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The Coins And Banknotes Of Fiji!

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Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2805 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2021  06:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is a great shot Steve and yes that is definitely staged though!

That is a great Tanoa in front too.
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
2805 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2021  06:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Decimal coins the designs - Part 3, Special coins and one offs

In addition to the "standard designs" several coins featured one offs and other designs.


F.A.O. Cent 1976 - 1982 - Sugar cane/wheat

This design was used from 1976 to 1982 on the one cent coin in place of the Tanoa which appeared on coins of 1969, 73, 75 and 85 onwards. I am not sure if this is sugarcane or wheat, but suspect its the former as Fiji grows lots of it. Part of the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture organisation) such coins appeared on less developed nations coins (Tonga also did a series in 1977 under Grow more food and every coin showed a different kind of food).


5 cents 1995 Harvest from the sea, also FAO

Unlike the 1 cent this was a one off issue for 1995 dated 5 cent coins only, showing a leaping fish (Possibly a snapper or wrasse). This coin encouraged traditional fishing and sea food gathering methods in Fiji as modern life and diets saw less of this and more consumption of unhealthy foods and ready made foods (Like fish fingers).



20 cents 2003 - South Pacific Games Suva - Flame

Also a one off coin, this was the last large 20 cent coin made and issued for the South Pacific Games which had occurred every few years since 1963 in the Pacific (Large nations like Aus and NZ banned). The games give small island nations a chance to win and medals and shine as in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games they are overwhelmed by the big flashy first world nations like the USA, China, UK etc.

A basic design showing the flame of the games.

The rest of the one offs (Faunal series of 2012 and the Delana and Fiji 7's coins will be shown later.
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
2805 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2021  07:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Final General notes before we hit the denominations

People of Fiji

Fiji has a long history with Lapita Polynesians settling the islands around 1,500BC. Around 0AD they were supplanted or moved on by Melanesians who make up the bulk of modern native Fijians. However the Rotuman Islands are Polynesian and even many Fijians have some Polynesian admixture due to strong links to Tonga and some links to Niue, Wallis and Futuna and even Tuvalu.
Melanesian links are to the neighbouring groups of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and even the coasts of Papua New Guinea.

Melanesian Fijians ruled supreme until around 1820AD (Apart from periods of Tongan rule and vice versa with Fijians in Tonga). Europeans arrived to trade and evangelise Fijians through the early to mid 19th century, a large trading port started at Levuka on Oavalu. The ruling king of the main Islands Viti and Vanua Levu, Cakobau was worried about blackbirders, pirates and unsavoury types in his islands and set up a kingdom around 1865. He asked the British to protect Fiji, but initially they refused, as Britain was worried about destructive effects of more colonisation of natives as the Maori wars raged in NZ. This was before the formation of Germany and the scrambling for colonies in the 1880s. Only the French posed any threat.

Finally around 1873 with Cakobau running his kingdom, he asked again as the French and Americans were making overtures to annex Fiji and make everyone Plantation slaves (Peruvians were already stealing up people from Niue, Fiji, Tuvalu, Solomons and Vanuatu for slavery in guano fields). In 1874 the British made Fiji a colony and began growing sugarcane there as they ahd lost most of their Caribbean holdings and India was no good for the lucrative Sugar industry. However many Fijians refused to work for them and subcontinent Indians were imported to Fiji from 1879 onwards to become labourers. The capital moved from Levuka to Suva on Viti Levu.

Many ended up staying and becoming Fijian residents, relations between Fijian natives and Indians were mixed from full assimilation and intermarriage to outright hostility and war. As the 20th century progressed the Europeans managed the country but never seemed to settle in any great numbers. Missionaries, traders and administrators made up the main contingent of people there. Also many Chinese arrived to be farmers, traders and labourers, to this day some 5% of the population is part or full Chinese like Health Minister James Fong.

Fiji was established as one of the larger and more important outposts in the Pacific, being a hub for other groups. The University of the South Pacific is head quartered in Suva which is the largest city in the Anglophone South Pacific area outside of Port Moresby and anything in Australia and New Zealand.

In 1942 Fiji become a fortress as Japan threatened the Pacific with the nearby Solomon Islands nearly falling to them, Suva was bombed at times and a landing strip was built at Nadi on the NW coast of Viti levu, this later became Fiji's international airport. After the War Fiji developed fast and it was obvious Independence was looming. Tourism was also becoming a big income earner.

In 1970 Fiji gained independence with an Indo Fijian government and through the 70s and early 80s developed fast, however tensions between Fijians and Indians surfaced and in 1987 a coup took place in which the Indian Prime Minister was pushed aside by Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka, an Indigenous Fijian.

Fiji has had 2 more coups, in 2000 by George Speight and 2010 by Voreqe (Frank) Bainamarama. Strangely with all these guys except Speight, they became democratically elected Presidents, Rabuka is still revered and Bainamarama remains popular despite the rampaging Covid outbreak. All realised how important tourism was to Fiji.

Today Fiji is about 900k people and some 94% are Fijian, Fijian mixed with Indian or Indian Fijian. Most of the Fijians are Christians (Protestants) whereas most Indians are Muslims (Some are Hindu and very few are Christian), because they mostly come from Gujarat which is mostly Muslim. Some 4 or 5% are Chinese or White, or mixed race. Since 1987 many Indo Fijians have immigrated - most to New Zealand or Australia.

Most people live subsistence agriculture although the land is good and a nice living can be made, cyclones though cause havoc along with sea level rising on islands like the Lau Group. Fiji's hot wet climate ensures plenty of fruit and vegetable growth and starvation is very rare. Some people live better thanks to tourism (Covid has done its carnage there) and a small group in commerce and Politics live very well.

Now some coins!
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
06/21/2021 3:01 pm
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United States
102132 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2021  10:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fantastic examples and a great history lesson!

Up until now, what I knew of Fiji came from an old AT&T commercial and watching the many seasons of Survivor that were staged there.


Pillar of the Community
Australia
662 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2021  8:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Basil to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Fantastic examples and a great history lesson!


Yes,Thanks for taking the time to Post.
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2805 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2021  9:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
JBuck - I honestly thought you guys would mostly know of Fiji through "Fiji" mineral water (And I am sure some folks would be scratching their heads thinking "Wow is Fiji actually a real place, I thought it was the name of a chain of tiki bars").

FIJI Coin Minting years

Given Fiji was such a small country and had a relatively low demand for currency, even in the decimal years - there was not much minting and many years had no coins minted at all. Here is a summary from 1969 to now.

1969 saw a giant mintage of all coins to 20 cents and the $1 commems. However no more coins were issued until 1973 when most denominations were issued. Except for another $1 coin in 1970 to celebrate independence, no coins for Fiji were issued in 1970, 71 or 72.

I suspect in the pre 1990 era, most of the coins were minted at The Royal Mint or in Australia. Like New Zealand no Fijian coins were minted locally and all were shipped or flown in from afar.

1974 saw a small mintage of some coins, 1975 was a big year again the largest since 1969 and this included the new 50 cents coin. The period 1976 to 1982 saw a mix of coins issued each year, but apart from 1980 and 1982, mintages included only a few denominations and were low. Most of the 1977 to 1979 10 and 20c coins are scarce.

After 1982, apparently millions of coins dated 1983 and 1984 were minted, but none have been seen in circulation, a few proofs were issued here and there. This was not the first time coins were allegedly minted but have never turned up. 1985 saw a small minting of some denominations.

1986 and 1987 were big years due to the portrait change to the Maklouf one and most denominations were plentiful in those years. However coups in 1987 saw instability creep in and no more coins were issued until 1990.

That year saw the change from Bronze (1 and 2c) and Cupronickel (5c to 50c) to Nickel plated steel and Copper plated steel as it was cheaper, although the coins look and feel the same, they make a different noise when dropped!

Coin issuing took place in 1990, 1992 and 1994 through to 2000. Apart from 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1996 - most years just some denominations were minted and numbers were quite low. In 1995 a generous 5 million new $1 coins were minted and 1 million more each year to 2000. However after 2000 numbers of coins minted drop off.

In 2001 came 1 and 2 cent coins and in 2003 the 20 cents South Pacific Games, also a magnetic 1 cent in 2006 - but no more until 2009. There was allegedly many 1c and 2c coins minted dated 2002 to 2005, but like 1983 and 1984 coins - none have turned up.

In 2009 the new reduced sized coins minted in Canada were issued and although no mintage figures were released - they must have been high. This included values from 5cents to $1. The coins were the same design but smaller copying the lead of New Zealand and the dollar was same size but thinner and lighter.

A further good mintage followed in 2010. In 2012 the next coins were minted with the Queen removed after Fiji's latest coup saw them take a vacation from the Commonwealth and animals were added to the Queen side of the coins, Fijian words now accompanied the Obverses.


Small and large $2 coins

A $2 coin was added in 2012 too, but attracted complaints as it was very similar in size and shape to the $1. In 2014 the size was increased slightly. Issues of most of the coins followed in 2013, although minted no $2 dated 2013 exist.




Some of the Stainless steel modern coins!

The last regular issue of coins was in 2014 and nothing has been minted for Fiji since then except the 2017 50 cent coin celebrating the Fijian Rugby 7's team winning the Gold Medal at Rio Olympics.

Of course mountains of gimmick NCLT has been issued since 2017!

More detailed notes about mintage figures and years to watch follow for each denomination.

Summary
Big years - 1969, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1995, 2009, 2012,

Some coins - 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1985, 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2014,

Very few coins - 1974, 1979, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2013, 2017,

No coins - 1970 -72, 1983/4, 1988/9, 1991, 1993, 2002 - 2005, 2007/8, 2011, 2015/6, 2018 - now,

Proof and UNC sets most years, most interestingly a sterling silver proof set in 1976!

Next - the 1 cent coin!
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
06/21/2021 10:02 pm
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2805 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  04:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One cent coins 1969 - 2006


Size 17.4mm, weight 2.30grams, metal Bronze to 1987, Copper plated steel from 1990. Edge is plain.

This coin was issued from 1969 to 2006, 11 million + 10,000 set coins came out in 1969 and then in 1973 3 million coins. Through 1975 to 1982 coins were issued every year with mintages in the 2 - 5million bracket, with the exception of the 1980 coin, which had only 316k minted.

Several million dated 1983 and 1984 were also minted but none have appeared. The FAO design appeared on 1976 - 1982 coins.



My examples, 2 shots to show the FAO coins.
I have 7 from this era, my 1985 coin turned out to be Solomon Islands. I am missing 1976, 80 and 81.

In 1985 a small issue was made(Unknown) and 3.4 million each in 1986/87. Whereas Australia and NZ abandoned the 1c and 2c coins in the later 80s and early 90s, they went strong in Fiji with copper plated steel coins from 1990 through to 2006. High numbers between 6 million and 17 million per year were issued in 1990, 92, 94, 95, 97 and 99. Also in 2001, but unknown mintage.


My coins, I have every date from this later period

2002 - 2005 saw more mintages, but none of these coins have been found in usage. 2006 was the last year and this coin is magnetic, my example is not very nice (Stained). Again an unknown mintage, but being the 1 cent probably several million coins.

The 1 cent was finally demonitised on 13 October 2008 (Source Numista) in time for the reduced size coins.

Compared to other coins, the 1 cent was a very heavily issued coin with many years over 10 million coins, total mintages reached over 100 million coins or at least 150 per Fijian.

Fortunately many have survived in nice shape and I honestly wonder what use they were after about 1990.

Still an interesting coin.

Mintage info from https://onlinecoin.club/Coins/CoinT...ji/One_Cent/

Who also told me the Tanoa is based on one owned by King Cakobau!
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
06/22/2021 05:22 am
Pillar of the Community
Australia
3067 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  06:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add triggersmob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Vinaka PrinceTane.
Some great history and some lovely coins.
I had to quickly go check my 1983 and 1984 coins,
but of course I had none. :)

Here's the 3 one cent coins that you didn't have...




Bula

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
2805 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  07:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes Bula Vanaka, you have the rare 1980 coin, can you confirm if your coins have the FAO obverse?
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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Germany
662 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  08:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add redlock to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The last regular issue of coins was in 2014 and nothing has been minted for Fiji since then except the 2017 50 cent coin celebrating the Fijian Rugby 7's team winning the Gold Medal at Rio Olympics.


I have to disagree
The $1 coin has been minted in (or with the date) 2017:

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United States
102132 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  08:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I honestly thought you guys would mostly know of Fiji through "Fiji" mineral water
Never heard of it.

Just kidding.

I have seen it in the store, but I prefer Aquafina... as most of you know, I am a Pepsi (and Pepsi adjacent) guy.
Pillar of the Community
Australia
3067 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  08:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add triggersmob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
you have the rare 1980 coin, can you confirm if your coins have the FAO obverse?


Yes, both the 1980 and 1981 are F.A.O., but not the 1976.

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
2805 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  3:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Redlock, that's good then - Have not got to the Dollars yet. See the Queen is still not back on the coins.

Just checked Numista and yes it seems that the $1 was the only regular coin minted in 2017 and the 50 cent Rugby 7's, the other coins are still stuck at 2014.

Yet at least 50 NCLT coins have been issued in that time at $1 like Soft drink bottlecap dollars showing Coke, Fanta, Sprite and also Marvel Superheroes, Leaf shaped dollars and other chintzy nonsense.
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
06/22/2021 4:00 pm
Moderator
Learn More...
United States
102132 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  4:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Yet at least 50 NCLT coins have been issued in that time at $1 like Soft drink bottlecap dollars showing Coke, Fanta, Sprite and also Marvel Superheroes, Leaf shaped dollars and other chintzy nonsense.
Frightening to think that Fiji could be more known to Americans for this than the water, at least in numismatic circles.

Thank you for setting the record straight with this topic. Good looking coins and great information.
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2805 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2021  8:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just to let all you know now I will be leaving for a week and there are no desktop computers full of files where I will be, so I will return to this thread just over a week from now.

Stay safe and bone up on what's happened so far.

PS I hope to squeeze in some coin buying.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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