Two and a Half Cents, Coin Type from North Borneo - detailed information

Two and a Half Cents, Coin Type from North Borneo (issued 1903 - 1920)
Coin TypeTwo and a Half Cents

The British North Borneo Company had the right to produce coin under its Royal Charter, granted in 1881. It had 1 cent coins struck in England from 1882 and 1/2 cent pieces from 1885. These coins were linked to the silver dollar as used in the Straits Settlement and Hong Kong.

In 1903-1904 it moved from the use of bronze to copper-nickel, issuing 1 cent and new denominations of 2 1/2 cents and 5 cents in that metal.

The copper-nickel two and a half cent coin measured 75 grains in the measurement units of the time, which is equal to 4.85 grammes, and had a composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel.

It was first authorised for circulation by Currency Ordinance No.11 of 1903.

The 2 1/2 cents denomination was short-lived, with only two issues.

The currency of the British North Borneo Company was demonetized on 1st September 1953, after which date the currency of the Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya and British Borneo became sole legal tender. The latter was gradually replaced by the coinage issued by Bank Negara Malaysia which was introduced in Sabah in 1967 and finally became sole legal tender on 16th January 1969.


The Coat of Arms of the British North Borneo Chartered Company; on a shield, a lion above a dhow (native boat) with sails; the shield is supported by two native warriors, one holding a shield, the other a large native sword or machete; the crest, two arms holding a flag staff; below on ribbon the motto PERGO ET PERAGO (translation: I undertake and I achieve); below, the mint mark (H for The Mint Birmingham Limited, known as Ralph Heaton and Sons Limited before 1879).

Obverse Inscription (none)

Within a circle of beads, value 2 1/2 CENTS on two lines; around, · STATE OF NORTH BORNEO · ; below, the date.

Reverse Inscription 2 1/2 CENTS STATE OF NORTH BORNEO · [year] ·
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone

References to additional information:

[Book] Kavanagh, Kevin F. 1969. The Coins of Malaysia, pp 61-64.
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins, pp 82-85.
[Book] Saran, Singh. The Encyclopaedia of the Coins of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, 1400-1967. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysia Numismatic Society, 1986. pp 373-411.

Coin Type: Two and a Half Cents - (2) Coins
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Two and a Half Cents 1903 2,000,000 (none)
Two and a Half Cents 1920 280,000 (none)
Wild Winds Ancient Coins
Wild Winds Ancient Coins
Two and a Half Cents: Details
CountryNorth Borneo
CurrencyBritish North Borneo Dollar
Face Value2 1/2 (x Cent)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1953)
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
Size25.0000 mm
Mass4.8500 g
Two and a Half Cents: Photos
Coin - 2 1/2 Cents, North Borneo, 1920
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Coin - 2 1/2 Cents, North Borneo, 1920
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY