1/2 Penny, Issued by St. Helena, 1821
Minted by Soho Mint, Birmingham

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



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.

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