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

One-tenth Penny (Bronze, George VI), Coin Type from British West Africa (issued 1952 - 1952)
Coin TypeOne-tenth Penny (Bronze, 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 a copper-nickel version. The high price of nickel caused a change for this denomination from to a bronze alloy in 1952. This is a one-year type issued for King George VI, who died later that year. The last coins of the denomination were issued for his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

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 adopted the 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.

British West Africa / One-tenth Penny (Bronze, 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 GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX. Translated from Latin: George the Sixth, King and Emperor of India.

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

Obverse Inscription GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX ONE TENTH OF A PENNY عُشِر الپَنّي
British West Africa / One-tenth Penny (Bronze, 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: · 1952 ·.

Reverse Inscription BRITISH WEST AFRICA · 1952 ·
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone

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.

Coin Type: One-tenth Penny (Bronze, George VI) - (1) Coins
Royal Mint
Royal Mint
One-tenth Penny (Bronze, George VI): Details
CountryBritish West Africa
CurrencyBritish West African Pound
Sub-type ofOne-tenth Penny
Face Value1/10 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1968)
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound with hole
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size20.0000 mm
One-tenth Penny (Bronze, George VI): Photos
Proof Coin - 1/10 Penny, British West Africa, 1952
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Proof Coin - 1/10 Penny, British West Africa, 1952
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY