Proof 1 Cent, Issued by Hong Kong, 1941
Minted by Royal Mint, London

Obverse Description

Crowned head of George VI facing left; around, GEORGE VI KING AND EMPEROR OF INDIA; artist's initials, PM, below neck

Reverse Description

At centre within a circle of dots, four Chinese characters; around above, HONG-KONG; around below, . ONE CENT 1941 .

Edge Description



This example is a Proof of Record from the Royal Mint, sent to the Melbourne Branch after the war.
"Hong Kong had been living under the threat of invasion by the Japanese Imperial Army since it had occupied first the neighbouring Chinese Province of Kwantung (Guangdong) in November 1938, and then its capital, the city of Canton (Guangzhou) in October 1940. The proximity of hostilities had an immediate impact on Hong Kong's coinage. Apart from the increased demand created by Hong Kong's growing refugee population, there was also now a steady drain of the new nickel and old bronze coins into Japanese hands. Because of the demand for these metals in arms manufacture, the coins were now worth more as metal than as money. The Japanese authorities in Canton were importing coins from Hong Kong and melting them down to make the weapons with which they were soon to attack Hong Kong.
.... In the meanwhile the Government had sent a new order for coins to the Royal Mint. 5,000,000 1 cent and 1,851,800 5 cent pieces were made, but were not delivered to the Colony in time for them to be used. There is no evidence that the 5 cent pieces ever left England, but some of the 1 cent coins were already on their way. The 1 cent coins were sent in five consignments. One got as far as South Africa and was then returned to England for melting at the Mint; there is some evidence that one consignment reached Hong Kong just before it fell to the Japanese, but there was no time to issue them and they were captured and sent to Japan for melting. Only a few of the 1941 coins have survived ..." Cribb, Joe. 1987. Money in the Bank, The Hongkong Bank Money Collection, pp.79-80

More Information