Half cent: coin of Straits Settlements (British Malaysia)


Half cent (1/2 cent), 1845: Straits Settlements (East India Company)

Half cent (1/2 cent), 1845: Straits Settlements (East India Company)

Wikipedia: "Straits Settlements — group of British territories located in Southeast Asia. Originally established in 1826 as part of the territories controlled by the British East India Company. In 1946, following the end of the Second World War and the Japanese occupation, the colony was dissolved as part of Britain's reorganisation of its dependencies in the area".

Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901) — by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India.



The first Straits Settlements coins were dated 1845 and did not contain the legend "Straits Settlements" (only the inscription "East India Company" is present), the next series (coins of 1862) are marked "India Straits".


Portrait of the Queen.

Coin design: William Wyon (official chief engraver at the Royal Mint from 1828 until 1851).

Mintage: 18.737.498.

  • Copper: 22 mm - 4.53 g
  • Reference price: 20$

COIN HALF CENT — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (1793-1857): half cent = 1/2 cent = 1/200 dollar
  2. CANADIAN PROVINCES (1861-1864) — NEW BRUNSWICK + NOVA SCOTIA: half cent = 1/2 cent = 1/200 dollar
  3. EAST AFRICA PROTECTORATE (1908-1909): half cent = 1/2 cent = 1/200 rupee
  4. REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE (1964-1980): half cent = 1/2 cent = 1/200 leone
  5. BRITISH CEYLON (1870-1940): half cent = 1/2 cent = 1/200 rupee
  6. BRITISH MALAYSIA (1845-1933) — SARAWAK + STRAITS SETTLEMENTS + NORTH BORNEO: half cent = 1/2 cent = 1/200 dollar

HALF CENT as coin name.
Half Cent — obsolete denomination of coins of several mainly English-speaking issuers, which was equal to 1/2 cent.
The first coins bearing the inscription HALF CENT were the half cents of 1793 minted by the United States of America (Philadelphia Mint). Later, this denomination, the smallest for the USA, became popular. However, not for long: already in 1857, the coin was issued for the last time to this day (we are talking about the USA).
American half cents have always been decorated with the symbolic image of Liberty (a female figure). Depending on the style of execution of the fantasy portrait, several types of coins are distinguished: Liberty Cap; Draped Bust; Classic Head; Braided Hair (Liberty with and without the Phrygian cap, with braided and unbraided hair...).
Different fractional denominations (1/12, 1/6, 1/4, 1/2...) are not considered rare in world numismatics. The situation with the cents of dozens of countries in the world is no exception. 1/2 cents can often be found in coin catalogs of the Netherlands, Cyprus, South Africa, French Indochina...
But the denomination, indicated directly in the "half cent" format, in addition to the USA, is characteristic only of Canada, British East Africa, Sierra Leone, Ceylon, Sarawak, Straits Settlements, North Borneo...
The name of the half cent coin apparently indicates its equivalence to the 1/2 of cent. It is interesting that the half cent as a separate, iconic denomination is considered among numismatists mainly in relation to only the corresponding US coin.