One Penny, Bronze, Coin Type from British West Africa - detailed information

One Penny, Bronze, Coin Type from British West Africa (issued 1952 - 1958)
Coin TypeOne Penny, Bronze

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 British West African Pound was equal to the (pre-decimal) Pound Sterling and was similarly subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. In other words, the penny was thus equal to 1/12th of a shilling or 1/240th of a pound (i.e., 240 of these coins made one pound).

Unlike its Imperial counterpart - the British Penny - the British West African Penny 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); this changed to bronze in 1952.

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 / One Penny, Bronze - 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 PENNY.

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

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

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

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch ONE PENNY وَاحِد پَنّي
Reverse
British West Africa / One Penny, Bronze - 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 BRITISH WEST AFRICA; around below, the star divides the date: · [year] ·.

Reverse Inscription BRITISH WEST AFRICA · [year] ·
EdgePlainEdge 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.

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One Penny, Bronze: Details
CountryBritish West Africa
CurrencyBritish West African Pound
Sub-type ofOne Penny
From1952
To1958
Face Value1 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1968)
MaterialBronze
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size30.500 mm
Mass
One Penny, Bronze: Photos
ImageDetails
Proof Coin - 1 Penny, British West Africa, 1952
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI (1952).
Source
Proof Coin - 1 Penny, British West Africa, 1952
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Common reverse (1952 - 1958).
Source