Tuesday, August 31, 2010

British Trade Dollar

This is the history.....

The British Trade Dollar was issued from around 1895 to 1935. This coin was quite popular and used in Singapore and Hong Kong to stop other countries’ silver dollars from being circulated in British colonies. This coin was known as Ringgit Tongkat in Malaya.

The British Trade Dollar appeared in China as a result of the Opium Wars (1839-1843, 1856-1860), when China tried to stop Britain from selling opium to its citizens. The looser of the Opium War, China, opened up a number of ports to British, including Hong Kong. As a result foreign banks were established, and large silver coins from all over the world began arriving to pay for tea, silk, and Chinese porcelain to be shipped abroad.

The British Trade Dollars, minted exclusively for use in the Far East. On the one side of dollars is Britannia standing on shore, holding a trident in one hand and balancing a British shield in the other, with a merchant ship under full sail in the background. On the reverse of dollar is an arabesque design with the Chinese symbol for longevity in the center, and the denomination in two languages— Chinese and Jawi Malay. The British Trade Dollar was a silver coin. It is 420 grains in weight, composed of 90% silver and 10% copper, as opposed to the 412 grains of a standard US silver dollar of the time period. The diameter The British Trade Dollars were 39.0 millimeters.

The British Trade Dollars had different marks depending of the mint center. Thus, dollars with the mint mark “B” were produced at the Bombay mint; dollars marked by “C”, were struck in Calcutta. The mint mark “C” can be found in the ground between the left foot of Britannia and the base of the shield. And the mint mark “B” is located in the centre prong of the trident. The 1921-B dollar was struck but never released for circulation, and only a limited number of 1934-B and 1935-B coins were released. Certain dates are found with a new date being over-struck on another; these include 1897-B over 1896-B, 1900-B over 1894-B, 1901-B over 1900-B, 1909-B over 1908-B, 1904-B over 1898-B, 1903-B over 1902-B, 1908-B over 1903-B, 1904-B over 1903-B, 1929-B over 1901-B, 1908-B over 1907-B, and 1910-B over 1900-B. The British Trade Dollar was demonetized on August 1, 1937 numismatic history where a coin of the realm has been demonetized, although that was changed in 1982 when the coin again became legal tender.

The quantity of produced British Trade Dollars in 1911 having the largest number issued of any year, 37.5 million.

Reference : silvercoinand.com

1 Dollar - 1897

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