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Fiji Dollar, Coins From The Island Colony: 1 Dollar (Fiji 1969)-Article

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

This massive coin is a 1st year Fijian Florin (Elizabeth II), dated 1969. The Fijian Florin represented the largest denomination coin, of the Fijian Dollar. The Fijian Dollar replaced the Fijian Pound at a rate of 2 dollar per pound, in 15 January 1969. The 1 Dollar represented the 7th and largest denomination coin.

The coin is a reeded-edged design made of a copper-nickel alloy and weighs an impressive 28.47 g. Its dimensions are 38.61 mm (1.52 in) wide, making it amongst the largest of circulating coins. With very few peers rivaling or matching it's size. This coin will be reviewed reverse first, as homage to its home nation.


Fijian Dollar observe designed by Arnold Machin.
Fijian Dollar observe by Arnold Machin.

The observe features the 1st Portrait of Elizabeth II. The portrait is done in right-side profile, complete with the state crown. The portrait is wreathed by split text that reads "ELIZABETH II" (left) and "FIJI 1968" (right). The observe art was designed by British sculptor Arnold Machin (1911-1999), who was renowned for designing other decimalized commonwealth coins.


Fijian Dollar reverse designed by Arnold Machin.
Fijian Dollar reverse by Arnold Machin.

The observe prominently features the Fijian Coat of Arms, flanked by warriors. They stand on a banner featuring the Fijian motto "Rerevaka na Kalou ka Doka na Tui", translated as "Fear God and honour the Queen". At the Coat of Arms crest is an Camakau outrigger canoe, representing Fiji's maritime tradition. Above and below this is the note's value, listed as "One" (top) "Dollar" (bottom).

The Fijian coat of arms uses the Cross of Saint George as its base. At its head is a lion bearing a Cocoa pod in its forepaws. Cocoa representing the prime cash crop of the island. Each corner of the cross features a different aspect. The upper left features 3 sugar canes, a cash crop. On the upper right is a coconut palm, a staple food. Whose wood provides wood for boats and rafts. At the lower left is dove bearing an olive branch. And finally on the lower right is a bundle of bananas, a source of food and trade.

Additional Notes

  • In 1970, Fiji transitioned a British colony to a self-governing commonwealth lead by a Governor-General.

  • In 1987, Fiji transitioned to a republic after establishing the Office of the Fijian Presidency.

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