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Coins of the British Empire


CPK
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I've always had an interest in the history of the British Empire, especially during the Victorian era. So much of the modern world we live in has been shaped by the British empire - largely for the good, in my opinion - and I have to say, with all their flaws, I can't help but be moved with admiration and respect for the men who explored, conquered, and created the greatest empire the world has ever seen.

(Speaking as an American, BTW. We owe some to the Brits. 😉

I've already posted a few of my small collection of British Empire coins, so I'll try not to do too much re-posting - but forgive me for re-posting the latest one, this rupee from British India (seems silly not to have a coin photo in the opening post!) 

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I have a few more to add, haven't done the photos/presentations just yet. In the meantime, let's see all your British Empire coins, Company coins, or other coins from this fascinating period of British history!

 

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My company coins!

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From left to right:
1.British East India Company half Anna.
2.(top) French Indian Fleur de lis type, Puducherry mint( city name in Tamil on the reverse. Circa 1700s
(bottom) Rooster type with the same reverse, 1836
3. Danish-Norwegian, minted by the Danish East Indian Company in the city Tranquebar under king Christian V in the late 1600s.
4.(top) Dutch East Indian Company minted ‘duit’ coin, 1766.
(bottom) a 1695 Dutch Indian duit coin minted in the city of Negapatnam, written in Tamil on the reverse with the Hindu god Kali on the obverse.

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1 hour ago, CPK said:

@JayAg47 Nice little collection! I particularly like that French Indian coin - never saw one before. Do you know what the script/symbols on the reverse mean?

It's just the standard French Fleur de lis and Gallic rooster, and the reverse reads the city's name in the local Tamil script, which is interesting that they didn't use French on the coin. 

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Cyprus, 1/4 Piastre

Obv:- VICTORIA QUEEN, Queen facing left wearing a coronet with a decoration of oak leaves and scrolls; date below.
Rev:- CYPRUS . QUARTER PIASTRE, 1/4 within a circle of beads and in a circle the inscription
Reference:- KM# 1
Mintage:- 72,000
Engraver - Wyon Leonard Charles at Royal Mint, London

Cyprus_14_Piastre_1901_img.jpg

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East India Company Saint Helena Half Penny Token, 1821image.png.93f0c677748b7171f39c7ef24bc95ce5.pngSoho, Birmingham. Copper, 29mm, 9.34g. Coat of arms of the East India Company; AUSP: REGIS & SENAT ANGLIÆ. ST HELENA 1821 HALFPENNY (KM A4). In 1815 the exiled Napoleon, his entourage and a British troop guard arrived on St Helena, doubling the population. The British East India Company sent dollars and copper coins to sustain the larger economy. Before the copper arrived, Napoleon died, and most of the troops, officers, civil servants and their families left. In 1830 a large surplus stock was melted, but the halfpennies remained in circulation.

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George V Straits Settlements 50 Cents, 1921image.png.bfe86fc70b7ece73a6b4d7ae35763705.pngSilver, 28.5mm, 8.40g. Crowned bust facing left; * GEORGE V KING AND EMPEROR OF INDIA. Denomination within beaded circle, date lower right; - STRAITS SETTLEMENTS - HALF DOLLAR; 50 CENTS. Reeded edge (KM 35.1). The Straits Settlements were territories mostly on the Malaysian Peninsula that were originally controlled by the British East India Company.

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Edward VIII East Africa Ten Cents, 1936-Himage.png.c65280d18512552b20ef41c5162cd880.pngHeaton's Mint, Birmingham. Bronze, 30.6mm, 11.19g. Central hole divides crown and denomination; EDWARDVS VIII REX ET IND:IMP: / TEN CENTS / KN (engraver). Curved tusks flank the centre hole; EAST AFRICA 10. Edge: Smooth (KM 24). Edward VIII abdicated before any coins were struck of him in Britain, but some exist for overseas territories.

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George VI British West Africa Tenth of a Penny, 1952image.png.2015edf0028969916998a75b6fcc7b76.pngTower. Bronze, 20mm, 1.92g. GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX, ONE TENTH OF A PENNY around central hole. Hexagram divides date at bottom; BRITISH WEST AFRICA (KM 26a). British West Africa ceased to exist in 1888, but the British West African Pound was used from 1907 to 1962, with most of the constituent countries gaining independence from 1957-65.

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George VI Cyprus Four and a Half Piastres, 1938image.png.770c012617234393173c2105a8d1b184.pngTower. Silver, 19mm, 2.82g. Crowned head left; GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA: REX ET IND: IMP. Two stylized rampant lions left, denomination and date 3/4 surround. Reeded edge (KM 24). Worth half a shilling.

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Elizabeth II Malaya & British Borneo 50 Cents, 1961image.png.42c05888b2683984e232f582cc122555.pngLondon. Copper-nickel, 27.8mm, 9.38g. Crowned 1st portrait bust facing right; QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND. Value within beaded circle, MALAYA AND BRITISH BORNEO 50 CENTS (KM 4.1). The constituent parts of British Borneo became independent in 1963.

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George III. AD 1760-1820. AR Dollar (40mm, 26.76g). Bank of England Dollar. Dated AD 1804. (Current for 5s). S3768. Toned. Near VF. From the Ken Bressett Collection. Ex CNG Keystone 6 Auction (11 Mar 2022), Lot 1216. 

 

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Posted · Supporter
Posted (edited)

I have been re-reading Arthur H. Neumann's excellent book Elephant Hunting in East Equatorial Africa, published in 1898. Neumann worked for a short time for the IBEA Company, and later Mombasa was his jumping-off place for his ivory hunting expeditions.

This coin is a somewhat scarce type, and definitely the lowest-mintage coin in my collection. (94,000)

MOMBASA_RUPEE.jpg.cf20fa5d3a569f1f3cbea466b8bb4564.jpg

 

Edited by CPK
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This is the Bank Of Ireland equivalent of the 5s token shown by @Edessa above.   It was a 6s token, as the Irish shilling was worth less than the British shilling at the time (before the amalgamation of the treasuries) and is a proof.

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I don't know who M.A. Iles or Miss Stuart were 😞

 

ATB,

Aidan.

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Posted · Supporter

This just came in today. Kind of the British Empire:

mayflower_token.jpg.0c5146abcf0457c57d1ac1c72718ac7d.jpg

 

Numista has this to say:

"This was the first official (government-approved) coin of Nova Scotia.  The reverse design, a sprig of mayflower, is now the provincial flower and is considered one of the most beautiful coins made for North America."

I have to say I agree! If there is a coin with a more beautifully done portrait of Victoria, I have yet to see it; and the reverse design is also nicely balanced and wonderfully executed. The low-ish mintage adds appeal as well. A winner all around!
 

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