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Reference For Anchor Money?

 
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Valued Member
Canada
428 Posts
 Posted 10/22/2020  09:10 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Silver101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm interested in locating a decent reference guide for the Anchor money. These coins, as I understand it, were initially minted for Mauritius but were mostly circulated in the West Indies and, to some extent, in Canada. I have a few of them and would like to know more about varieties, grading....all the usual stuff. They're sort of an odd-ball that doesn't really belong to anyone and, I guess as a result, I can't find much to read about them in any of the books I have.

Any assistance would be appreciated!
Valued Member
Canada
78 Posts
 Posted 10/22/2020  3:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add blargish to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know much about these guys, but here's the information that's available to me.

Regarding rarity, on a scale of 1-6, Breton gave a designation for each denomination and year in his 1894 monograph.

1 Dollar: 1820, R 4 ; 1822, R 3.5
1/4 Dollar: 1820, R 2.5 ; 1822, R 1.5
1/8 Dollar: 1820, R 2 ; 1822, R 1.5
1/16 Dollar: 1820, R 2 ; 1822, R 1.5

The 1820 dated pieces seem somewhat scarcer than those numbers would indicate.

Below is a paragraph from the Museum of Victoria website that provides additional useful information (https://collections.museumsvictoria...tems/1409092).

From 1817 the British government turned its attention to the perceived need for a colonial coinage based on the Spanish dollar. The colonial coinage, generally known as Anchor Money from the anchor featured on the reverse, was developed. The coins were struck on the Spanish dollar silver, .892 fine. The first issue, dated 1820, was sent to Mauritius (in the denominations 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 dollar). A second issue , dated 1822 was sent both to Mauritius (with the additional denomination 1/2 dollar) and the British West Indies (1/2 dollars not sent at that time). The system was not a success with both areas eventually moving to the sterling system. In 1826, when Mauritius went over to sterling, remaining anchor money 1/2 dollar pieces were transferred to the British West Indies, these all bore the date 1822. Dies were prepared at The Royal Mint bearing the date 1821 but, with the exception of a single 1/2 dollar now in the British Museum collection, the dates on the dies were modified to read 1822 (on some coins the modification of the dies show up as an overdate, 1822 over 1821. In addition to the unique 1821 piece, Pridmore also records 1820 denominations in the name of George III, it is uncertain what his source for these pieces was, The Royal Mint does not hold examples nor dies for such an issue.

As for varieties, I only know of the 1822/1 overdate (not sure which denominations it occurs on, but have definitely seen it on the 1 and 1/4 dollar), and the fact that (all?) 1822 1/4 dollars without an overdate have a repunched 2.

I am not aware of any existing catalog that goes into much detail on this series, but I hope that this was somewhat helpful. Would love to see pictures at some point!

Cheers
Valued Member
Canada
428 Posts
 Posted 10/22/2020  5:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Silver101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting - that's helpful! Can I ask for a clarification? I'm not familiar with the 6 point scale - does 6 mean scarce and 1 mean common?

As regards photos - none of the examples I have are in particularly great shape. But I find them to be quite intriguing - their origin is decidedly odd and they are different than any of the other coins of the British Empire that I know of. As regards how they're treated during auction, it seems practically random. Prices range for a few bucks to a few thousand bucks. No one knows what to make of these beasties.

Valued Member
Canada
78 Posts
 Posted 10/22/2020  6:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add blargish to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, it actually starts at 0, common as dirt, to 6, which is unique or only a few specimens in existence. The scale is outdated and somewhat inconsistent (eg. Breton 1000, of which only 2 were known to exist, is for some reason listed as R 4.5), but it usually serves as a decent benchmark.

In general, I feel anything R 3 or above is pretty difficult to come by, and anything R 2 or above is relatively scarce.

And I've been eyeing a few specimens on eBay myself for a while, but I don't have a sense of what price I should be buying at! You've inspired me and I hope to be able to pick one up soon They apparently circulated in Canada enough and were well enough known to Canadian collectors to the point that Breton (and others) felt a need to include them in his catalogue.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
2452 Posts
 Posted 10/22/2020  8:53 pm  Show Profile   Check Wade's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Wade to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hard cash was extremely scarce in Canada during this time period, so anything that circulated with any regularity was considered "Canadian".

These "anchor" coins are hard to find in anything above XF without taking out a bank loan (with F seeming to be average). Prices are all over the map and appears high compared to interest in the pieces.

I have several that I paid in the $40-$50 range for (F/VF examples). I've seen AU's asking in the $700-$800s+

Interesting pieces, but personally I think over rated & over priced
Coin Collecting... "I'm in it for the money"
Valued Member
United States
249 Posts
 Posted 10/22/2020  10:47 pm  Show Profile   Check 1960NYGiants's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 1960NYGiants to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 10th edition of Charlton Canadian Colonial Tokens pages 231 thru 234 has some photos of the 1822 and 1822/1 varieties. The only date(s) considered related to Canada due to Trade with The British West Indies.

The 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 dollar issues are fairly easy to come by. The half dollar is tough to find.
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9128 Posts
 Posted 10/22/2020  11:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TNG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I missed out on a nice half dollar cheap and will never forget it. You don't see them cheap or very often.
These are my three more commonly seen ones in my Canadian Colonial Coin Collection.
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Valued Member
Canada
428 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2020  06:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Silver101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks @TNG....those are roughly the grade that I've got for those three as well. And agreed 100% @Wade - they're often over-priced if they're in halfway decent shape. The argument in their favour is that they're so different than anything else that was circulating in Canada at the time and also quite distinctive and easily recognized. To me, this is the appeal rather than scarcity.
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