British Honduras: Coins Issued and Used

Showing only circulating coin types (regular coinage plus circulating commemoratives).

British Honduras (1862 - 1981)
Information about what currencies were issued by British Honduras, with lists of coinage, as well as periods when foreign-issued currencies were used.
Currency: British Honduras Dollar. Used in British Honduras: (1885 - 1981)
CurrencyBritish Honduras Dollar
PeriodBritish Honduras Dollar
Used1885 - 1981

For a period in the middle of the nineteenth century British Honduras operated the British sterling monetary system just like Jamaica and Bermuda. In the wake of the international silver crisis of 1873 the silver peso of neighbouring Guatemala drove the British currency out of circulation. In an attempt to return British Honduras to the gold standard, and influenced by the fact that most imports were coming from New Orleans in the United States, a new currency was introduced into British Honduras based on the US dollar, bringing British Honduras into line with Canada.

At that time, the Canadian dollar was on the gold standard, and one Canadian dollar was equal to one American dollar. This is the point where the currency history of British Honduras diverges from that of the rest of the British West Indies. In 1885, 1 cent coins were issued, followed by higher denominations in 1894. This year also saw the first issue of banknotes by the government and a switch from the silver Guatemalan peso to the gold U.S. dollar as the base for the currency, with $4.866 = 1 pound. The rate of $4.866 as opposed to $4.80 is explained by the fact that when the US dollar was first created in 1792, it was based on the average weight of a selection of worn Spanish dollars. Hence, the US dollar was at a slight discount in relation to the Spanish dollar. Following the introduction of the US dollar gold standard to British Honduras, the 25 cent coins were referred to as shillings due to their closeness in value to shilling sterling.

When the United Kingdom abandoned the gold standard in 1931 the British Honduras dollar continued with its attachment to the US dollar and as such it did not become part of the sterling bloc. At the outbreak of the second world war, unlike in the case of Canada, Newfoundland, and Hong Kong, British Honduras did join the sterling area even though it maintained its fixed exchange rate with respect to the US dollar. The sterling bloc should not be confused with the sterling area. The former was a group of countries who pegged their local currencies to sterling when the United Kingdom abandoned the gold standard in 1931, whereas the latter was an exchange control arrangement introduced as an emergency measure at the outbreak of the second world war.

In 1949 the British pound was devalued from US$4.03 to US$2.80. Since the British Honduras dollar was pegged to the US dollar, this caused a sudden increase in the value of the British Honduran dollar relative to the pound. Protests ensued which led to a devaluation of the British Honduran dollar to a value of 70 U.S. cents (equal to 5 shillings sterling).

Following Harold Wilson's devaluation of sterling in November 1967, the British Honduran dollar again devalued in sympathy with the British pound to 60 US cents. In 1978, the link to the British pound of BZ$4 = £1 was abandoned and once again the Belize unit was pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate of BZ$2 = US$1. This new rate which still continues today, reflects the devaluation of 50% in relation to the original parity with the US dollar in 1885, which last applied in 1949.

Following the independence of Belize in 1981, the British Honduras Dollar became the Belize Dollar.

Fifty Cents (demonetised 1981)
14 coins (1894 - 1971)
Ten Cents (demonetised 1981)
16 coins (1894 - 1970)
Coin NameMintage
Ten Cents 1894 126,000
Ten Cents 1918 10,000
Ten Cents 1919 10,000
Ten Cents 1936 30,050
Ten Cents 1939 20,000
Ten Cents 1942 10,000
Ten Cents 1943 20,000
Ten Cents 1944 30,000
Ten Cents 1946 10,000
Ten Cents 1956 100,000
Ten Cents 1959 100,000
Ten Cents 1961 50,000
Ten Cents 1963 50,000
Ten Cents 1964 60,000
Ten Cents 1965 400,000
Ten Cents 1970 unknown
Five Cents (demonetised 1981)
34 coins (1894 - 1973)
One Cent (demonetised 1981)
43 coins (1885 - 1973)
Coin NameMintage
One Cent 1885 72,000
One Cent 1888 100,000
One Cent 1889 50,000
One Cent 1894 50,000
One Cent 1904 50,000
One Cent 1906 50,000
One Cent 1909 25,000
One Cent 1911 25,000
One Cent 1912 50,000
One Cent 1913 25,000
One Cent 1914 175,000
One Cent 1916 125,000
One Cent 1918 40,000
One Cent 1919 50,000
One Cent 1924 50,000
One Cent 1926 50,000
One Cent 1936 40,050
One Cent 1937 80,000
One Cent 1939 50,000
One Cent 1942 50,000
One Cent 1943 100,000
One Cent 1944 100,000
One Cent 1945 130,000
One Cent 1947 100,000
One Cent 1949 100,000
One Cent 1950 50,000
One Cent 1951 100,000
One Cent 1954 200,000
One Cent 1956 200,000
One Cent 1958 400,000
One Cent 1959 200,000
One Cent 1961 800,000
One Cent 1962 400,000
One Cent 1964 300,000
One Cent 1965 800,000
One Cent 1966 100,000
One Cent 1967 400,000
One Cent 1968 200,000
One Cent 1969 120,000
One Cent 1970 120,000
One Cent 1971 800,000
One Cent 1972 800,000
One Cent 1973 400,000
Royal Mint
Royal Mint