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The Coins And Banknotes Of Fiji!

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Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/16/2021  11:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Before we get to those juicy florins, my standard collection got a bit larger!




1950 Halfpenny - Uncirculated

This is an important addition as the coin is of a type I did not have, showed the "King George the Sixth" effigy on a Penny or Halfpenny (The thread previously did not have this effigy displayed).

Plus none of these later George VI halfpennies are that common!

Even more interesting is an Uncirculated 1941 Penny, another date I did not have and not particularly common either!




Showing the inner and the Obverse of this coin

Even better is the metal deposit on the inner rim, possible cud or poor finishing. I have not bothered with Reverse as you can see the reverse of early KGVI pennies on the post about them.

Very welcome additions.

Also just got 90% of all the decimal coins ever issued very cheaply including many scarce dates!
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Pillar of the Community
Australia
3199 Posts
 Posted 06/17/2021  04:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add triggersmob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A couple of beautiful additions PrinceTane.

Yes, I'm jealous. :)

Steve :)
View my Coins here, (NOW WITH OVER 16,000 IMAGES).... http://www.coincommunity.org/galler...hp?cat=10048
OFEC count = 237
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2021  01:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Florins - Part One - Georges

The biggest and most interesting of all the Fijian coins is the Florin. No Halfcrowns were issued mainly as there were 5 shilling notes circulating and thus no such coin was needed.

The other strange thing about the Florins, was the designs share the same blocky faux art deco look of most of Percy Metcalfe's work, the coat of arms is actually Kruger Grey's work (He often designed the shields/coats of arms).

And what a juicy coin these are, 11.32grams and 28.5mm in size, a big slab of a coin and with 50 or 90 % silver in the early days, this was a valuable piece. Especially in a low income society like Fiji.




1936 George V Florin - VF

The 3 years of George V all had Florins, a high first year coinage of 200k, and much lower numbers of 50k and 65k for 1935/36. My coin is a 1936.

King George VI also saw very low numbers of Florins for the first years, the 1937, 38 and 41 florins were only 30k and 20k for the 2 later years each. I have none of these coins as they are just mega rare. They cost real money too.

Again the 90% silver florins of 1942/43 are fairly common next to the others and I have 2 very examples of these.


1942 Florin AU


1943 Florin EF


The heads shot of these coins.

Mintages were high at 250k per year each and of all the silver Florins are the easiest to get despite the higher silver content.

Unlike the other silver coins, there was a further mintage of 100k coins in 1945 which were 50% silver like the earlier ones.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
06/18/2021 03:38 am
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2021  03:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Florins - Elizabeth

After 1945 no more Florins were issued until 1957 and again these later coins were in base metal.

I don't have any of them at this time. But its the same design as earlier coins and imagine the Crowned Lizzie effigy on the back.

Steve, NumisRob anymore if you have them show em.

They were minted in 5 years and reasonable numbers.

1957 - 300k, 1958 - 220k, 1962 and 1964 - 200k each, and 1965 - 400k.

I used to have all of them, but sold them years ago when I was not interested in Fiji, big mistake!

And after decimal changeover, the coin became 20cents and this was also the biggest coin in use until 1975.

Now a bit of a break and we will go DECIMAL.

Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Pillar of the Community
Australia
3199 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2021  05:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add triggersmob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Steve, NumisRob anymore if you have them show em.


Ask and you shall receive.
But this is the only one I have.



Steve :)
View my Coins here, (NOW WITH OVER 16,000 IMAGES).... http://www.coincommunity.org/galler...hp?cat=10048
OFEC count = 237
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
9258 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2021  1:24 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Steve, NumisRob anymore if you have them show em.

I've got two - a 1958 and an environmentally toned 1962 with what JBuck might call a nice circulation cameo!


I've also discovered I've got another coin type that hasn't been illustrated yet - a 1947 threepence with the legend 'George VI King Emperor':
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2021  3:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks NumisRob and Steve, I knew I could count on you guys.

Rob I don't think the 3d is an error, the first year of 1947 was still emperor days. My coins I showed were 1950 and 1952 after the change to "King George the Sixth" on the colonial coinage.

Also its the standard 1938/47 effigy, the 37 had the word King on the left side of George's head. But this would not exist for a coin only minted 1947 onwards.

But a welcome coin as we did not have any 1947 Threepences originally!
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
9258 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2021  3:19 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Rob I don't think the 3d is an error,

No, I didn't mean to imply that it was an error - I just thought I'd post it as we didn't have a picture of that particular coin type on this thread!

Love your George V silver florin, by the way!
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United States
104017 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2021  3:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not sure how I missed out on this topic when it premiered, but I am glad to have found it. Great stuff!
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/19/2021  12:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And it gets better, Decimal coins and banknotes to follow.

Fiji is very attractive to us New Zealanders in June!
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2021  02:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fijian Decimal Coins - The Introduction

A great resource, the interesting tale of dealing with banknotes that will not burn and the dumping of 3d coins over deep water (They were not recyclable like the rest)
https://www.rbf.gov.fj/core-functio...is-currency/

Decimal day in Fiji was January 13th 1969 and some 33.8 million coins were placed into circulation (Bear in mind it was 270 million in New Zealand and some 1.45 billion in Australia). Unlike those countries the coins stopped at 20 cents - well okay they put out 70k of a large dollar commemorative - but these were meant as souvenirs rather than circulation coins (Notes from 50 cents to $20 were also issued), some did circulate.



The set of 5 coins released in 1969 (There will be MANY more images of the various coins).

Fijian decimal coins are more complicated than predecimal ones and there were several phases I will follow.

1. Cupronickel large coins 1969 - 1987
2. Steel large coins 1990 - 2006
3. Steel small coinage 2009 - 2014
Including 2012 non Queen coinage.

Later additions to the Fijian coin lineup.

First of all Fiji did not convert to decimal currency with Australia or New Zealand. When these countries convertyed several Pacific Island nations and territories followed.

Australia converted on February 14th 1966 and with them followed Papua and New Guinea, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Gilbert and Ellice Islands (Now Tuvalu and Kiribati).

New Zealand followed suit 17 months later on July 10 1967 and with them the NZ territories of Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue and also the nations of Western Samoa and Tonga adopted decimal currencies.

The French and American territories were already decimal so that left Fiji all alone using sterling until 1969!

A total of 33.8 million coins were minted at Llantrisant and Canberra and stored in a new lock up vault next to Government buildings. Public education had carried on since 1967 and all the coins were dated 1969.

To add to this, Fiji would gain independence finally on 10 October 1970, so a new coinage would complement it.

More soon.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2021  05:19 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
More general facts about Fijian coins

I will go into "MUCH MORE" detail with each coin later.

From what I can find out, it seems the 1 cent to 20 cents in 1969, the 50 cents and $1 were all designed by L.Ken Payne an American Bronze Sculptor (1938 - 2010) who was living in Fiji at the time.

I am not 100% certain that this Ken Payne who designed the Fijian coins was the same who made bronze "Frederic Remington" style sculptures of mustangs and things.

The 1969/1970 $1 , $2 and commems like 1977 - 1982 FAO cents, 1995 FAO 5 cent and 2003 South Pacific Games I can't find designers for.


Arnold Machin portrait used 1969 to 1985



Raphael Maklouf effigy used 1986 - 2010

The other strange thing about decimal coins, was the Machin effigy was used on all coins from 1969 to 1985 and the Maklouf one from 1986 right through to 2010. No Jodi Clark or Ian Rank Broadley effigy was ever used on modern Fijian circulation coins.

I will also NOT be mentioning or using any of the non circulating legal tender coins. They have issued these since the first dollars, but since about 2000 all sorts of chintzy and gimmicky rubbish has been released with a Fijian flag like Bottlecap dollars, superheroes and American themes issued in precious metals at gross mark ups. I have no interest in any of this rot. Let me make this CRYSTAL CLEAR as we go forward.

Slightly better coins like the Silver bullion and Gold rounds I will not report yet at this stage yet either (But I will post some NICE banknotes at a later stage)

Strictly the main coins only that every day Fijian people and visitors to this beautiful country use.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2021  8:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Decimal coins the Designs - Part 1

A basic introduction to all the coin designs used 1969 - 2017 In 3 posts, this post basic 1969 designs
2nd post, later designs
3rd post some special and one off designs.

My information is from the Online coin club page, Reserve Bank of Fiji and Numista websites.

Fijian words are italics, for plurals I have not used "s" as Fijian like most Melanesian and Polynesian languages does use plurals in a word but through the preceding conjunctive words like na (singular) etc.



1 cent - 1969 to 2006, Kava serving bowl - Tanoa

This shows a Kava serving bowl known as a Tanoa. The Fijians call Kava, the native alcohol of the Pacific - Yaqona and the presentation and consumption of it in a ceremony is called Sevusevu. The participants sit in a circle in which the Kava is scooped from the Tanoa and passed and drunk from a dipper (Previously coconut shell, now a cup or large tin) around the circle, each person takes a mouthful and passes the dipper around. The kava ceremony is done throughout Polynesia and Melanesia except New Zealand where it is too cold for Kava to grow, but this does not stop Pasifika people using it.

Kava is a leafy plant with a root in which the drink is made from. It has alcoholic, sedative and euphoric properties. Tanoa are made from hardwood, although in the past Turtle shells, gourds and lately metal have been used - traditional ones and this one are hardwood.

Although traditional and a nice process in moderation, Kava drinking in excess can lead to drunkeness and violence and is also considered unhygenic as people often drink the Kava in a communal "Loving cup ceremony" which can spread germs. During Fiji's current Covid outbreak, Kava ceremonies have been banned or limited in most areas.

The Tanoa will also make another appearance on the $2 coin in 2012.


2 cents 1969 - 2006, Palm leaf fan

This coin shows a fan made out of palm leaf, it is merely used to keep the holder cool and is an ancient adaption to the hot climate of the Islands. It does not state on the Fijian Bank website, Online coin club or Numista what palm it is made from.



5 cents - Fijian drum or Tali, 1969 - present

This is a large drum seen in Fijian villages. the Tali is the hollowed out trunk of some large Hardwood tree and also has a large slit at the top. Included are one or two "Drumsticks" made out of a wood with percussive qualities. These drums give out a loud resonant sound and really are part of the "Bush drums", used to communicate from village to village and also an intravillage communication device, Tali are a unique part of traditional Fijian culture. On a more practical level they are used in music and dance on these islands too.


10 cents - Throwing club - Ula tavatava - 1969 - present

This is a old throwing club with a notched and multi bulbed head designed to crack your foe's skull open in war. A traditional war instrument again made out of wood. Rumour has it this particular club is based on one owned by King Cakobau who ceded the Fijian Islands to the British in 1874 and ruled outright by himself earlier on.


20 cents - Whale tooth ornament - Tabua
1969 - Present.


A traditional ornament to be worn around the neck, this tabua features a large whale's tooth and is on a coconut fibre rope (Known as Muka in Maori, but not sure about Fijian word). The ornaments are precious and often passed down generation to generation, the Fijian form of a Hei Tiki.


One Dollar 1969 - Coat of Arms

The one off dollar of 1969 featured a coat of arms showing the Fijian shield with a Fijian outrigger at top and the Fijian on the right holds a ula tavatava. The motto underneath is in Fijian "Rerevaka na talou ka doka na Tui" - Fear God and Honour the King (Peter 2:10) a verse relevant to Fiji and from the Bible.

Not my image as I don't have it yet.

The coins are slightly wonky as these are scans, I wanted sharp images for this post!
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
06/20/2021 10:50 pm
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2968 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2021  11:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Decimal coins the designs - Part 2

These coins were all added later than 1969.



50 cents 1975 - present, Takia (Canoe) with 2 men and frigate birds around sails

This coin was added to the series in 1975 out of inflation and featured another design by Ken Payne. Unlike the other coins, there was no toothed border on the rim. The coin was also 12 sided like the Australian 50 cent coin.

A low income economy like Fiji, ensured the 50 cent coin denomination was not needed straight away, but inflation by 1975 ensured it was. It replaced the note. Many Fijian people in villages needed the coins for day to day food purchases, where there was little electricity or refrigeration, you needed to buy 10 cents worth of cooking oil or a 20 cent fish each day.



50 cent note used from 1969 to 1974 (1971 version)

The coin was well designed and large and was issued infrequently through to 2000. In 2009 like with the other coins it was reissued in reduced size and out of steel.

The boat is slightly different from the one on the shilling and despite being a Takia, it is referred to as a Camakua (Kamakua) on the 2012 named 50 cent coin.


$1 showing "Saqamoli" a ceramic water bottle - 1995 to present

This coin was issued in 1995 to replace the $1 note as again inflation rendered it worthless. The coin shows a Saqamoli which is a calabash like water bottle made out of clay. Fiji was one of the few islands to retain the pottery making skills of the Lapita culture (Later cultures in Polynesia lost this skill and used calabashes made out of gourds (Known as Hue in Maori), turtle shells, other shells and wooden bowls for storing water and other liquids.

Ken Payne again designed this coin.

The coin was issued every year from 1995 to 2000 and then again in 2010 in a much thinner planchet. Unlike the cents coin, the coin always had the word "Saqamoli" on it.


$2 - Tanoa (Kava serving bowl) - 2012 - now

The denomination was added in 2012 and as that was the year Fiji got booted out of the Commonwealth for the 3rd coup in 25 years and military rule, it did not feature the Queen, but a Peregrine falcon as well.

The Tanoa could be reused as the 1 cent coin had been demonitised back in 2008 and this Tanoa is slightly larger and more refined than the one on the 1 cent. In front is also a coconut fibre rope that has several cowrie shells attached to it. It plays some part in the Sevusevu, but I am not sure (A speakers whisk or to be worn by the server of the yaqona?).

I am also not certain who designed this coin, as Ken Payne if its the Ken Payne I think it is, died in 2010 and the only way its his design - is if he had designed it years earlier.

Also in 2012 the reverses of these coins lost the Queen's portrait and they were replaced with fauna. These designs will be discussed later when we reach the later era of decimal coins.

Because of no regular coin issues since 2014, apart from the Fiji 7's commemorative coin of 2017 - The Queen has not reappeared on a Fijian coin since 2010.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
06/20/2021 11:28 pm
Pillar of the Community
Australia
3199 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2021  06:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add triggersmob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Some great information there PrinceTane. I always wondered what that was on the $1 coin, but never got around to looking it up.
Here is a picture from my trip to Fiji in 2013, showing a kava making ceremony, not a traditional one, but just staged for us tourist. No I didn't try the kava for the reason PrinceTane stated before. Everyone drinking from the same cup.


Steve :)

View my Coins here, (NOW WITH OVER 16,000 IMAGES).... http://www.coincommunity.org/galler...hp?cat=10048
OFEC count = 237
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