Halfpenny, CuproNickel, Coin Type from British West Africa - detailed information

Halfpenny, CuproNickel, Coin Type from British West Africa (issued 1911 - 1936)
Coin TypeHalfpenny, CuproNickel

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.

For most of the history of the denomination, the coins were made of CuproNickel (copper-nickel); in 1952 only, the coins were in bronze.

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, CuproNickel - 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, CuproNickel - 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, CuproNickel (30)
Coin NameMintageLegend
Halfpenny 1911 3,360,000 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1912 3,120,000 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1913 1,598,000 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1914 4,185,000 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1915 3,576,720 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1916 4,045,680 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1917 213,600 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1918 489,600 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1919 8,811,600 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1920 40,128,940 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1922 5,817,360 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1927 528,000 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1929 336,000 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1931 96,000 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1932 960,000 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1933 2,121,600 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1934 1,694,400 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1935 3,270,960 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1936 George V 5,400,240 GEORGIVS V REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1936 Edward VIII 19,457,760 EDWARDVS VIII REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1937 9,599,200 GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1940 2,410,000 GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1941 2,400,000 GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1942 4,800,000 GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1943 3,360,000 GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1944 3,600,000 GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1946 3,600,000 GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1947 27,218,400 GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1949 8,271,800 GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
Halfpenny 1951 3,468,000 GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX ONE HALFPENNY نُصْف پَنّي
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Halfpenny, CuproNickel: Details
CountryBritish West Africa
CurrencyBritish West African Pound
Sub-type ofHalfpenny
From1911
To1936
Face Value1/2 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1968)
MaterialCuproNickel
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound with hole
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size (mm)25.2000
Mass (g)
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Halfpenny, CuproNickel: Photos
ImageDetails
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
Coin - 1/2 Penny, British West Africa, 1913
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: British West Africa legend (1912 - 1936).
Source