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Recollections from Jamaica's history

Published:Friday | November 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Jamaican one penny
Jamaican one penny

In our continuing journey to showcase pieces of Jamaica's history through artefacts and antiquities, we throw the spotlight on the Jamaican one penny

On November 11 1869, the British Order In Council and Proclamation authorised two coins to be struck for use in Jamaica. One of these coins was the Jamaican one penny. It is considered one of the first Jamaican coins as it bore the Jamaican crest, and later, the Jamaican Coat of Arms.

The first pennies were made of cupro-nickel and were weighed the same as the English coins of similar value, but they had the Jamaican Coat of Arms on the reverse and an image of the reigning monarch on the obverse.

Alterations in the designs of these first Jamaican coins were made when British sovereigns changed. The sizes were reduced in 1937, and an updated version of the Coat of Arms was used in 1964, following independence in 1962.

- Information compiled by Sharifa Balfour, assistant curator, National Museum Jamaica, Institute of Jamaica.