1/2 Cent, Issued by, New Brunswick, 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, NEW BRUNSWICK
In 1860 New Brunswick adopted a decimal system based on the gold dollar of the United States of America unlike Nova Scotia where their dollar had been set at 5 to the pound sterling. 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 but while Nova Scotia required a 1/2 cent denomination to play a part in change for a sixpence, New Brunswick did not. The Royal Mint prepared 1/2 cent coins for both colonies but the mistake was soon noted and most of the New Brunswick 1/2 cents were melted. A few hundred (including this example) from the 220,800 pieces struck at the Royal Mint 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.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
Type of item
20 mm (Outside Diameter), 2.79 g (Weight)
[Book] Bruce, Colin R. 2006. Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1801 - 1900.