Proof 1/2 Cent, Issued by, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1861
Minted by Royal Mint, London
Laureate bust of the Queen facing left; around, VICTORIA D:G: BRIT: REG: F:D:
Within a wreath of roses and mayflowers, a beaded circle around a crown above the date 1861; around above, HALF CENT; below, NOVA SCOTIA
In 1859 Nova Scotia adopted the decimal system. Their dollar would equal 1/5 th of a pound sterling. In Nova Scotia therefore the British 6 pence, a coin in circulation in Nova Scotia, equaled 12 1/2 cents so Nova Scotia needed a 1/2 cent denomination so that change couuld be given for a 6 pence. In 1860 New Brunswick also adopted a decimal system but based on the gold dollar of the United States of America. The outcome of this was that the British 6 pence was worth 12 cents in New Brunswick but 12 1/2 cents in Nova Scotia. Both colonies ordered new decimal coins from the Royal Mint dated 1861. New Brunswick did not need the 1/2 cent denomination but the Royal Mint prepared 1/2 cent coins for both colonies. The mistake was soon noted and most of the New Brunswick 1/2 cents were melted. A few hundred from the 220,800 pieces struck are thought to have survived by being mixed with the Nova Scotia 1/2 cents and then shipped to Halifax. They did not circulate in New Brunswick, but in Nova Scotia.
This coin formed part of the Mint's exhibit at both Melbourne International Exhibitions
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
Type of item
20 mm (Outside Diameter), 2.817 g (Weight)
[Book] Bruce, Colin R. 2006. Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1801 - 1900.