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Jamaican Coins
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source: Bank of Jamaica

The Jamaican coins currently in circulation are minted in denominations of 1c, 10c and 25c, as well as $1, $5, $10 and $20.

Old Jamaican Coin

Jamaican_current_coin

Most of them, by the way, features our National Heroes. The earliest money in Jamaica however, were Spanish copper coins called maravedíes.

In later years, as the island became increasingly important to the British Empire, various other silver coins showed up, including Spanish pesos and reales, and the British pounds, shillings and pence.

The Spanish coins were the most common, in denominations ranging from ½ real (or 1/16 dollar) to 1 dollar (peso). The exchange rate between peso and shilling was set at 1 peso = 4 shillings.

In 1834 silver coins of threepence and three ha'penny (1½ pence) were introduced, valued at ½ real and ¼ real. The three ha'penny came to be called "quartile" or "quatties."

The quattie in particular was used in church collections due to a feeling by the black population that copper coins wereinappropriate for that purpose. Hence, they came to be called "Christian quatties".

In 1839 an act was passed by Parliament declaring that as of December 31, 1840, only British coinage would be legal tender in Jamaica, demonitizing all of the Spanish coins, with the exception of the gold doubloon which was valued at 3/4/- (three pounds four shillings).

Coins in use were thus the farthing, ha'penny, penny, penny ha'penny, threepence, sixpence, shilling, florin (2 shillings), half crown (2/6), and crown (5/-).

Following emancipation in 1838, when the freed slaves became wage earners, there was a greater need for ready cash, especially for values smaller than penny ha'penny.

The copper and bronze coins of the British Imperial coinage were still unpopular among the Negro population who refused to use them, so an acceptable metal had to be found for coins of these denominations. Cupro-nickel, which was just gaining popularity as a metal for coinage was to provide the answer.

By the Order in Council and Proclamation of 11 November 1869, and by local laws, the penny and half-penny made of cupro-nickel were authorized to be struck for use in Jamaica.

They weighed the same as the English coins of similar value, but had the Jamaican coat of arms on the reverse. As the British silver coins were accepted, there was no need for higher denominations of Jamaican coinage.

Listen to this now!

The pennies and half-pennies, minted in 1869, constitute the first truly Jamaican coins.

In 1880, the range of denominations was extended when a farthing was introduced. In 1937, when the worn coins were being replaced, the metal content was changed to nickel-brass. By this time, old fears and distrust had disappeared and there were no problems associated with this change. The farthing, first issued in 1880 was issued for the last time in 1952.

Alterations in the designs of these first Jamaican coins were made when British sovereigns changed, the sizes were reduced in 1937 and an up-dated version of the coat of arms was used in 1964 following independence in 1962.

Since independence, quite a number of denomination of Jamaican coins came into circulation. Below are pictures of the most current in circulation including the commemorative "Bob Marley Coin" issued in 2006


Jamaiacn 1 Cent Coin Jamaican 25 Cent Coin
Jamaiacn 1 Cent Coin Jamaican 25 Cent Coin
jamaican_coins_10cent jamaican_coins_1_dollar
Jamaican 10 Cents Coin Jamaican 1 Dollar Coin
jamaican_coins_5_dollar jamaican_coins_10_dollar
Jamaican 5 Dollar Coin Jamaican 10 Dollar Coin
jamaican_coins_20_dollar Bob_Marley_Jamaican_coin
Jamaican 20 Dollar Coin Bob Marley Commemorative Coin
By the way, if you are looking to get souvenirs Jamaican coins, take a look at the Bank of Jamaica's souvenir coin department. Back to Top

Here too are some older versions:


Jamaica_1978_25_Dollars_back Jamaica_1978_25_Dollars_front
Jamaican 1978 25 Dollars - Back (Souvenir) Jamaican 1978 25 Dollars - Front(Souvenir)
Jamaican_1970_1_cents_bk Jamaican_1970_01_cents_frnt
Jamaican 1970 1 Cent- Back Jamaican 1970 1 Cent- Front
Jamaican_1973_5_Dollars_front Jamaican_1988_10_cents_BK
Jamaican 1973 5 dollars - Front (Souvenir) Jamaican 1988 10 Cents - Back
Jamaican_1988_10_cents_frnt Jamaican_1989_5_cents_back
Jamaican 1988 10 Cents- Front Jamaican 1989 5 cents- Back
Jamaican_1989_20_cents_back Jamaican_1989_20_cents_frnt
Jamaican 1989 20 Cents- Back Jamaican 1989 20 Cents- Front
Jamaican_1989_25_cents_back Jamaican_1989_25_cents_frnt
Jamaican 1989 25 Cents- Back Jamaican 1989 25 Cents- Front
Jamaican_1995_1_dollar_front Jamaican_1995_1_dollar_back
Jamaican 1995 1 Dollar- Front Jamaican 1989 1 Dollar- Back
Jamaican_1996_1_dollar_back Jamaican_1996_1_dollar_front
Jamaican 1996 1 Dollar- Back Jamaican 1996 1 Dollar- Front
Jamaican_1996_25_cents_BK Jamaican_1996_25_cents_frnt
Jamaican 1996 25 Cents-Back Jamaican 1996 25 Cents-Front
Back to Top

References:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/5285368.stm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaican_pound
    http://www.boj.org.jm/currency_history.php

And please, don't miss these related pages! Quite informative too.

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