The British three halfpence was a silver coin worth 1½d or 1/160th of a pound produced for circulation in the British colonies, mainly in Ceylon, British Guiana, and the British West Indies as well as Mauritius and Sierra Leone which used the ordinary British currency, in each year between 1834 and 1843, and also in 1860 and 1862 (proof coins were also produced in 1870). They were a rough equivalent to the Indian anna and to the Spanish-American quarter real used in Jamaica and are similar to the silver Maundy coins except for the crowned 1½ on the reverse.
According to Museum Victoria (which inherited the archive and collection of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint) "Small parcels to the value of 25 pounds worth of 1 1/2 penny pieces were issued by the Royal Mint, London to private persons for use in various colonies including Jamaica. No record was kept of the ultimate destination of any particular parcel."
The coin is considered to be part of the British coinage because it has no indication of what country it was minted for, being made in the same style as the other contemporary coins of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The coins were made of sterling silver, weighed 0.71 grams (0.0210 oz. ASW) and had a diameter of 12 millimetres. The reverse of the coin, throughout its existence, showed "1½" beneath a crown and over the date, all contained within a wreath. The obverse of coins minted between 1834 and 1837 show the right-facing portrait of King William IV with the inscription GULIELMUS IIII D G BRITANNIAR REX F D. The obverse of the later coins bear the left-facing portrait of Queen Victoria, with the inscription VICTORIA D G BRITANNIAR REGINA F D.