Author Topic: Coins of the East Caribbean States  (Read 7582 times)

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Offline Abhay

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Coins of the East Caribbean States
« on: July 22, 2010, 12:16:45 PM »
Recently, I got these 200 coins of 200 different countries. I must say, its a good bargain, as almost all the coins are in UNC condition.

But my main reason to buy these coins was that I was getting coins of Saint Kitts and Anguilla with this collection, the two countries still missing in my collection. However, I find that the coins from Anguilla and Saint Kitts are infact coins of East Caribbean States.

If you look at SCWC, the East Caribbean States mention that-

"The East Caribbean States, formerly the British Caribbean Territories (Eastern Group), formed a currency board in 1950 to provide the constituent territories of Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, British Guana, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada with a common currency. This was dissolved in 1965 and after the breakup, the Eastern Caribbean Territories, a grouping including Barbados, the Leeward and Windward Islands, came into being.

A series of 4-Dollar coins tied to the FAO coinage program were released in 1970 under the name of Carribean Development Bank by eight loosely federated island groupings in the eastern caribbean. These 8 countries are individually listed under Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Vincent."


Now my Question-  The European Union, which consists of 16 countries as on date, has a common currency EURO, which can be used in any of these 16 countries. However, each Euro country has its own distinctive design, thus having its own coinage. Similary, if we talk of East Caribbean states consisting of these Island nations, can we really say that the Coins of common East Caribbean State be attributed to any particular country? For example, the coins shown here in Image A, can we say that these are the coins of Dominica? If the answer is Yes, then why these coins are not shown in SCWC under Dominica? And if the answer in No, then which coins can you call the coins of Dominica as on date?

The problem is that if I want to collect atleast 1 coin form these countries, some of these countries have issued only 1-3 coins in their own name, one of them being the 1970 FAO series.

Similar is the case with the West African States - consisting of nations like Mauritania, Senegal, Dahomey, Ivory Coast, Niger and Upper Volta.

I have attached the images of the 8 Coins issued in 1970, with the common obverse. These coins are popularly also known as BANANA Coins. (Courtesy E-bay)

Abhay

« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 02:17:02 PM by engipress »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Coins of the East Caribbean States
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 12:42:01 PM »
I must say, its a good bargain, as almost all the coins are in UNC condition.

Did anyone ever hear of a bad bargain?  ;)

But yes, they are very nice coins, Abhay. I do love all those coats of arms with the different animal supporters.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 10:00:30 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Coins of the East Caribbean States
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 01:31:19 PM »
If we talk of East Caribbean states consisting of these Island nations, can we really say that the Coins of common East Caribbean State be attributed to any particular country? For example, the coins shown here in Image A, can we say that these are the coins of Dominica? If the answer is Yes, then why these coins are not shown in SCWC under Dominica? And if the answer in No, then which coins can you call the coins of Dominica as on date?

Abhay

If a country is part of a currency union, but there are no specific coins of that currency union that identify the country, then you should really say that you have the coins of that currency union, which also circulate in that country, but no country-specific coins. It's complex, but it's the only way to do it. You have solved your problem partly by collecting the commemorative issues of these little island states, which otherwise produce no circulation coins.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 01:44:20 PM by E.M.U. »

Offline Abhay

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Re: Coins of the East Caribbean Sates
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 01:54:23 PM »
You have solved your problem partly by collecting the commemorative issues of these little island states, which otherwise produce no circulation coins.


I still have to get Montserrat coin. The biggest problem is the price of these little island state coins. None of them is available for less than 60-70 dollars.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coins of the East Caribbean States
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2010, 08:50:24 PM »
The big difference with the euro is that the other "currency unions" are really the product of colonialism. The former British Caribbean Territories, Eastern Group are a good example. There never was such a country, but there was such an administrative unit in the British colonial administration. Another example is the Straits Settlements. Who's being settled with what? A gaggle of local rulers with colonial administrators. The CFA and CFP franc are good examples also.

In all these cases, it was impractical to apply the normal procedure of using the currency of the colonizers. The British Caribbean Territories were using first the Spanish colonial pieces of eight, later USD, so they wanted decimal money at a time the British were far from ready for that. The Straits Settlements were firmly on Calolo dollars (Spanish colonial pieces of eight), so the decimal Straits dollar was a direct descendent. The French colonies had not suffered the ravages of the second world war, so if they had devalued together with the French Franc, they would have been a tad too competitive in the mother country.

The dirty little secret of these colonial ghosts is that they save a lot of money and work efficiently. Rather than having to deal with settlement banks and the threat of inconvertibility, traders can just get paid without any fuss. Sometimes, countries move in and out of these common currencies, depending on the preferences of the local rulers, but in the long run, the systems are pretty popular. In one instance, much of the colonial administrative unit actually became a country (Malaysia).

I think it is the colonial background that keeps the coins the same in the East Caribbean States. The pieces in the name of individual islands are pseudo-coins that never circulated there. Most didn't even reach the islands.

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

Offline Harald

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Re: Coins of the East Caribbean States
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 11:58:25 AM »
There is an interesting history behind the EC$. It was created in 1950 as a unification of the three currencies of Barbados, Trinidad and Guiana. They all were formally part of the Sterling zone, but the money was issued under the name "dollar" which legally simply stood for "50 pence Sterling".

After independence the three "founding members" all retreated from the common currency and created their own, leaving behind the small islands.

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Harald
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coins of the East Caribbean States
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 12:54:04 PM »
Back to the original questions...

Now my Question-  The European Union, which consists of 16 countries as on date, has a common currency EURO, which can be used in any of these 16 countries. However, each Euro country has its own distinctive design, thus having its own coinage.

Note that each design is valid in all the Euroland countries, sot the design and the name of the country is irrelevant. In fact, if you collect one euro country (say Austria), you may argue that since all euro coins can circulate in Austria, you want all euro coins and you consider them all "Austrian". The coins no longer have a "nationality". All circulate in Euroland. Frankly, I think there is a good numismatic case (but a bad commercial case, see below) for listing all euro coins together in KM.

Similarly, if we talk of East Caribbean states consisting of these Island nations, can we really say that the Coins of common East Caribbean State be attributed to any particular country?

The case is different for the circulation coins and the pseudo issues. The circulation coins have the same status as the euro, except they do not have the names of the constituent parts of the monetary union on them. Since, as I argued above, this is irrelevant to the circulation area, they cannot be ascribed to any country, only to the union.

For example, the coins shown here in Image A, can we say that these are the coins of Dominica? If the answer is Yes, then why these coins are not shown in SCWC under Dominica? And if the answer in No, then which coins can you call the coins of Dominica as on date?

For KM it is important that people find listings where they expect them, not where they should be. Therefore, if a coin is marked Dominica, it is listed under Dominica, even if it is a pseudo coin sold only in Rome. If a coin is marked East Caribbean States, it is listed under East Caribbean States. If it is marked Austria, it comes under Austria, even if it is current in all Euroland countries. (side note: if it is marked Great Britain and struck in e.g. Australia, it is still listed under Australia, but if it is marked Great Britain and all coins were sent to Cyprus it is listed under Great Britain :'(). Are there any coins of Dominica? Yes, but much older and much more expensive.

The problem is that if I want to collect atleast 1 coin form these countries, some of these countries have issued only 1-3 coins in their own name, one of them being the 1970 FAO series.

You decide what you want to collect and how you consider special cases, like monetary unions.

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

Offline Abhay

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Re: Coins of the East Caribbean States
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2010, 04:25:39 PM »
Thanks a lot, Peter, for clarifying my doubts.

Abhay
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