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Detailed information about Coin: Half Cent 1863 from Sarawak

Coin: Half Cent 1863
Description

The half cent was the second smallest denomination of the Sarawak dollar. It was issued intermittently until 1933. Coins issued in 1863 circulated for 79 years until the Japanese occupation forces replaced them with their own invasion currency in 1942. After the war, Sarawak did not regain independence and eventually became one of the states forming the Federation of Malaysia.

James Brooke, whose head appears on the obverse of this coin, became Rajah of Sarawak in 1842 after receiving the land and title from the Sultan of Brunei. In 1863, through his British agents Buchanan, Hamilton & Co. he arranged for copper coins with the denominations of 1/4, 1/2 and 1 Cent to be struck in Birmingham. This was the only issue in his name. The Spanish dollar was the principal silver coin of the region at the time and the copper coins were fractions of it.

The artist was Joseph Moore of Allan and Moore, Great Britain.

CountrySarawak CurrencySarawak Dollar
Face value1/2 (x Cent) TypeHalf Cent (Large)
Year1863 CurrentNo (demonetised 1953)
Mintageunknown
Mints
NameMint markMintage
Heaton and Sons (Birmingham Mint) No mint mark unknown
MaterialCopper DesignerJoseph Moore
MonarchJames Brooke, Rajah EffigyPortrait by Joseph Moore
Production technologyMilled (machine-made) ShapeRound
Size (mm)22.5000 Thickness (mm)
Mass (g)4.6530
Obverse

Head of James Brooke, the first Rajah of Sarawak, facing left. Around, the monarch's legend J. BROOKE RAJAH.

Obverse inscription J. BROOKE RAJAH
Reverse

The value and denomination HALF CENT is in two lines within a wreath of two olive branches; around above, SARAWAK; below the wreath, the date 1863.

Reverse inscriptionHALF CENT SARAWAK 1863
EdgePlain Edge inscriptionNone
Half Cent 1863: Known varieties
VarietyMintageDetails
Proof unknown
Bronze-plated proof unknown (hover mouse for text)
Half Cent 1863: Photos
Half Cent 1863: Photo Coin - 1/2 Cent, Sarawak, 1863
Coin - 1/2 Cent, Sarawak, 1863
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: This piece may be a cast copy.
source
Half Cent 1863: Photo Coin - 1/2 Cent, Sarawak, 1863
Coin - 1/2 Cent, Sarawak, 1863
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: This piece may be a cast copy.
source
Half Cent 1863: Photo Bronze 1/2 cent, SE Asia, 1863
Bronze 1/2 cent, SE Asia, 1863
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
source
Half Cent 1863: Photo Bronze 1/2 cent, SE Asia, 1863
Bronze 1/2 cent, SE Asia, 1863
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
source
Half Cent 1863: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Encyclopaedia of the Coins of Malaysia, Singapore and BruneiSarawak SS 5
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsSarawak KM# 2, 2a (Bronze-plated proof)
Half Cent 1863: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Atkins, Coins and Tokens of the British Empire 1889 Coin description
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mint
Atkins, Coins and Tokens of the British Empire 1889 Varieties Proof
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Varieties Proof
Encyclopaedia of the Coins of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei 1986 Varieties Proof, Bronze-plated proof
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Design link
Half Cent 1863: Some useful external links
Coins Numismatics: Sarawak Coins Half Cent 1863 James Brooke Rajah Museums Victoria: Coin - 1/2 Cent, Sarawak, 1863
American Numismatic Society: Bronze 1/2 cent, SE Asia, 1863
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List of all (5) coins of type: Sarawak / Half Cent
Half Cent 1863 Half Cent 1870 Half Cent 1879 Half Cent 1896 Half Cent 1933