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Cent
British Honduras 1 cent 1956 proof MV
1956 proof coin
General information
Country

Flag of British Honduras British Honduras

Value

$0.01

Years

18851973

Measurements and composition
Mass
  • 9.18 g (1885-1894)
  • 9.37 g (1904-1913)
  • 5.7 g (1914-1951)
  • 2.83 g (1954)
  • 2.59 g (1956-1973)
Diameter
  • 28.35 mm (1885-1894)
  • 29 mm (1904-1913)
  • 25.4 mm (1914-1951)
  • 19.4 mm (1954)
  • 19.51 mm (1956-1973)
Thickness
  • 1.82 mm (1885-1894)
  • 1.5 mm (1954)
  • 1.3 mm (1956-1973)
Composition

bronze

Appearance
Shape
  • round (1885-1954)
  • scalloped (1956-1973)
Alignment
Edge

plain

Obverse

See text

Reverse

State title, value, year

v · d · e

The 1 cent coin is a circulation piece of British Honduras, a former British colony comprising what is now Belize. It was issued in eight types from 1885 to 1973: one under both Queen Victoria (1819–1901; r. 1837–1901) and King Edward VII (1841–1910; r. 1901–1910) and two under Kings George V (1865–1936; r. 1910–1936) and George VI (1895–1952; r. 1936–1952) and Queen Elizabeth II (1926–; r. 1952–). Each coin was issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency and struck at the Royal Mint. Both types of George V were also briefly produced at the Birmingham Mint in England.

The first coin of the denomination was introduced during the late reign of Queen Victoria in 1885 and struck irregularly until 1894. A new type was then released in 1904 under her eldest son and successor, King Edward VII, and then produced again in 1906 and 1909. During the reign of George V, two 1 cent pieces were issued, the first from 1911 to 1913 and the second from 1914 to 1936. Under George V's successor, Edward VIII (1894–1972; r. 1936), no new British Honduran coins were issued so the next cent was not introduced until 1937, the first full year of George VI's reign. This initial type was struck until 1947, and was replaced in 1949 by a similar second piece that was manufactured until 1951. Under Elizabeth II, two types of the 1 cent piece were released. The first was produced solely in 1954, while the second was minted irregularly from 1956 to 1973. When British Honduras was renamed to Belize in 1973, a similar 1 cent coin was then introduced bearing the colony's new name, thus marking the end of the British Honduran cent.

All eight types were legal tender in British Honduras, circulating for a value of 0.01 British Honduran dollar prior to their eventual demonetization. They also remained valid for 0.01 Belizean dollar for a short period after 1973.

CoinsEdit

Coin of Victoria (1885–1894)Edit

British Honduras 1 cent 1889 proof MV

1889 proof coin

The colony of British Honduras was formally established in 1862, during the middle of Queen Victoria's reign. Initially governed as a dependency of the nearby Colony of Jamaica, British Honduras officially became a separate crown colony of the British Empire in 1884. It existed under the name British Honduras until 1973, when the colony was renamed to Belize in anticipation of independence. The territory remained a British possession until September 21, 1981, when it was granted sovereignty by the British Parliament.

Influenced by the currencies of the United States and Canada, British Honduras adopted its own dollar-based decimal currency in 1885. By doing so, the colony became the first in the British West Indies to abandon the traditional British pound system. The first series of coins for the new currency, consisting of denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents, was introduced from 1885 to 1894. The 1 cent piece was struck irregularly between these dates at the Royal Mint at Tower Hill, London.

The cent is composed of a bronze alloy and measures 9.18 grams in mass, 28.35 millimeters in diameter, and 1.82 millimeters in thickness. Examples struck in 1885 and 1889 use coin alignment, whereas pieces manufactured in 1888 and 1894 utilize medallic alignment. Regardless of the alignment, the 1 cent coin has a plain edge and raised, dentilated rims, and is round in shape.

The obverse was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon (1826–1891), a prominent British engraver of the Victorian era. Displayed in its center is a left-facing illustration of Queen Victoria with a ribbon in her hair and the George IV State Diadem on her head. The caption "QUEEN VICTORIA" is inscribed along the coin's rim, the word "QUEEN" engraved to the right of the likeness and the name "VICTORIA" displayed to the left.

A large numeral "1" representing the face value appears inside a beaded circular boundary in the middle of the reverse. Printed counterclockwise along the rim below is the written-out value, "ONE CENT", followed by the Gregorian date of minting. The colonial name "BRITISH HONDURAS" is inscribed in the opposite direction at the periphery above the "1", and is separated from the value and date by two small circular points, one at each side of the reverse.

Around 272,025 examples of the coin were manufactured over four nonconsecutive years of production, including 272,000 business strikes and a small number of proofs. Around 25 of the proofs minted in 1894 were issued in official proof sets by the Board of Commissioners of Currency.

Mintages
Year Mintage
1885 72,000
1885 Proof Unknown
1888 100,000
1888 Proof Unknown
1889 50,000
1889 Proof Unknown
1894 50,000
1894 Proof ~25
Total > 272,025

Coin of Edward VII (1904–1909)Edit

British Honduras 1 cent 1904 MV

1904 coin

On January 22, 1901, Queen Victoria died after serving nearly 64 years as monarch and head of state of the United Kingdom. She was succeeded by her eldest son, Prince Albert, who ascended the throne as Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom and British Dominions and Emperor of India shortly after her death. Because of this change of leadership, coins of the British Empire were modified to feature the likeness of the new British monarch. The first British Honduran piece to depict Edward VII, a 1 cent coin, was released in 1904, followed by redesigned 25 and 50 cent coins in 1906 and a 5 cent piece in 1907. All four were struck at the Royal Mint at Tower Hill, London, and the obverses of each were designed by the late British medalist George William de Saulles (1862–1903). The 1 cent piece was minted irregularly until its discontinuation in 1909.

The cent is composed of a bronze alloy and measures 9.365 grams in mass and 29 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment; a plain edge; and raised, dentilated rims, and is round in shape.

A right-facing portrait of a bearded Edward VII is illustrated in the center of the obverse. In this depiction, the British monarch is shown wearing a robe and collar of the Order of Garter and St. Edward's Crown, one of the most recognizable Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Engraved in small print below the likeness of the king is the designer's signature, "DE S.". The caption "EDWARD VII KING & EMPEROR" is engraved clockwise from the coin's left to right peripheries, separated between the numeral "VII" and the word "KING" by Edward's portrait.

The reverse is virtually identical in design to that of the Victorian cent issued from 1885 to 1894. A large numeral "1" representing the face value appears inside a beaded circular boundary in the center. Printed counterclockwise along the rim below is the written-out value, "ONE CENT", followed by the Gregorian date of minting. The colonial name "BRITISH HONDURAS" is inscribed in the opposite direction at the periphery above the "1", and is separated from the value and date by two small circular points, one at each side of the reverse.

A total of approximately 125,000 examples of the coin were manufactured over three nonconsecutive years of production. Of these, a majority were manufactured as business strikes, although a small number of proofs dated 1904 and matte proofs dated 1904 and 1906 were also produced.

Mintages
Year Mintage
1904 50,000
1904 Proof Unknown
1904 Matte Proof Unknown
1906 50,000
1906 Matte Proof Unknown
1909 25,000
Total > 125,000

Coins of George V (1911–1936)Edit

British Honduras 1 cent 1912H MV

1912 coin

British Honduras 1 cent 1914 MV

1914 coin

After reigning nine years as King of the United Kingdom, Edward VII died at the age of 68 on May 6, 1910. He was immediately succeeded by his only living son, Prince George, who ascended the throne as George V, King of the United Kingdom and British Dominions and Emperor of India. The first British Honduran coins of the new monarch, a series of 1, 5, 25, and 50 cent pieces, was introduced in 1911. These would later be followed by a smaller, slightly redesigned 1 cent piece in 1914 and a new 10 cent coin in 1918. Each piece was struck primarily at the Royal Mint at Tower Hill, London, with the lower-denominated 1 and 5 cent coins being briefly manufactured at the Birmingham Mint in 1912 and 1916. The obverse of all of the pieces was designed by Australian sculptor Edgar Bertram Mackennal (1863–1931). The first 1 cent coin was struck annually from 1911 to 1913, while the second was manufactured irregularly from 1914 to 1936.

Both 1 cent types are composed of a bronze alloy. The first is noticeably larger, however, measuring 9.365 grams in mass and 29 millimeters in diameter, compared to the second type's 5.7 grams and 25.4 millimeters. Each type has medallic alignment; a plain edge; and raised, dentilated rims, and is round in shape.

A left-facing bust of a bearded George V is displayed in the center of the obverse. In this illustration, the British monarch is portrayed wearing a robe and collar of the Order of Garter on his upper torso, St. Edward's Crown on his head, and the ribbon insignia of the Order of the Bath or Royal Victorian Order around his neck. The "B.M." initials of the artist, abbreviated for "Bertram Mackennal", are engraved in the bust truncation at the bottom of the likeness. Printed clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right peripheries is the English caption "GEORGE V KING AND EMPEROR OF INDIA", and engraved at the bottom of the piece is a single circular point. The caption is separated between the words "AND" and "EMPEROR" by the globus cruciger in St. Edward's Crown.

The reverse of the first type is virtually identical to that of the Victorian and Edwardian cents. A large numeral "1" representing the face value appears inside a beaded circular border in the center. Another indication of the coin's value, the inscription "ONE CENT", is engraved counterclockwise along the periphery below, followed by the Gregorian date of minting. Printed in the opposite direction at the rim above the "1" is the colonial name "BRITISH HONDURAS", which is separated from the written-out value and date of minting by two circular points, one at each side of the reverse. In addition, on coins minted in Birmingham, a small "H" mint mark appears in small print at the bottom of the coin.

The reverse of the second type is similar to that of the first, but the "1" in the center is significantly larger and is surrounded by a circular border of leaves instead of a beaded boundary. The text is also presented in a different font, and to accommodate the larger numeral in the center, is closer to the rim.

Mintages of the first type are currently unknown. A total of around 530,050 examples of the second were manufactured over seven nonconsecutive years of production, including 530,000 business strikes and a handful of proofs. All 50 of the proofs minted in 1936 were distributed in official proof sets by the Board of Commissioners of Currency.

Mintages
Year Mint Mintage
Type 1 (1911–1913)
1911 Royal Mint Unknown
1912 Birmingham Mint Unknown
1913 Royal Mint Unknown
Type 2 (1914–1936)
1914 Royal Mint 175,000
1916 Birmingham Mint 125,000
1918 Royal Mint 40,000
1919 50,000
1924 50,000
1924 Proof Unknown
1926 50,000
1926 Proof Unknown
1936 40,000
1936 Proof 50
Total > 530,050

Coins of George VI (1937–1951)Edit

British Honduras 1 cent 1937 proof MV

1937 proof coin

British Honduras 1 cent 1949 proof MV

1949 proof coin

George V reigned for nearly 26 years before his death on January 20, 1936. He was immediately succeeded by his oldest son, Prince Edward, who assumed the regnal name "Edward VIII" upon ascending the throne. However, on December 11 of the same year, only 326 days into his reign, Edward voluntarily abdicated in order to marry his mistress, American socialite Wallis Simpson (1896–1986). During his short rule, only a handful of British colonial coins were modified to reflect Edward's accession. The coins of British Honduras were among those that remained unchanged.

Since Edward VIII was unmarried and had no children at the time of his abdication, his younger brother, Prince Albert, succeeded him as King of the United Kingdom and British Dominions and Emperor of India. Upon ascending the throne, Albert assumed the regnal name "George VI" to emphasize continuity with his father, George V, and restore faith in the British monarchy.

The first series of British Honduran coins of George VI, consisting of denominations of 1, 5, and 10 cents, was introduced by the Board of Commissioners of Currency from 1937 to 1942. Each of the pieces in this series referred to George as "King and Emperor of India", as was customary of British Honduran coins since the reign of Edward VII. However, after India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947, the title "Emperor of India" was formally abandoned. Because of this, a series of 1, 5, and 25 cent pieces referring to George solely "King" was then released in British Honduras from 1949 to 1952. All of the British Honduran coins of George VI were struck at the Royal Mint at Tower Hill, London, and the obverse of each was designed by English sculptor Percy Metcalfe (1895–1970). The 1 cent piece was struck from 1937 to 1947 with the legend "EMPEROR OF INDIA", and again from 1949 to 1951 without the title.

Both cents of George VI are composed of a bronze alloy and measure 5.7 grams in mass and 25.4 millimeters in diameter. They have medallic alignment; a plain edge; and raised, dentilated rims, and are round in shape.

A left-facing bust of George VI wearing St. Edward's Crown is illustrated in the center of each coin's obverse, the "PM" initials of the artist engraved in small print below. On pieces minted from 1937 to 1947, the caption "GEORGE VI KING AND EMPEROR OF INDIA" extends clockwise from the coin's left rim. The globus cruciger in St. Edward's Crown interrupts this caption between the numeral "VI" and word "KING", and a small circular point at the left periphery separates the name "GEORGE" and word "INDIA". Coins struck from 1949 to 1951 instead feature the legend "KING GEORGE THE SIXTH", which travels clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right peripheries. This text is interrupted between "GEORGE" and "THE" by the monarch's likeness.

A large numeral "1" representing the face value appears inside a circular border of leaves in the center of the reverse. Another indication of the coin's value, the inscription "ONE CENT", is engraved counterclockwise along the periphery below, followed by the Gregorian date of minting. Printed in the opposite direction at the rim above the "1" is the colonial name "BRITISH HONDURAS", which is separated from the written-out value and date of minting by two circular points, one at each side of the reverse.

A total of approximately 610,000 coins were struck from 1937 to 1947, and around 300,000 pieces were produced from 1949 to 1951. Of these, most examples were manufactured as business strikes, but a small number were struck with a proof finish as well. An undisclosed number of proofs were distributed in official proof sets by the Board of Commissioners of Currency.

Mintages
Year Mintage
Type 1 (1937–1947)
1937 80,000
1937 Proof Unknown
1939 50,000
1939 Proof Unknown
1942 50,000
1942 Proof Unknown
1943 100,000
1943 Proof Unknown
1944 100,000
1944 Proof Unknown
1945 130,000
1945 Proof Unknown
1947 100,000
1947 Proof Unknown
Total > 610,000
Type 2 (1949–1951)
1949 100,000
1949 Proof Unknown
1950 100,000
1950 Proof Unknown
1951 100,000
1951 Proof Unknown
Total > 300,000

Coins of Elizabeth II (1954–1973)Edit

British Honduras 1 cent 1954 proof MV

1954 proof coin

British Honduras 1 cent 1956 proof MV 2

1956 proof coin

After reigning for 15 years, King George VI died at the age of 56 on February 6, 1952. He was immediately succeeded by his oldest daughter, the 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth, who adopted the regnal name "Elizabeth II" upon ascending the throne. To reflect this change in leadership, in 1954 the Board of Commissioners of Currency introduced the first British Honduran 1 and 50 cent pieces featuring the young Elizabeth II. These were then followed in 1955 by a new 25 cent piece and in 1956 by a reshaped 1 cent coin and new 5 and 10 cent pieces. Until 1967, all of the coins were struck at the Royal Mint at Tower Hill, London. Production was then moved to the mint's new facility at Llanstrisant, Wales, starting in 1968. The obverse of each piece was designed by Cecil Thomas (1885–1976), a medalist regularly commissioned by the Royal Mint. The first 1 cent piece was struck solely in 1954, whereas the second was minted from 1956 to 1973, when British Honduras was renamed to Belize. A similar cent then continued to be issued by the colony under its new name.

Both cents of Elizabeth are composed of a bronze alloy, but have slightly different measurements. The initial type weighs approximately 2.83 grams and measures 19.4 millimeters in diameter and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. In comparison, the second coin is lighter and thinner, measuring 2.59 grams in mass and 1.3 millimeters in thickness, but has a larger diameter of 19.51 millimeters. The two types have medallic alignment and a plain edge. The first has raised, dentilated rims and is round in shape, while the second has raised, undecorated rims and is scalloped in shape with 12 rounded notches.

A right-facing illustration of Elizabeth II wearing a necklace and St. Edward's Crown is displayed in the center of both coin's obverse. It is accompanied by the caption "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND", which is printed clockwise from the coin's upper right to upper left peripheries.

A large numeral "1" representing the face value appears inside a circular border of leaves in the center of the reverse. Another indication of the coin's value, the inscription "ONE CENT", is engraved counterclockwise along the periphery below, followed by the Gregorian date of minting. Printed in the opposite direction at the rim above the "1" is the colonial name "BRITISH HONDURAS", which is separated from the written-out value and date of minting by two circular points, one at each side of the reverse.

A total of over 200,000 round and 5,640,000 scalloped coins were manufactured. Of these, most examples of each type were manufactured as business strikes, but a small number were also struck with a proof finish. An unknown number of the proof coins were issued in official sets by the Board of Commissioners of Currency.

Mintages
Year Mintage
Round type (1954)
1954 200,000
1954 Proof Unknown
Total > 200,000
Scalloped type (1956–1973)
1956 200,000
1956 Proof Unknown
1958 400,000
1958 Proof Unknown
1959 200,000
1959 Proof Unknown
1961 800,000
1961 Proof Unknown
1964 300,000
1965 400,000
1966 100,000
1967 400,000
1968 200,000
1969 520,000
1970 120,000
1971 800,000
1972 800,000
1973 400,000
Total 5,640,000

ReferencesEdit

Template:British Honduran dollar

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