One-tenth Penny (CuproNickel, George VI), Coin Type from British West Africa - detailed information

One-tenth Penny (CuproNickel, George VI), Coin Type from British West Africa (issued 1938 - 1950)
Coin TypeOne-tenth Penny (CuproNickel, George VI)

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. Unlike its Imperial counterpart though, the British West African Pound - uniquely among British colonies - also had a denomination worth one tenth of a penny - due to the low standard of living in the African colonies, where people had considerably less money than people elsewhere. The denomination was worth 1/2,400th of a pound (i.e., 2,400 of these coins made one pound).

The earliest coins of this denomination were made of aluminium; however, they suffered from corrosion and were soon replaced by this type in copper-nickel.

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-tenth Penny (CuproNickel, George VI) - 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 TENTH OF A PENNY.

Around, outside the scroll ornaments, the monarch's legend:
1938 - 1947: GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP:. Translated from Latin: George the Sixth, King and Emperor of India.
1949 - 1950: GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX. Translated from Latin: George the Sixth, King.

Below the hole, the denomination in Arabic: عُشِر الپَنّي.

Obverse InscriptionGEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: (GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX) ONE TENTH OF A PENNY عُشِر الپَنّي
Reverse
British West Africa / One-tenth Penny (CuproNickel, George VI) - 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 InscriptionBRITISH 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.

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One-tenth Penny (CuproNickel, George VI): Details
CountryBritish West Africa
CurrencyBritish West African Pound
Sub-type ofOne-tenth Penny
From1938
To1950
Face Value1/10 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1968)
MaterialCuproNickel
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound with hole
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size (mm)20
Mass (g)1.9000
One-tenth Penny (CuproNickel, George VI): Photos
ImageDetails
Proof Coin - 1/10 Penny, British West Africa, 1938
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Common reverse (1938 - 1950).
Source
Proof Coin - 1/10 Penny, British West Africa, 1938
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI, Emperor of India (1938 - 1947).
Source