One Shilling 1949, Coin from British West Africa - detailed information

One Shilling 1949, Coin from British West Africa (demonetised 1968)
CoinOne Shilling 1949

The One Shilling coin was a circulating denomination of the British West African Pound. As with its British counterpart, one shilling was equal to 12 pence, and 20 shillings made one pound.

In the 19th century, the (pre-decimal) pound sterling became the currency of the British West African territories and standard issue United Kingdom coinage circulated for a while. 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.

Consequently, the British West African shilling coins were made very different from their Imperial counterparts. Apart from changing to base metals earlier than the Imperial coinage, two visible differences were the local reverse and the fact that the monarch's effigy on the obverse was crowned - to signify the status of the coinage as being colonial. The monarch's legend though was the same as on standard British coinage (in Latin).

Initially the coins were issued in silver; this was later changed to tin brass coins, then nickel brass, then smaller tin brass coins - such as this one.

After decolonisation, the coins were demonetised by the various 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. Thus, one shilling coins issued in 1949 would have circulated for up to 19 years depending on location.

MintMint markTotal Mintage
Royal Mint No mint mark 70,000,000 (70.0 million)
King's Norton Metal Co. Letters KN 10,016,000 (10.0 million)
Birmingham Mint Letter H 10,000,000 (10.0 million)
Obverse
British West Africa / One Shilling 1949 - obverse photo

Crowned head of King George VI facing left; around, the monarch's legend: + GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF:. Translated from Latin: George VI, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith.

Below the neck truncation in small letters are the artist's initials PM (for Percy Metcalfe).

Obverse Inscription + GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF:
Reverse
British West Africa / One Shilling 1949 - reverse photo

At centre, dividing the date 1949, is a palm tree.

Around above, outside a circle broken by decorative extensions adjacent to the date, the legend BRITISH WEST AFRICA; around below, the value and denomination ONE SHILLING.

The mint mark, H for the Birmingham Mint (ex Heaton and Sons) or KN for the King's Norton Metal Co., is in very small letters in relief at the base of the palm tree. Coins struck by the Royal Mint have no mint mark.

Reverse Inscription BRITISH WEST AFRICA ONE SHILLING 1949
EdgeSecurity GrooveEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

References to additional information:

[Book] Vice, David. 1983. The Coinage of British West Africa and St. Helena 1684 - 1958.

One Shilling 1949: Known varieties
Variety Proof (King's Norton Metal Co.)
Images British West Africa / One Shilling 1949 / Proof (King's Norton Metal Co.) - obverse photo British West Africa / One Shilling 1949 / Proof (King's Norton Metal Co.) - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Variety Proof (Royal Mint)
Images British West Africa / One Shilling 1949 / Proof (Royal Mint) - obverse photo British West Africa / One Shilling 1949 / Proof (Royal Mint) - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
One Shilling 1949: References to Information Used
All (28) Coins of Country: British West Africa, Type: One Shilling
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
One Shilling 1913 12,340,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1914 14,292,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1915 254,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1916 11,837,732 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1917 15,018,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1918 9,486,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1919 2,992,045 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1920 (Silver) 828,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1920 (Brass) 33,816,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1922 33,324,355 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1923 29,384,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1924 33,566,800 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1925 19,800,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1926 19,952,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1927 22,248,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1928 10,000,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1936 42,882,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal · GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
One Shilling 1938 57,806,287 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) GEORGIVS VI D · G · BRITT · OMN · REX F · D · IND · IMP:
One Shilling 1939 55,471,675 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) GEORGIVS VI D · G · BRITT · OMN · REX F · D · IND · IMP:
One Shilling 1940 40,311,060 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) GEORGIVS VI D · G · BRITT · OMN · REX F · D · IND · IMP:
One Shilling 1942 42,000,000 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) GEORGIVS VI D · G · BRITT · OMN · REX F · D · IND · IMP:
One Shilling 1943 133,600,000 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) GEORGIVS VI D · G · BRITT · OMN · REX F · D · IND · IMP:
One Shilling 1945 31,994,000 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) GEORGIVS VI D · G · BRITT · OMN · REX F · D · IND · IMP:
One Shilling 1946 37,349,770 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) GEORGIVS VI D · G · BRITT · OMN · REX F · D · IND · IMP:
One Shilling 1947 119,584,000 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) GEORGIVS VI D · G · BRITT · OMN · REX F · D · IND · IMP:
One Shilling 1949 90,016,000 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) + GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF:
One Shilling 1951 62,178,142 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) + GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF:
One Shilling 1952 184,402,545 Portrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head) + GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF:
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One Shilling 1949: Details
CountryBritish West Africa
CurrencyBritish West African Pound
Coin TypeOne Shilling, Tin Brass (George VI)
Issued1949
MonarchKing George VI
EffigyPortrait by Percy Metcalfe (Crowned Head)
Face Value1 (x Shilling)
Mintage90,016,000 (90.0 million)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1968
MaterialTin Brass
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size23.000 mm
Mass5.600 g
OCC IDDRMK-GOZA-CKYK-ENXQ
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One Shilling 1949: Photos
ImageDetails
British West Africa 1949 Shilling
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Notes: Mint mark H.
Source
British West Africa 1949 Shilling
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Source
Proof Coin - 1 Shilling, British West Africa, 1949
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Proof. Royal Mint (no mint mark).
Source
Proof Coin - 1 Shilling, British West Africa, 1949
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Proof.
Source
British West Africa 1949-KN shilling
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King's Norton Metal Co. (KN mint mark). Specimen (proof).
Source
British West Africa 1949-KN shilling
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King's Norton Metal Co. Specimen (proof).
Source
One Shilling 1949: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsBritish West Africa KM# 28