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Fiji Three Pence, Coins From The Island Colony: 3 Pence (Fiji 1952)-Article

Updated: 1 day ago

This British Colonial coin represents the 3rd year of the reintroduced Fijian 3 Pence (George VI), dated 1952. The Fijian 3 Pence represented the 3rd 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.

The Fijian 3 Pence was originally introduced in 1947. Although was briefly discontinued, before being reintroduced in 1950. The reintroduced 3 Pence is virtually similar in design, to the 1947 original. With the exception of being slightly bigger and heavier.

The coin is an usual dodecagonal (12-sided), smooth-edged design, made of brass and weighs 6.17 g. Its dimensions are 21.19 mm (0.804 in) wide and 2.01mm (0.079) in thick. Making it slightly smaller in size to a US Quarter (24.3/0.957 in), in that respect.


Fijian 3 Pence observe designed by Percy Metcalfe.
Fijian 3 Pence observe by Percy Metcalfe.

The observe is mostly decorative, rather than practical in its design. Simply referencing the monarch, which the rule the British Empire during the coin's minting. As was the standard practice with all pre-decimal Fijian coins, issued by the British colonial government.

The coin's center features a bust of King George VI, in left profile. The initials "PM" can be seen below the bust's neck, represents English artist Percy Metcalfe. The bust surrounded split text, reading "KING GEORGE (left) THE SIXTH (right)".


Fijian 3 Pence observe designed by James Berry.
Fijian 3 Pence observe by James Berry.

The reverse is both practical and decorative its design, in contrast to the observe. The center features a traditional hut, flanked by a pair of palm trees. Besides these trees is a decorative design, made of 3 overlapping cones. Which help to separate the upper and lower text.

These text is simple and entirely practical in its design. The upper text features the issuing country (FIJI) and mint year (1952). While the lower text (THREE PENCE) lists the coin's value. Notably unlike the observe, the reverse features no artist initials.

Pre-Decimal Fijian Pound Guide

10 Florin = 1 Fijian Pound

20 Shilling = 1 Fijian Pound

240 Pence = 1 Fijian Pound

1 Fijian Florin = 24 Pence

1 Fijian Shilling = 12 Pence

1 Fijian Florin = 2 Shilling

Size Comparison

A Fiji Three Pence with US Quarter for scale.
A Fiji Three Pence with US Quarter for scale.

Additional Notes

  • English artist Percy Metcalfe (1895-1970) was best known for designing the "Barnyard Collection" coin series, for the Irish Free State.

  • Percy Metcalfe designed the infamous 1936 Fijian Penny (King Edward VIII). This is the only brief exception of the George Kruger Gray designed Fijian Penny run (1934-1936/1936-1945).

  • New Zealand artist James Berry (1906-1979), was best known for designing the reverse art of the decimalized New Zealand Dollar coins.

  • 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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