Americans call it a seastar], which appeared on the first one cent coins of 1966. This design was created by English artist Arnold Machin while contracted to the Royal Mint (UK).

In 2006 a new updated starfish design appeared on the one cent coin. This was as a result of the Royal Canadian Mint taking over the contract. This time we can see three starfish on the coin. The main starfish does not look all that different from the Royal Mint's version. Maybe this is because all starfish look alike (sorry if that sounds species-ist), or maybe the Royal Canadian Mint portrayed the twin brother of the original starfish. This design appears third from the left in the image below. Notice that the denomination now appears as a numeral ("1"), whereas formerly it was shown as a full word ("ONE").

As of 2009, yet another one cent variation appeared. You can see it on the far right of the image. As you will notice, the design has not changed; however, the coin itself is now considerably smaller, thinner and lighter. Why it was considered worthwhile or cost-effective to reduce the size of a coin of such low value, I don't know. I think it would have made more sense just to demonetise the one cent denomination, but as a collector I am pleased to see yet another variation on this theme.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 03:35:41 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 02:48:31 AM »
Here is a nicer image of the two most recent one cent coins. Since 1970, the one cent coin had always been 19mm in diameter. The new smaller version is only 16mm in diameter, as well as being considerably thinner than the previous version.

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 03:23:22 AM »


Going back to 1966, when the first modern coinage of the Bahamas was issued, we find that the obverse of the one cent coin portrays Queen Elizabeth II. This is because the Bahamas were still a British possession at the time. The effigy of the Queen is by Arnold Machin. It first appeared on the coins of Rhodesia in 1964, and would not appear on the coins of the UK until 1968. Arnold Machin also created the reverse designs of the Bahamian coinage, so his designs appear on both sides of the coins.

This very first one cent type is made of nickel-brass and has a diameter of 22.5mm. The country name is given as "Bahama Islands", whereas "Commonwealth of the Bahamas" is the legend on the present day coins.

This one cent type was issued from 1966 to 1969.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 09:39:33 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 03:32:21 AM »
In 1970 a new one year type was issued. The obverse and reverse designs and legends remained the same, but the coin was reduced in size from 22.5mm to 19mm. Though the colour still appears yellowish, the coin catalogues all record that it was actually minted in bronze, though proof specimens were apparently struck in special brass, which looks like a pale bronze.

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 03:39:11 AM »
From 1971 to 1973, a new type was circulated. The proof and uncirculated versions of the coin were now struck entirely in brass. The only other change was to the country name, now appearing as "Commonwealth of the Bahama Islands".

The small "f" you can see beneath the starfish is the Franklin Mint's mintmark. Quantities of the coins were also struck, as before, by the Royal Mint.

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 04:06:34 AM »
On the 10th July 1973, the Bahamas became independent. The next one cent type appeared in 1974. The effigy of Queen Elizabeth was replaced by the Bahamian coat of arms. The country legend changed from "Commonwealth of the Bahama Islands" to "Commonwealth of the Bahamas".

The coin was still the same size and minted in brass, and the starfish design remained on the reverse. However, the date was moved from the reverse to the obverse, where it has remained ever since. This coin was minted up to and including 1985 and was the last one cent type to be minted in brass. For the types after 1985, please revisit the first post of this topic.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 09:32:19 AM »
As the signs on the 1972 and 1975 pieces show, they were produced by the Darth Vader of pseudo coins, Franklin Mint. They had conquered the islands from 1971 to 1985, producing such a skewed supply of coins that proofs from this period are generally cheaper than bu pieces and KM quotes proof sets below issue price. Proofs of this period are much easier to find than circulation strikes.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 12:15:47 PM »
As the signs on the 1972 and 1975 pieces show, they were produced by the Darth Vader of pseudo coins, Franklin Mint. They had conquered the islands from 1971 to 1985, producing such a skewed supply of coins that proofs from this period are generally cheaper than bu pieces and KM quotes proof sets below issue price. Proofs of this period are much easier to find than circulation strikes.

Peter

Well, that's commercialism for you. In their defence, I will add that their coins were every bit as well minted as those from the Royal Mint. The 1970s proof sets I have from FM are very well packaged, and the condition of the coins contained in them has not deteriorated one jot: they still look FDC. Though the Bahamas designs were not by FM, they did provide circulation designs for other countries, e.g. Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago. These designs were created by top-flight artists and engravers and are of very high quality, much higher than the stuff you see emanating from the Pobjoy Mint and "Commonwealth Mint" these days. More than a few top-ranking numismatic artists cut their teeth at FM, including the Englishman Philip Nathan, who went on to create the Britannia for the Royal Mint.

On the other hand, FM did produce shedloads of art medals and ornaments which are very sentimental in style, or "sugary", as Figleaf would say, but I still say they had their moments, and the physical quality (if not always the artistic quality) of what they produced in the 1970s was always high and meant to last. I can still look at Papua New Guinea's circulation coins and marvel that they were produced by a team, and not by one person, yet still retain a unity of style, and I'd add that those designs are on a par with the Royal Mint's best modern thematic circulation designs for overseas countries.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 12:24:44 PM by E.M.U. »

Offline Prosit

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 12:29:06 PM »
Back then I got a Franklin Mint catalog fairly regularly.  I was always impressed with the apparant quality of the items although I never bought any of their products.  The were expensive for the times.  Memory is not what it used to be but didn't Gilroy Roberts run the Franklin  Mint one itme?  (designer of the Kennedy half-dollar).  The Kennedy half is not what I would call an attractive coin although I put together several sets in uncirculated and proof at one time.

I liked the Franklin Mint's metal model cars but never had one of those either.
Dale

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 12:34:26 PM »
From "Coin Designers, Modelers and Engravers" (2008 edition) by Charles Hosch.

Just months after the Kennedy half dollar entered circulation, Gilroy Roberts left the Mint on 08 OCT 1964. This in itself is a noteworthy event, for he thus became the first Chief Engraver to leave by means of retirement, rather than death.
Shortly thereafter he teamed up with Joseph M. Segel, a Philadelphia advertising executive, to transform a small company
called General Numismatics Corporation into the Franklin Mint. Roberts’ contributions at the fast-growing Franklin Mint
were both technical and artistic. At the outset, he oversaw the purchase and installation of minting equipment. Then,
through the years, he personally created many coin and medal designs for the mint, including a series of coins for the
British Virgin Islands and a set of medals depicting birds. In 1971, after more than six years as chairman of the board, he
curtailed his Franklin Mint duties and in 1980 retired completely. However, he continued to accept commissions from the
Franklin Mint and other clients. In 1986 he designed a Franklin Mint medal commemorating the 25th anniversary of John
F. Kennedy’s inauguration.

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 12:37:05 PM »
The Kennedy half is not what I would call an attractive coin although I put together several sets in uncirculated and proof at one time.

I think the overall coin is not a classic, but the portrait of Kennedy is. You know instantly who it is. Gilroy Roberts' bird designs for the pseudo-coin set of the British Virgin Islands (1970s) are really very attractive, so I had to have them, whether they were pseudo-coins or not. They are actually legal tender coins but of course never circulated, and were not meant to, as the BVI use the US dollar.

Offline Prosit

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2010, 12:48:27 PM »
The first problem with the Kennedy half is that it doesn't actually show much artistic independance.  The portrait design is not that much of a change over the Franklin half and the reverse is the presidential seal.  Obviously it did not take a lot of inovation to do the coin.  With that being said, it was one of my favorite sets to put together.  Back in the middle 1970's the 1970-d was a toughie to get.  A 1970 mint set was $40 for a while.  The 70-d is no big deal today.  Gilroy Roberts showed more a little more freedom in design at the Franklin Mint and did good work.  Just my opinion.

Dale



I think the overall coin is not a classic, but the portrait of Kennedy is. You know instantly who it is. Gilroy Roberts' bird designs for the pseudo-coin set of the British Vrigin Islands (1970s) are really very attractive, so I had to have them, whether they were pseudo-coins or not. They are actually legal tender coins but of course never circulated, and were not meant to, as the BVI use the US dollar.

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 08:21:51 PM »
The website of the Central bank of the Bahamas claims that it will update all the designs on its coins over the coming years. The first one was of course the 1 cent coin, whose starfish design was updated in 2006. Next was the 10 cents bonefish or mackerels design (I am not sure which species name is correct). The new design was introduced in 2007. Since then - nothing. That still leaves the 5c, 15c and 25c designs to be updated. Apparently the 50 cents coins and above are found in sets only and are not used in circulation.





The original 10 cents design, introduced in 1966.





The new design, introduced in 2007.

 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 03:35:07 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 09:33:51 PM »
Here is a nicer image of the 2006-dated cent. The font on the obverse is nicely done.

Offline <k>

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Re: Bahamian Variations
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2013, 01:01:13 AM »
Another example, from 1973 this time. The Bahamas became independent on 10th July 1973. This is how the country name appears on the coins over the years:

Year     Obverse Legend                                               
1966-1970     Elizabeth II      BAHAMA ISLANDS                                         
1971-1973     Elizabeth II      COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS
1974 to date  Coat of arms    COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS             

Some of the 5 cents and 10 cents coins of 1973 carry the legend: "THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS", as opposed to just "COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS". So far as I can tell, the former are Royal Mint products, whilst the latter are Franklin Mint products.

 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 02:32:15 AM by <k> »