Star Of The Caribbean: 1 Cent (Bahamas, 1974)-Article

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

This Bahamian coin represents the 1st denomination coin of the Bahamian Dollar (1974).The coin is of a relatively small plain-edged design, made of brass. It's dimensions are 19.05 mm (0.75 in) wide, 1.4 mm (0.055 in), and weighs 3.16 g.


The Bahamian Dollar replaced the Bahamian Pound, in 1966. Leading the island's transition to a decimalized currency, divisible by 100 cents. Rather than the old colonial-based system of 1 Pound, divided into 20 Shillings, each of 12 Pence.


Despite this, the Bahamian Dollar remained pegged to the British Pound. Fixed at a rate of 2.40 Bahamian Dollar per 1.00 British Pound. To help the shift toward decimalization, a number of strange denominations were adopted. Notably the 1/2 and 3 Dollar notes, alongside the 15 cent coin. To pay tribute to the coin's island heritage, it will be reviewed reverse first.


Reverse

The reverse is relatively sparse, featuring a large West Indian Sea Star. A common species of starfish, native to the shores of the Bahamian archipelago. The sea star is minted in fairly great detail, with small intricate textures throughout. The textures are anatomically correct, resembling photos of live sea stars.


The coin's value (ONE CENT) is minted along the upper rim. Split between the sea star's "head" and arms. There's a single small dimple between each of the sea star's "arms" and legs". The coin can be identified as an early minting. By the lack of a "FM" mintmark, between the "legs". Both sides of the coin feature a shallow rim. The rim's interior features a beaded texture throughout.


Observe

The observe features a large Coat of Arms of the Bahamas. This Coat of Arms is wreathed by the text "THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS". Below is the coin's mint date "1974", the coin represents the first (of three) minting(s) that year. As before mention, early production coins can be easily identified from later variants. Due to their lack of of a "FM" (reverse) mint mark.


Size Comparison

A Bahamian 1 Cent with a US Penny for scale.
A Bahamian 1 Cent with a US Penny for scale.

Additional Notes

  • Earlier versions of the Bahamian One Cent featured a bust of Queen Elizabeth II (1926-20xx). Which was replaced by the Coat of Arms of the Bahamas, in 1974.

  • Later versions of the Bahamian One Cent, use progressively lower quality materials. These coins range from copper-plated zinc(1985-2014) and copper-plated steel (2015-20xx).

  • On 20 October 2020, the Bahamas adopted the Sand Dollar. The first legal digital currency to be adopted, by a nation state.

  • The Sand Dollar serves as a legal alternative to the Bahamian Dollar and is of equal value.

  • Throughout its history the Bahamian Dollar has been pegged to the US Dollar. Both currencies of on an equal 1:1 parity.

  • Bahamian businesses that are frequently visited by American tourists, will accept both US and Bahamian dollars.

  • Some Bahamian businesses stock US dollars for the convenience of American tourists. Allowing a convenient exchange back to US Dollars, prior to leaving the Bahamas.

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