New Coins On The Channel Island: 2 New Pence (Guernsey, 1971)-Article

Updated: Mar 30

This large coin represents the 3rd denomination coin of the decimalized Guernsey Pound (Series 1971). The Bailiwick of Guernsey is British dependency located in the British Channel. The Guernsey Pound is pegged at par (1:1), with the British Pound Sterling. Thus when Britain adopted decimalization on 15 February 1971 (Decimal Day), Guernsey followed.


Notably the coin is a smooth-edged design made of bronze (95.5% copper/2% zinc/0.5% tin) and weighs 7.12 g. Its dimensions are 25.91 mm (1.02) wide and 2 mm (0.079 in) thick. Making it larger in size to a US Quarter. It's originally production run was limited to 1971. Then was briefly resumed in 1977 and again in 1979.


Observe

The observe center depicts the "Le Moulin" Windmill, located on the island of Stark. The windmill dates to 1571 and lays on the the Bailiwick of Guernsey highest point. Which is also known as Le Moulin, after the windmill. It's height is 114 m (374 ft) above sea level.


Despite the windmills symbolism, the remainder of the observe is sparse. The top simply reads, "NEW 2 PENCE". New Pence being the term decimalized subunit of the Guernsey Pound. While "2" representing the value, dividing the two words. Below the coin's "1971" mint date.


Notably coin's post-1971 have slightly different format. Coin's minted from 1977-1981, replace the word "NEW" with it's text value (Ex: TWO). While coin's 1985 onward, move the numeric value (Ex: 2), in place of the mint date. Which is moved after it's text value (Ex: TWO PENCE 1985), to compensate for the change.


Reverse

The reverse center depicts the Coat of Arms of Guernsey. It was adopted in 1279 by Edward I, to jointly represent the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. Similar to the Coat of Arms of Normandy, it features 3 Luparts (Leopards). As the Duchy of Normandy (911–1259) held dominion over the Guernsey and the neighboring islands.


Surrounding the Coat of Arms is wrap-around text in Guernésiais. It translates to "The Bailiwick of the Island of Guernsey". The Guernésiais language is a form of Anglo-Norman, used in traditional songs and poetry. While on this coin, the official language of Guernsey is English. Although there're public efforts, to increase the number of Guernésiais speakers.


Size Comparison

A Guernsey 2 pence with a US Quarter for scale.
A Guernsey 2 Pence with a US Quarter for scale.
 

Additional Notes

  • The Guernsey Pound uses the same ISO code as the British Pound Sterling GBP.

  • In occasions a distinct ISO code is required, the ISO code GGP is used.

  • The British Pound Sterling is interchangeable, when visiting the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

  • The pre-decimal Guernsey Pound was subdivided into 240 Pence or 20 Shillings.

  • The pre-decimal Guernsey Pence was divided into Doubles, valued at 1/8 Pence.

  • Doubles were used at the 1/2 and 1 Pence value, as the 4 and 8 Doubles coins.

8 views0 comments