Fiji Penny, Coins From The Island Colony #3: 1 Penny (Fiji, 1942)-Article

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

This British Colonial coin is a 1st year US produced WWII-era Fijian Penny (George VI), dated 1942. The Fijian penny represented the 2nd smallest denomination coin, of the Fijian Pound. The Fijian Pound was a non-decimal currency, which included coins in the 1/2 Pence, 1 Pence (Penny), 3 Pence, 6 Pence, 1 Shilling, and 1 Florin denominations. A single Fijian Pound was equal to 240 Pence.


Wartime Fijian coins dating 1942-1943 are of particular interest. As the US Mint (San Francisco) produced coins on the behalf of Great Britain. Due to the British Royal Mint's inability to supply coinage to Britain's distant colonies. All US produced coins also feature a letter "S" mint mark, representing the US Mint (San Francisco).


The coin is a smooth-edged design made of a copper-nickel alloy and weighs 6.5 g. Its dimensions are 26mm (1.023 in) wide and 2.01mm (0.079) in thick. Making it roughly similar in size to a US Quarter (24.3/0.957 in), in that respect. (This coin will be reviewed reverse first, as homage to its home nation.)


Reverse

The reverse utilizes a a fairly simple and practical design. The reverse's artwork is designed around a central hole. This hole features a raised rim with squared serrations, running along it's outer edge. The coin's issue date is divided left ("19") and right ("42"), of the center axis. The coin lists its issuing nation ("Fiji") above and the coin type ("Penny") below.


Both sides of the coin feature a raised rim, with squared serrations, running along it's inner edge. Notably the US Mint San Francisco mint mark ("S") can be seen. Located above the first "N", in "PENNY".


Obverse

The observe's central hole features only a smooth raised rim, without squared serrations. Immediately above is the Imperial State Crown, representing the British monarchy. The remainder of the the coin's surface is wreathed by the text, "GEORGE*VI*KING*EMPEROR".


Pre-Decimal Fijian Pound Guide

10 Florin=1 Fijian Pound

20 Shilling=1 Fijian Pound

240 Pence=1 Fijian Pound

40 Pence=1 Fijian Pound

20 Pence= 1Fijian Shilling


Size Comparison

A Fiji Penny with US Quarter for scale.
A Fiji Penny with US Quarter for scale.

Additional Notes

  • US minted Fijian Pennies used brass to save copper and nickel for munition production.

  • The US Mint, San Francisco was the only mint producing US minted Fijian Pennies.

  • US minted Fijian Pennies were produced in greater quantity than their British variants.

  • In addition to the Pence the US Mint, San Francisco also produced Half Pence brass coins.

  • All US minted coins greater than 1 Pence, were produced in .900 Grade silver.

  • British minted Fijian silver coins were produced in .500 Grade standard.

  • 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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