Author Topic: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China  (Read 15563 times)

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Offline <k>

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Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« on: May 19, 2011, 11:43:11 PM »
In 1839, the refusal by Qing Dynasty authorities to import opium resulted in the First Opium War between China and Britain. Hong Kong Island was occupied by British forces on 20 January 1841 and was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpee as part of a ceasefire agreement, but the agreement was never ratified. In August 1842 the island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom under the Treaty of Nanking. The British established a crown colony, with the founding of Victoria City the following year.

In 1860, after China's defeat in the Second Opium War, the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutter's Island were ceded in perpetuity to Britain under the Convention of Peking. The first coins of British Hong Kong were issued in 1863. In 1898, under the terms of the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, Britain obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island and the adjacent northern lands, which became known as the New Territories. Hong Kong's territory has remained unchanged to the present.

During the first half of the 20th century, Hong Kong was a free port, serving as an entrepôt of the British Empire. On 8 December 1941, the Empire of Japan invaded Hong Kong. The Battle of Hong Kong ended with British and Canadian defenders surrendering control of the colony to Japan on 25 December. During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, because of food shortages and a policy of enforced repatriation of the unemployed to the mainland, the population of Hong Kong dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony.

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly as a wave of migrants from China arrived for refuge from the on-going Chinese Civil War. When the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed in 1949, more migrants fled to Hong Kong for fear of persecution by the Communist Party. Many corporations in Shanghai and Guangzhou shifted their operations to Hong Kong.

In the 1950s, Hong Kong's rapid industrialisation was driven by textile exports and other expanded manufacturing industries. As the population grew and labour costs remained low, living standards rose steadily. Manufacturing competitiveness gradually declined in Hong Kong due to competition from southern China, beginning in the early 1980s. By contrast, the service industry in Hong Kong experienced high rates of growth in the 1980s and 1990s.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 11:29:00 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 11:45:10 PM »
The first Hong Kong coins of Queen Elizabeth II are dated 1955; the last ones are dated 1992.

Three different effigies of QEII appear on the coins:

1] The crowned effigy by Cecil Thomas. Until the arrival of the Machin effigy of QEII in 1964, British colonies and dependencies were required to use the crowned effigy. Only Britain and the dominions were allowed to use the uncrowned effigy, by Mary Gillick, on their coins.
This effigy was used on coins dated from 1955 until 1980.

2] The effigy by Arnold Machin. This effigy was first used by Rhodesia in 1964. It was used on Hong Kong’s circulation coins dated 1975 to 1984, and from 1975 to 1987 on non-circulating issues.

3] The effigy by Raphael Maklouf. It was used on Hong Kong’s coins dated 1985 to 1992.
Note that the uses of the effigies overlap. This is because they were used on different denominations at different times.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 08:21:04 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 11:46:19 PM »
The 5 cents coin, minted in nickel-brass, was used with the Thomas effigy with dates from 1958 until 1979. A one-year issue, using the Maklouf effigy and dated 1988, appeared in proof sets only.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 08:27:00 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 11:48:39 PM »
The 10 cents coin, minted in nickel-brass, was used with the Thomas effigy with dates from 1955 until 1980. In the late 1970s, the Hong Kong government decided to reduce the size of the 10 cents coin. As a result the older, larger coins minted in 1980 (mintage 24 million) were never publicly released, and they are now quite scarce. The new 10 cents coin was issued in 1982, with a radically different reverse design.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 02:19:35 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 11:55:04 PM »
In 1975, the Hong Kong government accepted the recommendations of the Coinage Review Committee that new coins of 20 cents, 2 dollars and 5 dollars should be introduced, and that the size and weight of the current fifty cents (changed from cupro-nickel to nickel-brass) and one dollar coins should also be reduced. The Machin effigy of Elizabeth II was to be used on the obverse.

Though a circular 20 cents coin had been minted from 1902 to 1905, this denomination was not used again until 1975. From 1975 to 1983 a scalloped version was minted in nickel-brass and carried the Machin effigy of QEII. From 1985 until 1992 it was minted in brass and used the Maklouf effigy of QEII. The same reverse design was used with both effigies.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 08:41:21 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 11:56:28 PM »
The 50 cents coin, minted in copper-nickel, was used with the Thomas effigy with dates from 1955 until 1975. From 1977 to 1980, a nickel-brass version using the Machin effigy was issued. Nickel-brass versions dated 1988 and 1990 carry the Maklouf effigy. All these versions use the same reverse design.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 03:19:45 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 11:59:05 PM »
The dollar coin, minted in copper-nickel, was used with the Thomas effigy with dates from 1960 until 1975. After that Thomas effigy was removed from the obverse; the coin’s weight reduced from 11.31 g to 7.1g, and its diameter was reduced from 29.8mm to 25.5mm. The smaller coin carried the Machin effigy from 1978 to 1980 and the Maklouf effigy from 1987 to 1992. All these versions use the same reverse design.

The reverse design shows a splendid crowned Chinese lion holding a pearl between its paws. The pearl represents Hong Kong, which was known as The Pearl of the Orient.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 02:03:23 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 12:05:10 AM »


The reverse design of the dollar was taken from Hong Kong’s colonial coat of arms of the time. The arms had been in use in colonial Hong Kong since 21 January 1959 and were adopted on the colonial flag in July of that year. The use of the arms by the Hong Kong Government ended in 1997, when it was replaced by the regional emblem.

The Coat of Arms feature a shield with two sections: the charge bears two traditional Chinese junks facing each other. Inside the chief or field (red portion) is a gold-coloured naval crown. The 'embattled' (castle-like) design separates the chief from the rest of the shield. The crest features a lion holding a pearl. The shield is held up by two supporters, a lion and a Chinese dragon. The shield and supporters stand on the compartment, which consists of a heraldic island bearing the motto (banner) "HONG KONG".

Offline <k>

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011, 12:09:26 AM »
A new denomination was introduced in 1975, a 2 dollar coin, scalloped in shape and minted in cupro-nickel. From 1975 to 1984 it carried the Machin effigy, and from 1985 to 1992 it used the Maklouf effigy. Both versions of the coin used the same reverse design.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 07:13:01 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2011, 12:10:18 AM »






In 1976 another new denomination was introduced. This time a 5 dollar coin, ten-sided in shape and minted in cupro-nickel. Like the 1 and 2 dollar coins, its reverse portrayed a crowned lion holding a pearl. This coin was issued for the years 1976, 1978 and 1979 and uses the Machin effigy.

 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 07:31:10 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2011, 12:12:04 AM »
In 1980, a new 5 dollar coin was released. It was round and smaller in size than the older version. A new reverse design replaced the familiar crowned lion with a large numeral “5”. From 1980 to 1985, it carried the Machin effigy, but this was replaced by the Maklouf effigy from 1985 to 1991.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 07:20:32 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2011, 12:14:39 AM »
From the 1950s to 1970 inclusive, all Hong Kong's coins incorporated a security edge, but this feature was dropped after 1970.

Offline <k>

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2011, 12:21:23 AM »


From 1975 onwards, Hong Kong started issuing gold coins with a face value of a thousand dollars. This one commemorates the royal visit of 1975.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 03:48:57 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2011, 12:46:51 AM »
In 1983, when the United Kingdom reclassified Hong Kong from a British crown colony to a dependent territory, the governments of the United Kingdom and China were already discussing the issue of Hong Kong's sovereignty due to the impending expiry (within two decades) of the lease of the New Territories. In 1984, the Sino-British Joint Declaration – an agreement to transfer sovereignty to the People's Republic of China in 1997 – was signed. It stipulated that Hong Kong would be governed as a special administrative region, retaining its laws and a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, which would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer, was ratified in 1990.

The Hong Kong coinage was issued by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on behalf of the Government of Hong Kong. Until 1992 these coins carried the British monarch's effigy. From January 1993 to November 1994, a new series depicting the bauhinia flower was gradually issued, including a new denomination $10, in preparation for Hong Kong's handover to the People's Republic of China in 1997. Since the beginning of the coin replacement programme in 1993, over 585 million Queen's effigy coins have been withdrawn from circulation. However, the Queen's Head coins remain legal tender.

Click on the link in red to see: Joseph Yam and the Bauhinia Hong Kong coin design

Below you can see the amended obverse and reverse designs.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 11:30:42 PM by <k> »

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Re: Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2011, 12:53:42 AM »
In 1997, a special set of coins was released by the Royal Mint to commemorate Hong Kong's return to China. The set was designed by Lady Elizabeth Haddon-Cave.

10c.  Chinese junk.
20c.  Two butterfly kites with tails knotted together, symbolising joy and conjugal felicity.
50c.  Symbolic ox (year of the ox), signifying new beginnings.
$1.   Chinese unicorn, a creature of good omen.                                 
$2.   He He brothers, symbol of harmony.
$5.   Good luck signs: the Chinese character Shou, symbolising longevity.
        Shou is surrounded by five bats, harbingers of the Five Blessings:
        long life, wealth, health, love of virtue, and achieving one's destiny in life.
$10.  A bridge, symbol of transition.     Bimetallic.

Obverse: Bauhinia flower.

Designer: Lady Elizabeth Haddon-Cave.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 04:29:52 PM by <k> »