Coins from British territories have a habit of making an unexpected appearance in our change.
Finding one in your change is an annoyance on one hand as the coins are not legal tender in the UK. On the other hand, from a collecting point of view, new and interesting designs are always a bonus!
The Bailiwick of Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and is situated off the coast of Normandy, France. As a British Crown dependency, Pound Sterling is the official currency of the island. However, Jersey started issuing the Jersey Pound in 1841 not as a separate currency, but as an issue of banknotes and coins by the State of Jersey.
Jersey has a population of just over 100,000 and as with all coins from the British Isles, mintage figures are always expected to be quite low.
When is a Penny not a Penny?
When it’s 1/12 of a Shilling. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, the pound was divided into twenty shillings or 240 pennies. So before decimalisation in 1971, 1/12 of a Shilling would have amounted to 1 Penny.
The Penny by another name…
During Queen Elizabeth ΙΙ’s reign, Jersey issued three commemorative 1/12th shilling coins – this penny marks the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest and is the last bronze 1/12th of a shilling issued during the Old Elizabeth ΙΙ coinage, 1954-1966.
Before decimalisation, Jersey, as a British Crown Dependency, was required to use the crowned effigy of the Queen on the obverse of its coins. This coin features Cecil Thomas’ famous crowned portrait of Her Majesty the Queen with the simple legend ‘QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND’.
The reverse, designed by Georgie Edward Kruger Gray, features the Jersey Coat of Arms containing three lions and the dates ‘1066’ and ‘1966’ divided either side of the shield. The Jersey Coat of Arms derives from the seal granted to the island by King Edward Ι in 1279.
As the last 1/12th of a shilling coin issued during the Old Elizabeth ΙΙ coinage this 1/12th shilling has become a coveted collector’s item.
Click here to own a Jersey 1/12th of a Shilling Coin
Today is the last day that police will guard the grounds of the Royal Mint in Llantrisant.
The 35-acre headquarters have been secured by the Ministry of Defense Police 365 days a year, for nearly 40 years.
The Royal Mint has been guarded by MoD police since it located to Wales in 1968 but the security of the site was reviewed a couple of months ago when the state-of-the-art £7m Visitor Centre opened its doors to the public.
The new private security team of trained guards will take over the responsibility of round the clock security of the Royal Mint from today onwards.
G4S will be the first private sector company to guard the Royal Mint in its 1,130-year history and has confirmed the contract to secure one of Britain’s oldest and most prestigious institutions will last three years with an optional two-year extension.
The team positioned with responsibility of patrolling the grounds 24-hours a day will include highly trained, professional, ex-Gurkha personnel.
I’m sure you’ll agree that 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for coin collectors with so many significant anniversaries being commemorated and some fantastic designs.
So which coins are you most looking forward to finding in your change?
2016 marks the 950th Anniversary of The Battle of Hastings. The reverse of the coin depicts the fate of King Harold at the hands of William The Conqueror, along with the date 1066 – when the battle took place. The obverse features the fifth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.
The Great Fire is one of the most well-known disasters to hit London, when an accidental spark from a baker’s oven on Pudding Lane led to the destruction of a third of the city. This £2 coin marks the 350th anniversary of this iconic moment from which modern London emerged. The reverse depicts the city of London burning in flames from a distance and was designed by Aaron West.
Continuing the 4 year commemoration of the Centenary of the First World War, the third in the series of £2 coins commemorates the ‘Pals Battalions’ and their tragic debut at the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago. The design features a modern interpretation of three ‘Pals’ side by side, inspired by the works of British WWI artist C.R.W. Nevinson.
2016 marks 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. In honour of one of our greatest literary figures, The Royal Mint have issued three brand new £2 coins that honour an aspect of Shakespeare’s famous work including tragedies, comedies and histories.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, the Royal Mint have released a series of 50p coins to celebrate the artist behind some of the best-loved characters in children’s literature. The coins celebrate Beatrix herself as well as some of the animals from her children’s tales.
To wish Team GB success in Rio de Janeiro this summer, The Royal Mint issued this Team GB 50p coin just last month. The reverse features a swimmer with the Team GB logo, the Olympic rings and the inscription “TEAM GB”.
Here at Change Checker we can’t wait for these coins to enter into circulation, but with so many great designs to choose from, which of these designs is your favourite?
Vote in our poll here;