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1251RE: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Currency

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  • John Coyle
    Sep 12, 2010
      RE: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Currency

      Hi Caroline - there certainly was a local currency in St. Helena: I have an example of a halfpenny dated 1821, and I believe these are quite common.

      The coin is copper, 28mm in diameter, and the face bears the arms of the East India Company, while the obverse has a wreath of laurel all around the edge, and the words "St HELENA HALFPENNY" in a circular format next inside.  The date is in the centre, in a straight line.

      You can find an illustration here:


      where it is described as a commemorative struck on Napoleons death

      or here


      which is a better illustration.


      John Coyle

      Brisbane, Australia

      -----Original Message-----
      From: st-helena-genealogy@yahoogroups.com [mailto:st-helena-genealogy@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Caroline Gaden
      Sent: Monday, 13 September 2010 10:02 AM
      To: St Helena list
      Subject: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Currency


      Hello Everyone

      I've been researching the monetary system in New South Wales from the

      arrival of the First Fleet and now have a better understanding of the

      mish-mash of various currencies in use eg Spanish dollars [minted in

      Mexico], rupee, mohur, pagoda, ducat, Johanna, promisary notes etc.

      In 1825 the British Government decreed that all 'colonies' should use

      the £ sterling as their basis but it took quite a while for this to take

      effect and the non-Sterling coins to disappear [about ten years in NSW].

      My questions relate to the East India Company in particular....the ships

      used St Helena as a 're-fueling' point on the way to India and also home

      again. Did St Helena have a similar variety of currency in use pre-1825?

      Was Sterling is use from the earliest days of the EIC or would a local

      currency have been acceptable to local traders?

      Many thanks


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