British West Africa: Coins Issued and Used

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

British West Africa (1866 - 1888)
Information about what currencies were issued by British West Africa, with lists of coinage, as well as periods when foreign-issued currencies were used.
Currency: British West African Pound. Used in British West Africa: (1907 - 1965)
CurrencyBritish West African Pound
PeriodBritish West African Pound
Used1907 - 1965
Description

The British West African Pound was once the currency of British West Africa, a group of British colonies, protectorates and mandate territories. It was equal to the pound sterling and was similarly subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

In the 19th century, the pound sterling became the currency of the British West African territories and standard issue United Kingdom coinage circulated. The West African territories in question were Nigeria, the Gold Coast (now Ghana), Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

In 1912, the authorities in London set up the West African Currency Board and issued a distinctive set of sterling coinage for use in British West Africa. The circumstance prompting this move was a tendency for existing UK coins used in the West African territories to leave the region and return to the UK, hence causing a local dearth of coinage. A unique British West African variety of the sterling coinage would not be accepted in the shops of Britain and so would remain in circulation locally.

The British West African pound was also adopted by Liberia in 1907, replacing the Liberian dollar, although it was not served by the West African Currency Board. Liberia changed to the U.S. dollar in 1943. Togo and Cameroon adopted the West African currency in 1914 and 1916 respectively, when British and French troops took over those colonies from Germany as part of World War I.

In 1907, aluminium  1⁄10 penny and cupro-nickel 1 penny coins were introduced. Both coins were holed. In 1908, cupro-nickel replaced aluminium in the  1⁄10 penny and, in 1911, holed, cupro-nickel ½ penny coins were introduced. In 1913, silver 3 and 6 pence, 1 and 2 shillings were introduced. In 1920, brass replaced silver in these denominations.

In 1938, larger, cupro-nickel 3 pence coins were introduced, with nickel-brass replacing brass in the higher denominations. In 1952, bronze replaced cupro-nickel in the  1⁄10, ½ and 1 penny coins. The last coins of British West Africa (pennies) were struck in 1958.

Beginning in 1958, the British West African pound was replaced by local currencies in the individual territories. The replacements were:

- Nigerian pound (1958) for Nigeria and Western Nigeria
- Ghanaian pound (1958) for Ghana
- CFA franc (1961) for British Cameroon
- Leone (1964) for Sierra Leone
- Gambian pound (1968) for Gambia

Two Shillings (demonetised 1965)
26 coins (1913 - 1952)
Shilling (demonetised 1965)
28 coins (1913 - 1952)
Coin NameMintage
Shilling 1913 12,340,000
Shilling 1914 14,292,000
Shilling 1915 254,000
Shilling 1916 11,837,732
Shilling 1917 15,018,000
Shilling 1918 9,486,000
Shilling 1919 2,992,045
Shilling 1920 (Silver) 828,000
Shilling 1920 (Brass) 33,816,000
Shilling 1922 33,324,355
Shilling 1923 29,384,000
Shilling 1924 33,566,800
Shilling 1925 19,800,000
Shilling 1926 19,952,000
Shilling 1927 22,248,000
Shilling 1928 10,000,000
Shilling 1936 42,882,000
Shilling 1938 57,806,287
Shilling 1939 55,471,675
Shilling 1940 40,311,060
Shilling 1942 42,000,000
Shilling 1943 133,600,000
Shilling 1945 31,994,000
Shilling 1946 37,349,770
Shilling 1947 119,584,000
Shilling 1949 90,016,000
Shilling 1951 62,178,142
Shilling 1952 184,402,545
Sixpence (demonetised 1965)
24 coins (1913 - 1952)
Coin NameMintage
Sixpence 1913 960,000
Sixpence 1914 952,000
Sixpence 1916 400,000
Sixpence 1917 2,400,000
Sixpence 1918 1,160,000
Sixpence 1919 8,676,000
Sixpence 1920 (Brass) 12,000,000
Sixpence 1920 (Silver) 2,948,000
Sixpence 1923 2,000,000
Sixpence 1924 3,000,000
Sixpence 1925 2,800,000
Sixpence 1928 400,000
Sixpence 1933 1,000,000
Sixpence 1935 4,000,000
Sixpence 1936 13,576,000
Sixpence 1938 12,114,473
Sixpence 1940 17,829,069
Sixpence 1942 1,600,000
Sixpence 1943 10,586,000
Sixpence 1944 1,814,000
Sixpence 1945 4,000,000
Sixpence 1946 4,000,000
Sixpence 1947 6,120,000
Sixpence 1952 2,544,000
Threepence (demonetised 1965)
27 coins (1913 - 1957)
Coin NameMintage
Threepence 1913 736,000
Threepence 1914 1,560,000
Threepence 1915 270,000
Threepence 1916 820,000
Threepence 1917 3,600,000
Threepence 1918 1,722,000
Threepence 1919 19,826,000
Threepence 1920 (Silver) 3,616,029
Threepence 1920 (Brass) 19,000,000
Threepence 1925 8,800,000
Threepence 1926 1,600,000
Threepence 1927 800,000
Threepence 1928 1,760,000
Threepence 1933 2,800,000
Threepence 1934 6,400,000
Threepence 1935 11,560,000
Threepence 1936 20,198,000
Threepence 1938 16,056,000
Threepence 1939 33,000,000
Threepence 1940 11,496,000
Threepence 1941 5,032,000
Threepence 1943 14,608,000
Threepence 1944 2,536,000
Threepence 1945 3,998,000
Threepence 1946 7,488,000
Threepence 1947 21,248,000
Threepence 1957 800,080
One Penny (demonetised 1965)
38 coins (1907 - 1958)
Coin NameMintage
One Penny 1907 862,848
One Penny 1908 3,217,152
One Penny 1909 960,000
One Penny 1910 2,520,000
One Penny 1911 1,920,000
One Penny 1912 1,560,000
One Penny 1913 1,824,000
One Penny 1914 3,014,000
One Penny 1915 3,295,200
One Penny 1916 3,460,800
One Penny 1917 444,000
One Penny 1918 993,600
One Penny 1919 22,128,300
One Penny 1920 58,554,600
One Penny 1922 3,970,560
One Penny 1926 8,040,000
One Penny 1927 792,000
One Penny 1928 6,672,000
One Penny 1929 636,000
One Penny 1933 2,805,600
One Penny 1934 2,640,000
One Penny 1935 8,551,200
One Penny 1936 George V 7,368,000
One Penny 1936 Edward VIII 33,104,000
One Penny 1937 18,111,400
One Penny 1940 8,640,000
One Penny 1941 6,960,000
One Penny 1942 18,840,000
One Penny 1943 36,120,000
One Penny 1944 19,440,000
One Penny 1945 24,628,800
One Penny 1946 23,442,000
One Penny 1947 81,252,020
One Penny 1951 3,949,900
One Penny 1952 86,734,800
One Penny 1956 27,002,800
One Penny 1957 19,940,000
One Penny 1958 12,200,000
Halfpenny (demonetised 1965)
31 coins (1911 - 1952)
Coin NameMintage
Halfpenny 1911 3,360,000
Halfpenny 1912 3,120,000
Halfpenny 1913 1,598,000
Halfpenny 1914 4,185,000
Halfpenny 1915 3,576,720
Halfpenny 1916 4,045,680
Halfpenny 1917 213,600
Halfpenny 1918 489,600
Halfpenny 1919 8,811,600
Halfpenny 1920 40,128,940
Halfpenny 1922 5,817,360
Halfpenny 1927 528,000
Halfpenny 1929 336,000
Halfpenny 1931 96,000
Halfpenny 1932 960,000
Halfpenny 1933 2,121,600
Halfpenny 1934 1,694,400
Halfpenny 1935 3,270,960
Halfpenny 1936 Edward VIII 19,457,760
Halfpenny 1936 George V 5,400,240
Halfpenny 1937 9,599,200
Halfpenny 1940 2,410,000
Halfpenny 1941 2,400,000
Halfpenny 1942 4,800,000
Halfpenny 1943 3,360,000
Halfpenny 1944 3,600,000
Halfpenny 1946 3,600,000
Halfpenny 1947 27,218,400
Halfpenny 1949 8,271,800
Halfpenny 1951 3,468,000
Halfpenny 1952 43,735,560
One-tenth Penny (demonetised 1965)
44 coins (1907 - 1957)
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