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Detailed information about coin type: Two Shillings (Sterling Silver) from British West Africa:

Coin type: Two Shillings (Sterling Silver)
Description

In 1912 a West African Currency Board was established to arrange for the production and supply of coins (small denomination coins had already been issued starting 1907).

The first issue of silver, in the denominations 3 pence, 6 pence, shilling and 2 shillings, was struck at the Royal Mint, London in 1913, and made legal tender in Nigeria, Gold Coast, Sierra Leone and Gambia by a local Currency Act dated 26 June 1913.

1913 was also a year when a large crop of cocoa valued at almost 2 1/2 million pounds saw a great demand for silver coins. In addition to 889,000 pounds of West African silver (all the Royal Mint could strike) an additional 539,700 pounds of Imperial silver coin was needed. Such fluctuation in demand made the provision of a silver coinage very difficult.

During World War I 530,000 pound of silver coin was returned to Britain for sale as bullion to raise internationally accepted forms of money.

Interest in the production of a silver coinage led to the request for the provision of proof and specimen sets for official commemorative gifts. Sets containing two coins of each denomination were struck in proof quality while single coin sets were selected uncirculated specimens.

CountryBritish West Africa CurrencyBritish West African Pound
Sub-type ofTwo Shillings Sub-types
Face value2 (x Shilling)
Years produced1913 - 1920 CurrentNo (demonetised 1965)
Material0.925 Silver Designer
Production technologyMilled (machine-made) ShapeRound
Size (mm) Thickness (mm)
Mass (g)11.3100
Obverse

Crowned and draped bust of King George V facing left (crowned effigy by Sir Bertram Mackennal); the King is wearing the Imperial Crown and the ermine Robe of State, the Collar of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and the Badge of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath; around, the legend GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: (George the Fifth, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India); artist's initials BM on bust truncation.

Obverse inscriptionGEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Reverse

At centre, dividing the date, a palm tree; around outside a circle broken by decorative extensions adjacent to the date, BRITISH WEST AFRICA (above) and the denomination TWO SHILLINGS (below).

The mint mark (if any) is buried at the base of the palm tree.

Reverse inscriptionBRITISH WEST AFRICA TWO SHILLINGS [year]
EdgeMilled Edge inscriptionNone
Notes

References to additional information:

[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins, pp 87-95.
[Book] Vice, David. 1983. The Coinage of British West Africa & St. Helena 1684 - 1958.

Two Shillings (Sterling Silver): Photos

Coin - 2 Shillings, British West Africa, 1919
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
source

Coin - 2 Shillings, British West Africa, 1919
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
source
List of 8 coins of type: Two Shillings (Sterling Silver) from British West Africa
NameMintageReignEffigyLegend
Two Shillings 1913 3,276,000 King George V Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Crowned Bust) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Two Shillings 1914 967,000 King George V Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Crowned Bust) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Two Shillings 1915 65,654 King George V Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Crowned Bust) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Two Shillings 1916 9,824,480 King George V Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Crowned Bust) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Two Shillings 1917 1,059,000 King George V Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Crowned Bust) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Two Shillings 1918 7,294,000 King George V Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Crowned Bust) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Two Shillings 1919 12,866,000 King George V Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Crowned Bust) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Two Shillings 1920 (Sterling Silver) 683,000 King George V Portrait by Bertram Mackennal (Crowned Bust) GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: