1/2 Cent, Issued by, New Brunswick, Canada, 1861
Minted by Royal Mint, London

Obverse Description

Laureate bust of the Queen facing left; around, VICTORIA D:G: BRIT: REG: F:D:

Reverse Description

Within a wreath of roses and mayflowers, a beaded circle around a crown above the date 1861; around above, HALF CENT; below, NEW BRUNSWICK

Edge Description



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.

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