The one cent coin was the most popular denomination of the Sarawak dollar. 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.