Stiver: coin of British Ceylon; 1/48 rixdollar


1 stiver, 1815: British Ceylon

1 stiver, 1815: British Ceylon

British Ceylon (officially British Settlements and Territories in the Island of Ceylon with its Dependencies from 1802 to 1833, then the Island of Ceylon and its Territories and Dependencies from 1833 to 1931 and finally the Island of Ceylon and its Dependencies from 1931 to 1948) — the British Crown colony of present-day Sri Lanka between 1796 and 1948 [Wikipedia].

Ruler: George III (George William Frederick) — King of Great Britain and of Ireland from 1760 until 1820. Both kingdoms were in a personal union under him until the Acts of Union merged them. He then became King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. He was concurrently Duke and Prince-elector of Brunswick-L√ľneburg in the Holy Roman Empire.


Sri Lankan elephant (Elephas maximus maximus).

Until 1830, elephants were so plentiful that their destruction was encouraged by the government, and rewards were paid for any that was killed. In the first half of the 19th century, forests in the montane zone were cleared large-scale for the planting of coffee, and afterward tea. The elephant population in the mountains was extirpated. During the British rule, many elephants were killed by trophy hunters. One of the British army majors is credited with having shot over 1.500 elephants. Between 1829 and 1855 alone, more than 6.000 elephants were captured and shot under order of colonial British Empire [Wikipedia].


Laureate bust of monarch.

Royal Mint (London, United Kingdom).

Mintage: 2.800.000.

  • Copper: 28 mm - 8.8 g
  • Reference price: 33$

COIN STIVER — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. BRITISH CEYLON (1803-1815): stiver = 1/48 rixdollar
  2. BRITISH COLONY OF DEMERARA-ESSEQUEBO (1813): stiver = 1/20 guilder

STIVER as coin name.
For about 400 years, starting from the 15th century, the stuiver coin was extremely common in the lands of the modern Netherlands. However, in numismatic catalogs, next to this name, an alternative spelling — stiver — is widely found. That is, stuiver and stiver are often equated. I do not agree with this.
In my opinion, these are two different coin names. Of course, they are closely related, but still they should be considered separately.
I believe the stiver is a newer but less common type of the historic Dutch stuiver coin. Exclusively the colonial variety. This name, in fact, was worn by stuivers issued by former Dutch possessions that came under the influence / power of colonial Great Britain. It was only on such coins that the denomination was indicated in the "stiver" format.
Two issuers of stiver coins are known — British Colony of Demerara-Essequibo in 1813 (modern Guyana) and British Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka) in 1815.
Regarding the origin of the coin name stiver, it can be argued that it is an Anglicized version of the Dutch coin name stuiver.