1/2 Penny, Issued by St. Helena, 1821
Minted by Soho Mint, Birmingham
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
Within a laurel wreath, ST. HELENA / 1821 / HALFPENNY
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.
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
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).
Type of item
9.386 g (Weight)
Vice 3 KM#A4
[Book] Vice, David. 1983. The Coinage of British West Africa & St. Helena 1684 - 1958., 227-237 Pages
[Book] Bruce, Colin R. 2006. Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1801 - 1900., 999 Pages
[Book] Doty, Richard. 1998. The Soho Mint and the Industrialization of Money., 332-333 Pages