Author Topic: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations  (Read 342519 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #75 on: December 03, 2011, 10:08:03 PM »
The reverses of Australia's pre-decimal coins were re-designed in 1938 - though the sixpence remained the same. In one respect, however, the reverse design of the threepence is the odd-man-out of the whole set. Can you see why?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 07:54:08 PM by <k> »
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #76 on: December 04, 2011, 12:14:28 AM »
The half crown (two shillings and sixpence) was part of the now defunct pound, shillings and pence system. The British exported this system to various parts of their empire. The lower the denomination, the more likely the different coins were to show variations, as can be observed in the threepences particularly, but the half crowns were fairly uniform across the empire in terms of size, shape, weight and colour.

The 20th century silver and cupro-nickel half crowns of the UK and the various countries of the Empire that used it were usually around 32mm in diameter. If any half crown I am displaying falls outside that range, I will say so. My focus is not primarily on the UK itself (the British and English half crowns have too long a history for a single topic), but on the Commonwealth and Empire, which means I will be concentrating overwhelmingly on the 20th century.

Not every country of the Empire and Commonwealth had its own half crown: in some countries, the florin or two shilling coin was the highest circulating denomination. Those countries that did issue a half crown often placed their coat of arms on the reverse, a standard practice on the highest denomination of coin, even when the lower denominations used representational designs such as wildlife or ships.
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Offline <k>

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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #77 on: December 04, 2011, 12:18:29 AM »











Here are three examples of British half crowns from the 20th century. All follow a similar style, displaying the royal coat of arms on the reverse.
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #78 on: December 04, 2011, 12:24:18 AM »
South Africa's half crown followed the same pattern.

From 1923 to 1925 the denomination reads: "2½ SHILLINGS 2½", then from 1926 to 1950 it reads simply "2½ SHILLINGS".

From 1951 to 1960, the final year of the denomination, the legend simply reads as "2½s".
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 10:34:53 AM by <k> »
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #79 on: December 04, 2011, 12:27:27 AM »
Paul Kruger's South African Republic also issued a 2½ shillings coin. The republic was eventually conquered by Britain and its territory was merged into the Union of South Africa.
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #80 on: December 04, 2011, 12:32:36 AM »
Australia never issued a half crown, but New Zealand did. New Zealand also issued a commemorative half crown to celebrate its centennial. The usual choice for commemoratives in the British Empire was the crown.
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #81 on: December 04, 2011, 12:40:24 AM »


The reverse of the half crown of Southern Rhodesia also carried the coat of arms.





Rhodesia and Nyasaland stayed true to that tradition. The Latin motto "Magni Esse Mereamur" means "Let us deserve Greatness".





The 25 cents coin of Rhodesia was also denominated as "2/6": two shillings and sixpence. A sable antelope appears on the reverse. This is the only half crown to carry Arnold Machin's portrait of Elizabeth II.

 
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #82 on: December 04, 2011, 12:43:46 AM »


Ireland was a member of the Commonwealth until 1949. It featured a horse on its half crown. The Irish harp, which could almost be considered as the country's coat of arms, appeared on the obverse of all its coins.

 
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #83 on: December 04, 2011, 12:47:36 AM »
Malawi was the only black-ruled African country to issue a half crown after independence.
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #84 on: December 04, 2011, 12:52:38 AM »




Biafra issued a 2½ shillings coin after briefly breaking away from Nigeria in the 1960s.

 
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 07:57:05 PM by <k> »
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #85 on: December 06, 2011, 10:16:47 PM »
The penny, halfpenny and farthing were part of the now defunct pound, shillings and pence system. The British exported this system to various parts of their empire. The lower the denomination, the more likely the different coins were to show variations from the standard, and this was true of these three denominations.

The standard diameters of the Uk 20th century versions of these coins were as follows: the farthing - 20mm; the halfpenny - 25.5mm; and the penny - 31mm. If any of the countries of the Empire that used them wandered significantly from these standards, I will say so. My focus is not primarily on the UK itself (these coins have too long a history for a single topic), but on the Commonwealth and Empire. This means I will be concentrating on the 20th century, though by no means all overseas versions of these coins were first issued in that century.

Not every country of the Empire and Commonwealth had its farthing or halfpenny: in some countries, the penny was the lowest circulating denomination. Countries that did have two or all three of these denominations often gave them similar designs, as if to show the relationship between them, so it makes sense to group them together in one topic.
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #86 on: December 06, 2011, 10:20:04 PM »










These images come from the UK coins site of our forum member, Tony Clayton.



From the beginning of the 20th century through to 1936, the UK farthing, halfpenny and penny shared the same reverse design of a seated Britannia. The farthing was demonetised in 1960, the halfpenny in 1969, and the penny in 1971. When the UK introduced decimalisation, Britannia found a new home on the reverse of the 50 pence coin, but in 2008 a new design series was adopted, and she disappeared from the UK’s circulation coins.



When Edward VIII ascended the throne in 1936, he made it known that he would like to see the coinage modernised. As a result, the farthing gained a new design of a wren, and the Golden Hind, Sir Francis Drake’s ship, was portrayed on the reverse of the halfpenny. Edward abdicated before any coins in his name could be issued in the UK, but the designs were used on the coinage of George VI and Elizabeth II after him.



 
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #87 on: December 06, 2011, 10:28:06 PM »








When Australia introduced its own coinage in 1911, it also gave the halfpenny and penny a similar reverse design.
Australia never issued a farthing.



In 1938 Australia redesigned its coinage. A kangaroo now graced the reverse of the halfpenny, and the same design, though facing the opposite way, was placed on the reverse of the penny.









 
 
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #88 on: December 06, 2011, 10:42:12 PM »


New Zealand followed Australia's lead by using a wildlife design on its penny. It depicts a tui bird. The halfpenny depicts a Maori tiki, a symbol of fertility. These first coins were issued in 1939 but carried the date of 1940. New Zealand never issued a farthing.
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Re: British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations
« Reply #89 on: December 06, 2011, 10:48:58 PM »










Ireland started the trend for wildlife designs with its barnyard series of 1928. It remained a member of the Commonwealth until 1949.

 
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 06:55:42 PM by <k> »
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