Monday, July 12, 2010

1907 Straits Settlements Silver coin Half Dollar 50 cents

1907 Straits Settlements Silver coin Half Dollar 50 cents


George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War (1914–1918) until his death in 1936. George was the first British monarch of the House of Windsor, which he created from the British branch of the German House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The History of Straits Settlements coin

The coins above are from The Straits Settlements – a former conglomeration of territories of the British East India Company in Southeast Asia which were given collective administration in 1826 as a crown colony.

The Straits Settlements initially consisted of Penang, (sometimes officially named Prince of Wales Island), Singapore with about twenty small islets in its immediate vicinity, the islands and territory of Dinding, Province Wellesley, the town and territory of Malacca and the islands of Labuan.

In the early nineteenth century, the most common currency used in the East Indies was the Spanish dollar, including issues both from Spain and from the Spanish colonies, most significantly Mexico. Locally issued coinages included the Kelantan and Terengganu keping, and the Penang dollar.

In 1837, the Indian rupee was made the sole official currency in the Straits Settlements, as it was administered as part of India. However, Spanish dollars continued to circulate and 1845 saw the introduction of coinage for the Straits Settlements using a system of 100 cents = 1 dollar, with the dollar equal to the Spanish dollar or Mexican peso.

On April 1st, 1867, government of the Straits Settlements was separated from India and the Imperial Government. They were made a British crown colony with the Cocos Islands, Christmas Island, and Labuan added in the early 20th century.

From 1898, the Straits dollar was issued by a new Board of Commissioners of Currency and private banks were prevented from issuing notes. Its value depreciated over the next eight years and was then pegged at two shillings four pence sterling in 1906.

The Straits dollar was replaced by the Malayan dollar in 1939. Brunei and Singapore still use the successor to this unit. During World War II, the Straits were occupied by the Japanese and the colony was broken up in 1946 at which time Singapore became a separate colony. The remaining parts were ultimately ceded to Australia in the 1950’s and Malaysia in 1973.

The Coins

In 1826 the settlements at Penang, Malacca which had been secured from the Dutch and Singapore were amalgamated as the Straits Settlements and administered from Penang. The Indian Rupee was the currency in use, however the currency of the local trade was the Spanish Dollar. This difference caused confusion in the E.I.C. accounts. Attempts to use Indian coinage did not succeed which resulted in the decision to produce fractional coins of the Spanish dollar.

The first coins issued for the Straits Settlements in 1845 were ¼, ½ and 1 cent denominations in copper. They were issued by the East India Company and did not bear any indication of where they were to be used. A second issue of the same denominations was produced in 1862 by the government of British India. These bore the inscription "India - Straits".

In 1847, copper coins of a 1/4 cent, 1/2 cent and 1 cent (all dated 1845) were used until the East India Company powers were transferred to the British India Government.

The 1/4 cent is copper, 18mm and weighs 2.33 grams with a William Wyon depiction of Queen Victoria on the obverse. The reverse depicts a myrtle wreath with “1/4 CENT” inside and “EAST INDIA COMPANY” along the plain-edged rim. A total of 34,327,247 coins were struck.

The 1/2 cent is copper, 22.5mm and weighs 4.66 grams with Queen Victoria on the obverse. The reverse depicts a myrtle wreath with “1/2 CENT” inside and “EAST INDIA COMPANY” along the plain edged rim. A total of 18,737,498 of these coins were struck.

The 1 cent is copper, 29mm and weighs 9.33 grams with Queen Victoria on the obverse. The reverse depicts a myrtle wreath with “1 CENT” inside and “EAST INDIA COMPANY” against the plain edged rim. A total of 18,525,893 coins were struck. Proofs of all three coins were produced with the initials “WW” for William Wyon below the Queen's neck. All three of these coins are relatively common.

In 1862 changes were made to the coins to reflect the change of status of the Government of India which had taken place in 1858. Although the East India Company's power had been abolished, the 1845 coins were used until 1862. The 1862 coins were of the same size and weight of the previous issues and the same depiction of Queen Victoria was on the obverse.

The reverse has the myrtle wreath along the rim and the words “ONE CENT INDIA STRAITS 1862” inside on separate lines with “CENT” and “INDIA” underlined. The “ONE” is replaced by “HALF” and “1/4” for the respective denominations. A total of 9,320,610 coins were struck for the 1 cent, 4,590,499 for the 1/2 cent, and 3,367,865 for the 1/4 cent. The 1/4 cent is the rarest of all, particularly in top grades. The half cent is also relatively rare.

In 1871, silver coins were issued in the name of the Straits Settlements for 5, 10 and 20 cents, followed by copper 1/4, 1/2 and 1 cent the next year and silver 50 cents in 1886.

The same denomination copper coins of the same size were issued in 1872 with a new depiction by L.C. Wyon of Queen Victoria wearing a diadem instead of a coronet. The reverse has a dotted circle along the rim with the number 1 inside the circle. Also, outside the dotted circle along the rim are the words “STRAITS SETTLEMENTS ONE CENT 1872”.

The 1872 coins for circulation were all produced by Ralph Heaton and Sons Ltd. Birmingham and show a small H mint mark in relief below the Queen's neck. A total of 5,770,000 were struck for the 1 cent, 5,610,000 for the 1/2 cent. and 9,240,000 for the 1/4 cent. Note that proof coins for this date were made by the Royal Mint and do not show the H mint mark. These coins are rare in topmost grades.

In 1903 the first silver dollars were minted. On August 24, 1904, a 3 page special issue of the Straits Settlements Government Gazette published the proclamation by Governor, Sir John Anderson that from August 31st, 1904, British, Mexican and Hong Kong Dollars would cease to be legal tender and be replaced by the Straits Settlements Dollar.

The purpose of this was to create a separate exchange value for the new Straits Dollar as compared with the other silver dollars circulating in the region, especially the British trade dollar. The idea was that when the exchange value had significantly diverged from other silver dollars, the authorities would peg it to sterling at that value, and therefore put the Straits Settlements into the gold exchange standard. This occurred when the Straits Dollar reached two shillings and four pence in value against sterling.

Within a few years, the value of silver rose so rapidly that it made the actual silver value of the Straits Dollar higher than its gold exchange value. To prevent these dollars from being melted down, a smaller dollar was issued in 1907 with a reduced silver content.

The last 1/4 cent coins were issued in 1916 while dollars were last struck in 1920 and 50 cent issues ending in 1921. The remaining coins continued in production until 1935.

1 comment:

Derrick said...

I got this kind of coin. Anyone offer me any price?

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