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.
Although there was another production of this denomination made in 1907, the 1891 issue of half cents seems to have been the last to have seen widespread circulation. In 1903-1904 the Company moved from the use of bronze to copper-nickel, issuing 1 cent and new denominations of 2 1/2 cents and 5 cent in that metal; the 1/2 cent was not continued.