1/2 Dollar, Issued by Pulau Pinang, Penang, Prince of Wales Island, Malaysia, 1788
Minted by Calcutta Mint, India
United East India Company's bale mark; below 1788, the date divided by a star
In Arabic script "Jezirah Perrinsa ab Wallis" (Prince of Wales Island)
Production of the three denominations of 1788 dated silver coins for Penang probably began in late December 1787 at which time the Calcutta mint master wrote to Captain Light. Light found the 1/10th dollar denomination most useful and requested an additional 5000 rupees worth of these coins. He felt that the initial supply of 1/4 and 1/2 dollar coins was greater than needed. Some early cataloguers may have been misled and recorded the denominations of the three coins as rupee, 1/2 rupee and 1/4 rupee whereas the correct denominations are 1/2 dollar, 1/4 dollar and 1/10 dollar. Pridmore suggests that this denomination (1/2 dollar) never saw much use on the island, although this example shows wear, particularly on the reverse.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15/3/1976
Type of item
13.247 g (Weight)
Exhibition Collection Management
31 mm (Width)
KM#7 (Malay Peninsula, Penang) Pridmore 9 Pridmore, Fred. 1955. Coins and Coinages of the Straits Settlements and British Malaya 1786 to 1951, p. 14-15
[Book] Bruce, Colin R. 2007. Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1701 - 1800.
[Book] Pridmore, Fred. 1955. Coins and Coinages of the Straits Settlements and British Malaya 1786 to 1951.