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The 1 cent coin is a current circulation piece of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Since 1966, it has been issued in eight types and four major designs by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and its precursors, the Bahamas Currency Board and Bahamas Monetary Authority. Because The Bahamas lacks an official mint of its own, production of all eight pieces was outsourced to foreign mints.
The 1 cent piece was one of The Bahamas' first decimal coins. The first coin of the denomination was released in 1966 with the introduction of the Bahamian dollar, and remained in production until 1969. It was then followed in 1970 by a similar single-year type, and then in 1971 by a newer, redesigned piece manufactured until 1973. Another design was then introduced in 1974 and continued to be used until 2004. During this period, two coin types were struck in different metals, the first being struck from 1974 to 1985, and the second being manufactured from 1985 to 2004. The 1 cent piece underwent its fourth, and most recent redesign in 2006. The first type to utilize this design was released in 2006 and remained in production until 2007. It was followed in 2009 by a newer piece, which was manufactured again in 2015, and yet another type in 2014, which was also struck into 2015.
All eight types are currently legal tenders in their country of origin, each carrying a face value of 0.01 Bahamian dollar, the equivalent of 0.01 United States dollar. They are also unofficially used in the nearby Turks and Caicos Islands. Because of the Bahamian cent's low purchasing power, its usage is declining in The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.
First design (1966–1970)Edit
- See also: New Zealand 2 cent coin
On May 25, 1966, the Bahamian dollar was introduced, replacing the pre-decimal pound at a rate of 1 dollar to 7 shillings. On that date, the Bahamas Currency Board released the first series of coins for the new currency, which consisted of denominations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, and 50 cents and 1, 2, and 5 dollars. Each of the pieces was struck under commission at the Royal Mint and designed by British sculptor Arnold Machin (1911–1999). An unknown amount of 1 cent pieces was also reportedly struck at the Birmingham Mint. With the exception of the first 1 cent coin, which was discontinued in 1969, these initial types remained in production until 1970.
In 1970, a new 1 cent piece was released by the Bahamas Monetary Authority. Although its design remained largely unchanged, its measurements were altered to match those of the contemporary United States penny. The 1970 piece was struck at the Franklin Mint in the United States.
The 1 cent type manufactured from 1966 to 1969 is composed of a nickel-brass alloy and measures 4.21 grams in mass, 22.5 millimeters in diameter, and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. The 1970 coin has the same composition, but measures a smaller 3.11 grams in mass, 19.05 millimeters in diameter, and 1.42 millimeters in thickness. Both types have medallic alignment and a plain edge, and are round in shape. The rims of both sides of each are raised and decorated with a beaded boundary.
A right-facing portrait of a young Elizabeth II (1926–; r. 1952–) wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara is illustrated in the center of the obverse. As the Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II was also recognized as monarch throughout the British Empire, including The Bahamas until 1973. Printed clockwise along the rim to the left of the portrait is the caption "ELIZABETH II". Inscribed in the same direction at the coin's right periphery is the colonial name of the Bahamas, "BAHAMA ISLANDS".
An illustration of a starfish, a red cushion sea star (Oreaster reticulatus) according to the Weltmünzkatalog, is displayed in the middle of the coin's reverse. Printed clockwise along the rim above the face value "ONE CENT", the two words separated by one of the starfish's arms. The Gregorian date of minting is engraved in the opposite direction at the coin's lower periphery, and two small circular points are additionally displayed at the piece's lower left and lower right boundaries.
A total of approximately 12,158,000 cent pieces were manufactured from 1966 to 1969, including 12,148,000 pieces with a standard finish and 10,000 proofs. Of these, 601,271 uncirculated pieces were distributed in mint sets and all 10,000 proofs were sold in proof sets.
About 148,000 examples of the 1970 type were produced, including 125,000 pieces with a standard finish and 23,000 proofs. Around 25,000 uncirculated and all 23,000 proof coins were distributed in official sets by the Bahamas Monetary Authority. The proofs, according to the Standard Catalog of World Coins, are struck with a "special brass" that looks like a pale bronze.
Second design (1971–1973)Edit
In 1971, the Bahamas Monetary Authority introduced a new coin series, which like the previous, consisted of denominations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, and 50 cents and 1, 2, and 5 dollars. With the exception of the 5 dollar piece, which was redesigned in 1972, the pieces were struck annually until 1973. All nine were designed by Arnold Machin and initially struck in fairly limited numbers at the Franklin Mint. The Royal Mint was then contracted to make circulation quantities of the 1 cent piece in 1973.
The 1 cent coin of the series is composed of a brass alloy and measures 3.11 grams in mass, 19.05 millimeters in diameter, and 1.42 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Both of the coin's rims are raised and decorated with a beaded border.
A right-facing portrait of Elizabeth II wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara appears in the middle of the obverse, the caption "ELIZABETH II" inscribed counterclockwise along the rim below. This illustration of the queen is identical to the likeness used on the previous 1 cent pieces, but is noticeably smaller. The state title "COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMA ISLANDS" is engraved along the coin's periphery above the depiction of Elizabeth, extending clockwise from the lower left to lower right rims. Two small circular points, one at each side of the obverse, separate this legend from the monarch's name.
A starfish is displayed in the center of the reverse. Printed clockwise along the rim above is the face value "ONE CENT", the two words separated by one the starfish's arms. The Gregorian date of minting is written in the opposite direction at the periphery below, and two small circular points are displayed at the coin's lower left and lower right rims. On coins manufactured at the Franklin Mint, a small "FM" mark is additionally engraved between the starfish and date of minting.
Over three consecutive years of production, approximately 10,185,000 examples of the piece were manufactured. Of these, around 3,185,000 were struck at the Franklin Mint, and 7,000,000 were coined at the Royal Mint. At least 32,876 uncirculated pieces and all 101,000 proofs were distributed in sets by the Bahamas Monetary Authority.
Third design (1974–2004)Edit
The House of Lords, the upper house of the British Parliament, passed the Bahamas Independence Bill on June 22, 1973, thereby granting The Bahamas independence from the United Kingdom. Shortly after finalizing this process on July 10 of the same year, The Bahamas joined the Commonwealth of Nations and continued to recognize Elizabeth II as its head of state. The first full circulation coin series of the newly established nation, consisting of denominations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, and 50 cents and 1 and 2 dollars, was released in 1974 by the Central Bank of The Bahamas. The 1 cent coin of this series, minted annually until 1985, was struck under commission at the Franklin Mint, Royal Mint, and Royal Canadian Mint.
In 1982, the composition of the United States penny was changed because the value of the copper in the coin had risen above its face value. Because the composition of the Bahamian cent at the time mirrored that of the penny, the Central Bank of The Bahamas soon encountered a similar problem. In response, a new 1 cent piece was released in 1985 in the same composition as the new U.S. penny. It was manufactured at the Royal Mint from then until its discontinuation in 2004.
The type manufactured from 1974 to 1985 is composed of brass and measures 3.11 grams in mass, 19.05 millimeters in diameter, and 1.42 millimeters in thickness. The piece produced from 1985 to 2004, in comparison, is composed of copper-plated zinc and measures 2.5 grams in mass and 1.58 millimeters in thickness, but has the same diameter. Both types have medallic alignment and a plain edge, and are round in shape. The rims of the obverse and reverse of each coin are raised and decorated with a beaded border.
The pieces of the 1974 coin series were the first of The Bahamas to not feature a likeness of Elizabeth II. In her place in the center of the obverse is the coat of arms of The Bahamas – which consists of a central escutcheon containing images of the sun and Santa María, supported by an Atlantic blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) and American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) and surmounted by a helmet, conch, and five palm fronds. A ribbon bearing the national motto "FORWARD, UPWARD, ONWARD TOGETHER" appears below the escutcheon in the arms, above a compartment representing the sea and land. On the coin, the official name of The Bahamas, "COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS", is printed above the arms, extending clockwise from the lower left to lower right peripheries. Engraved in the opposite direction at the rim below the arms is the Gregorian date of minting.
A starfish is depicted in the middle of the reverse, the face value "ONE CENT" inscribed clockwise at the periphery above. As on previous coins of the denomination, the two words in the value are separated by an arm of the starfish. Two small circular points are also displayed at the coin's lower left and lower right boundaries, and on pieces minted at the Franklin Mint, a small "FM" mark is visible below the starfish.
At least 37,516,063 brass coins were manufactured from 1974 to 1985, including pieces with standard, proof, and prooflike finishes. Of these, a handful of uncirculated standard coins, most of the proofs, and all of the prooflike pieces, were distributed in official sets by the Central Bank of The Bahamas.
Except for 1987 and 1989, yearly mintages for the copper-plated type are currently unknown. Over 14 years of production, several business strikes and a handful of special uncirculated and proof coins were manufactured. The special uncirculated pieces and 7,000 of the proofs were sold in sets.
|1980 Proof||Franklin Mint||2,084|
|1981||Royal Canadian Mint||5,000,000|
|1983 Proof||Franklin Mint||1,020|
|1984 Proof||Franklin Mint||7,500|
|1985 Proof||Franklin Mint||7,500|
Fourth design (2006–present)Edit
In 2006, the Bahamian cent underwent its first major design change since 1974. Struck under contract at the Royal Canadian Mint, this new piece was the first of the current coin series to be introduced, followed by the 10 cent piece in 2007, 25 cent coin in 2014 (although dated as early as 2007), and 5 cent piece in 2015. It is currently unknown whether there are plans to redesign the 15 cent coin. The first cent of the new design was produced until 2007.
By 2009, the cost to make a Bahamian cent had once again exceeded its face value. In response, a new, smaller type was introduced that year, and then manufactured again in 2015. It was then followed in 2014 by an even cheaper piece, which was also struck into 2015. Both types have been produced under commission at the Royal Canadian Mint.
Coins dated 2006 and 2007 are composed of copper-plated zinc and measure 2.5 grams in mass, 19.05 millimeters in diameter, and 1.58 millimeters in thickness. Later pieces are noticeably smaller, having a mass of 1.7 grams, diameter of 17.03 millimeters, and thickness of 1.3 millimeters. All examples minted in 2009 are composed of copper-plated zinc, whereas specimens manufactured in 2014 are made of copper-plated steel. Coins from 2015 are known in both metals. Each of the three types has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both sides of the coins are raised and undecorated.
The coat of arms of The Bahamas is illustrated in the center of the obverse. Printed above the arms, extending clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right peripheries, is the state title "COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS". Inscribed in the opposite direction at the rim below the arms is the Gregorian date of minting.
Three starfish appear on the reverse, one in the center, another at the left, and the other at the upper right. The face value "1 CENT" is engraved on a single horizontal line above the central starfish, the numeral rendered in larger print than the following word.
Mintage figures for all three types are currently unavailable. Only business strikes of each are known to exist.
|2006||Copper-plated zinc, 19.05 mm|
|2009||Copper-plated zinc, 17.03 mm|
|2014||Copper-plated steel, 17.03 mm|
|2015||Copper-plated zinc, 17.03 mm|
|Copper-plated steel, 17.03 mm|