Similar items over time

Coin - 1/2 Penny, St Helena, 1821 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 48174

1/2 Penny, Issued by St. Helena, 1821
Minted by Soho Mint, Birmingham
Statement Of Significance:
The East India Company initiated this coinage with an order to the Soho Mint, Birmingham on 27 March 1821. At that time the Island of St. Helena was the prison of Napoleon. The coins were needed not so much for the people of the island as for the large force of British soldiers acting as guards. Napoleon died on 5 May 1821, the coins shipped on 5 June in 44 casks weighing over 6 tons. Most were not needed but were held, still in the casks until 1831 when over 5 tons were shipped back to England and sold as copper back to the Soho Mint.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Robert Edwards - Museum of Victoria, 1984
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 29 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 9.40 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: british empire coins, napoleon bonaparte, british commonwealth and empire coins
Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: COINS
Secondary Classification: St Helena
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
DateEra: 1821 AD
Denomination: 1/2 Penny
Obverse Description: Shield quartered with arms of France and England in the first quarter, with crest of helmet on which a lion rampant holding an imperial crown; two lions rampant as supporters each with a banner and inner foot on globe; below, incuse on ribbon, AUSP. REGIS & SENATUS ANGLIAE
Reverse Description: Within a laurel wreath, ST. HELENA / 1821 / HALFPENNY
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: round
Material: Copper
Issued By: East India Company, St Helena, 1821
Artist: John Sherriff - Soho (Mint), Birmingham, Great Britain, 1821

Not mentioned by Doty who does discuss two men called Sherriff who worked for Soho - George, an engineer involved with the Russian mint, and John, who is recorded working on dies for Central American coins in the early 1830s and is presumed to be the engraver of the 1821 St. Helena couinage mentioned by Vice (p.231).
References: Vice 3
  1. [Book], Mr David Vice - Peter Ireland (Format) Ltd., The Coinage of British West Africa & St. Helena 1684 - 1958, Birmingham, 1983, 227-237 Pages
  2. [Book], Mr Colin Bruce - Krause Publications, Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1801 - 1900, 2006, 999 Pages
  3. [Book], Dr Richard Doty - Smithsonian Institute Numismatics, The Soho Mint and the Industrialization of Money, Smithsonian Institution, Cambridge, England, 1998, 332-333 Pages

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.


This item is part of the following themes:

Yes No