Halfpenny, Coin Type from British West Africa - detailed information

Halfpenny, Coin Type from British West Africa (issued 1911 - 1952)
Coin TypeHalfpenny

The British West African Pound was the currency of British West Africa, a group of British colonies, protectorates and mandate territories - Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana (originally Gold Coast) and Gambia. The reverse of the first halfpenny issue in 1911 showed the legend NIGERIA BRITISH WEST AFRICA, then from 1912 the word NIGERIA was discontinued.

The British West African Pound was equal to the (pre-decimal) Pound Sterling and was similarly subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. The Halfpenny (or half penny) was thus equal to 1/2 of a penny, 1/24th of a shilling or 1/480th of a pound (i.e., 480 of these coins made one pound).

Unlike its Imperial counterpart - the British Halfpenny - the British West African Halfpenny had a central hole which made the two coins incompatible; this was done to make sure that colonial money does not get exported to Great Britain to be used there, leaving the colonies with no cash.

There were two types issued:
- copper-nickel coins - 1911 - 1951, for King George V, King Edward VIII and King George VI
- bronze coins - 1952 only for King George VI
No halfpenny coins were issued for Queen Elizabeth II in British West Africa.

After decolonisation, the coins were replaced by the various new countries as they introduced their own independent currencies:
- Nigeria introduced the Nigerian Pound in 1958
- Ghana introduced in Ghanaian Pound in 1958
- British Cameroon (on unification with Cameroon) adopted the Central African CFA Franc in 1961
- Sierra Leone introduced the Leone in 1964
- Gambia introduced the Gambian Pound in 1965

In some places, British West African coins circulated in parallel with the new coinage until 1968.

Obverse
British West Africa / Halfpenny - obverse photo

An imperial crown above a central circular hole with a scroll ornament to right and left; below the crown and around the hole, the value and denomination ONE HALFPENNY.

Around, outside the scroll ornaments, the legend of the ruling British monarch.

Below the hole, the denomination in Arabic: نُصْف پَنّي.

The mint mark (if any) is between the central hole and the Arabic text.

Obverse InscriptionLegend of the ruling British monarch ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Reverse
British West Africa / Halfpenny - reverse photo

Around a circular central hole, Solomon's seal (a six-pointed "Star of David"), consisting of two equilateral triangles interlaced.

Around, interrupted by the star, the legend NIGERIA BRITISH WEST AFRICA (1911) or BRITISH WEST AFRICA (1912 - 1952); around below, the star divides the date: · [year] ·.

Reverse Inscription(NIGERIA) BRITISH WEST AFRICA · [year] ·
EdgePlain
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.

All Coins of Type: Halfpenny (31)
Coin NameReverseObverseDetails
Halfpenny 1911 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Birmingham Mint
Mintage: 3,360,000
Halfpenny 1912 British West Africa / Halfpenny 1912 - reverse photo British West Africa / Halfpenny 1912 - obverse photo Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Birmingham Mint
Mintage: 3,120,000
Halfpenny 1913 British West Africa / Halfpenny 1913 - reverse photo British West Africa / Halfpenny 1913 - obverse photo Material: CuproNickel
Mints:
- Royal Mint: 1,382,000
- Birmingham Mint: 216,000
Total Mintage: 1,598,000
Halfpenny 1914 Material: CuproNickel
Mints:
- King's Norton Metal Co.: 3,360,000
- Birmingham Mint: 585,000
- Royal Mint: 240,000
Total Mintage: 4,185,000
Halfpenny 1915 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Birmingham Mint
Mintage: 3,576,720
Halfpenny 1916 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Birmingham Mint
Mintage: 4,045,680
Halfpenny 1917 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Birmingham Mint
Mintage: 213,600
Halfpenny 1918 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Birmingham Mint
Mintage: 489,600
Halfpenny 1919 Material: CuproNickel
Mints:
- Birmingham Mint: 4,950,480
- King's Norton Metal Co.: 3,861,120
Total Mintage: 8,811,600
Halfpenny 1920 Material: CuproNickel
Mints:
- Birmingham Mint: 26,284,560
- King's Norton Metal Co.: 13,844,380
Total Mintage: 40,128,940
Halfpenny 1922 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: King's Norton Metal Co.
Mintage: 5,817,360
Halfpenny 1927 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 528,000
Halfpenny 1929 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 336,000
Halfpenny 1931 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 96,000
Halfpenny 1932 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 960,000
Halfpenny 1933 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 2,121,600
Halfpenny 1934 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,694,400
Halfpenny 1935 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 3,270,960
Halfpenny 1936 George V Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 5,400,240
Halfpenny 1936 Edward VIII British West Africa / Halfpenny 1936 Edward VIII - reverse photo British West Africa / Halfpenny 1936 Edward VIII - obverse photo Material: CuproNickel
Mints:
- Royal Mint: 14,759,760
- Birmingham Mint: 2,400,000
- King's Norton Metal Co.: 2,298,000
Total Mintage: 19,457,760
Halfpenny 1937 Material: CuproNickel
Mints:
- King's Norton Metal Co.: 5,577,120
- Birmingham Mint: 4,022,080
Total Mintage: 9,599,200
Halfpenny 1940 British West Africa / Halfpenny 1940 - reverse photo British West Africa / Halfpenny 1940 - obverse photo Material: CuproNickel
Mint: King's Norton Metal Co.
Mintage: 2,410,000
Halfpenny 1941 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Birmingham Mint
Mintage: 2,400,000
Halfpenny 1942 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 4,800,000
Halfpenny 1943 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 3,360,000
Halfpenny 1944 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 3,600,000
Halfpenny 1946 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 3,600,000
Halfpenny 1947 British West Africa / Halfpenny 1947 - reverse photo British West Africa / Halfpenny 1947 - obverse photo Material: CuproNickel
Mints:
- Birmingham Mint: 15,218,400
- King's Norton Metal Co.: 12,000,000
Total Mintage: 27,218,400
Halfpenny 1949 British West Africa / Halfpenny 1949 - reverse photo British West Africa / Halfpenny 1949 - obverse photo Material: CuproNickel
Mints:
- Birmingham Mint: 4,858,560
- King's Norton Metal Co.: 3,413,240
Total Mintage: 8,271,800
Halfpenny 1951 Material: CuproNickel
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 3,468,000
Halfpenny 1952 British West Africa / Halfpenny 1952 - reverse photo British West Africa / Halfpenny 1952 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mints:
- Heaton and Sons (Birmingham Mint): 27,603,360
- Royal Mint: 11,332,200
- King's Norton Metal Co.: 4,800,000
Total Mintage: 43,735,560
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Halfpenny: Details
CountryBritish West Africa
CurrencyBritish West African Pound
Sub-types Halfpenny, CuproNickel
Halfpenny, Bronze
From1911
To1952
Face Value1/2 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1968)
Material
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound with hole
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size (mm)
Mass (g)
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Halfpenny: Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - 1/2 Penny, British West Africa, 1913
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Copper-nickel, British West Africa legend (1912 - 1951).
Source
Proof Coin - 1/2 Penny, British West Africa, 1952
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Bronze (1952).
Source
Coin - 1/2 Penny, British West Africa, 1913
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George V (1911 - 1936).
Source
Coin - 1/2 Penny, British West Africa, 1936
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King Edward VIII (1936).
Source
British West Africa 1940-KN 1/2 penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King George VI, Emperor of India (1937 - 1947).
Source
Proof Coin - 1/2 Penny, British West Africa, 1952
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI, bronze (1952).
Source