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Thursday, 17 December 2015

240) The States of Jersey, Channel Islands, UK presently circulating coinage: Pounds and Pence:

240) The States of Jersey, Channel Islands, UK presently circulating coinage: Pounds and Pence:

Past history:

Till 1834, the French livre was the currency in Jersey (1 English pound was equivalent to 24 French livres). The livres supply in circulation in Jersey dwindled alarmingly after the franc replaced the livre in 1795.

As such, in 1834, Jersey through an “Order in Council” adopted the Pound Sterling as Jersey’s sole official legal tender, although French coins (including sous – which could be exchanged at 26 sous to an English shilling) continued to circulate in tandem with the British coins.

In 1971, along with the rest of the British Isles, Jersey decimalised its currency in 1971, whereafter a full series of circulating coins was issued from 1/12 pence to 50 pence followed by 1 and 2 pound coins.

Presently circulating Coinage:

At present,  the coins in circulation include 1 penny (depicting “Le Hocq Tower” – coastal defence- on the reverse), 2 pence (depicting “L’Hermitage of Saint Helier” on the reverse), 5 pence (depicting the Seymour Tower – offshore defence – on the reverse), 10 pence (“Faldouet Dolmen, St. Martin” on the reverse), 20 pence (“Lighthouse of La Corbiere” on the reverse), 50 pence (“Grosnez Castle” on the reverse), 1 pound (“Schooner” – sailing ships series - on the reverse), 2 pound ( “12 Parish crests” – one each- on the reverse).

The motto engraved on the Jersey pound coins edge is “Caesarea Insula” (The “Island of Jersey").

The Obverse of the coins of all 8 denominations (1 penny, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Pence and 1 and 2 Pounds.

The Reverse of the coins of all 8 denominations (1 penny, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Pence and 1 and 2 Pounds.

The Obverse of the one Penny coin showing the portrait QE II facing right and “Queen Elizabeth the Second” mentioned on the outer periphery, together with the year of issue “2012”.

The Reverse of the one Penny coin shows “Le Hocq Tower” which was part of the coastal defence of the States of Jersey.

Le Hocq Tower: Le Hocq is a location in the parish of St. Clement, in the South-East of Jersey, Channel Islands. (“Le Hocq” is a Jerrais name and means “the Headland” or “The Cape” in English).

The fortified Jersey Round Tower at Le Hocq was built in the 1780s.

The Obverse of the two Pence coin showing the portrait QE II facing right and “Queen Elizabeth the Second” mentioned on the outer periphery, together with the year of issue “2012”.

The Reverse of the two Pence coin shows L’Hermitage of St. Hellier.

The above is an image of L’Hermitage of St. Helier (or the Hermitage of St. Helier)

Saint Helier: (Birth: unknown date; died 555 AD):

He was a 6th century ascetic hermit and is the patron saint of Jersey, in particular, the parish of St. Helier, the Island’s capital. He is also a healing saint for diseases of the skin and eyes.

Helier or Hellerius was born to Sigebert a nobleman from Tongres and the Saxon Governor of Tongeren (now in Belgium) and his wife Lusigard. Helier was attracted towards spirituality and was performing many miracles even as a young lad. He left his father’s house and in his wanderings as an ascetic, came upon what is now the village of St. Helier in the Department of Seine-Maritime in Normandy.

Later, he came to the Cotentin where he sought retreat from the distractions of the World in the monastic community of Saint Marcuff at Nantus (Nanteuil, now St. Marcouf-de-I’sle in Manche).

Helier found that the monastic community did not provide him the quiet that he was looking for in order to devote himself to a life of contemplation.

Meanwhile, Marcuff sent Helier and a companion Saint Romard to an island called Gersut or Agna (present day Jersey) which had faced severe depredations by Vikings, or Saxons, or Vandals. Their mission was to preach the Christian tenets and to convert the populace to Christianity.

Helier settled on a tidal islet among the fishermen community, now known as the “Hermitage Rock”, next to L’islet. Helier could keep a look-out of approaching attackers and signal the community to scatter into the surrounding marshes, thereby frustrating the attackers.

Eventually, he was caught by pirates who beheaded him with an axe. It is for this reason that crossed axes are seen on the parish crest.

Helier’s relics were sent to the abbey of Beaubec (situated in Beaubec-la-Risiere (Siene-Maritime) where they remained until the destruction of the abbey during the French Revolution.

Churches dedicated to Helier are found in Rennes, St. Hellier, Beuzeville (Eure), Amecourt (Eure), Baretin (Seine-Maritime), Monhoudou (Sarthe) etc. Helier is remembered in Jersey for having brought Christianity to the Island, but is better known in Normandy and Brittany as a healing saint.

Besides the healing springs at St. Helier and Breville, there is also a healing spring at Saint – Jouan des Guerets (Ille-et-Vilane), where Helier’s name has been somewhat changed to “St. Delier” (“Delier” in French meaning “to untie” – which refers to the power to loosen the bonds of illness). There is also a chapel of St. Helier in the cathedral of Trenton, New Jersey.

Helier’s Feast day falls on 16th July and is marked by an annual municipal and ecumenical pilgrimage to the Hermitage.
 Stained glass image of Saint Helier, Liebfrauenbasilika, Tongeren

The Obverse of the Five Pence coin showing the portrait QE II facing right and “Queen Elizabeth the Second” mentioned on the outer periphery, together with the year of issue “2010”.

The Reverse of the Five Pence coin shows the coastal defence tower – the Seymour Tower.

                         The above is an image of the Seymour Tower.

Seymour Tower : was a coastal defence tower built on a rocky tidal island named L’Avarison, located about 2 km. East of the shoreline of Jersey.

The Tower was constructed in 1782 following the Battle of Jersey, which took place on 06.01.1781 and is part of the 30 odd towers which were originally proposed to be built as a coastal defence chain but ultimately only 23 towers were built.

Seymour is the only one that is square-shaped rather than round. The square-shaped stone tower stands on a wider base which has an artillery platform – capable of holding two 12-pounder (around 1797), two 24-pounder (around 1814) or two 32-pounder (around 1848) guns.

The Obverse of the Ten Pence coin showing the portrait QE II facing right and “Queen Elizabeth the Second” mentioned on the outer periphery, together with the year of issue “2012”.

The Reverse of the Ten Pence coin shows theFaldouet” Dolmen St. Martin.
The above is an image of "La Pouquelaye de Faldouet" in the Parish of St. Martin

La Pouquelaye de Faldouet (Parish of St. Martin):

This is a passage grave – a Monument – (from around 4000 to 3250 BC) located in a field near the junction of Le Mont Mallet and La Rue de la Marettes.

It consists of a five metre long passage leading into a large circular chamber beyond which is a large capstoned end chamber.

This capstone weighs about 24 tonnes and comes from a rhyolite outcrop about 0.5 km North from this Dolmen site.

Three small side chambers and two internal cists form the edges of the main chamber. The cists had capstones but the passage and central area has remained open to the elements.

The Monument is surrounded by at least two drystone revetments and a ring of upright stones. When its creators moved on through the mists of time, the site got covered by a rubble mound over a period of time, till only the capstone remained exposed.

Later, in 1839, 1869 and in 1910, the site was excavated by the Societe Jersiaise.

Human bones of at least 3 adults and 2 children, one of which was a complete skeleton in a seated position in one of the side chambers were found as well as 3 complete plain bowls, a small pigment cup,2 vase supports (on which sat two of the bowls),flint tools, stone axes, rubbers, hammers, greenstone and dolerite pendants.

Interestingly, the dolmen is one of the two Jersey monuments aligned with the solar equinox.

The Obverse of the Twenty Pence coin showing the portrait QE II facing right and “Queen Elizabeth the Second” mentioned on the outer periphery, together with the year of issue “2010”.

The Reverse of the Twenty Pence coin shows the Lighthouse of La Corbiere.

          An image of La Corbiere Light House with a storm coming.

La Corbiere Light-House: La Corbiere (in Jerrais: “La Corbiethe”) is the extreme south-western point of Jersey in St. Brelade. The name means “a place where crows gather” (deriving from the word “corbin” meaning “crow”. However, seagulls have long since displaced the crows from their coastal nesting sites). The rocks and extreme tidal variation around this stretch of Jersey’s coast have a history of being treacherous for navigation and La Corbiere has been witness to many shipwrecks in the past.

The Light-House is situated on a rock that is a tidal island. A causeway links the Lighthouse to shore at low tide. The Light-House tower is 19 metres (or 62 feet high) and the lamp stands 36 metres (or 119 feet high) above high water spring tides.

It was lit on 24.04.1874 for the first time and was the first Lighthouse in the British Isles to be built of concrete. The beam could reach some 18 nautical miles (or about 33 kilometres). The Lighthouse was automated in 1976.

The Obverse of the Fifty Pence coin showing the portrait QE II facing right and “Queen Elizabeth the Second” mentioned on the outer periphery, together with the year of issue “2009”.

The Reverse of the Fifty Pence coin shows the Grosnez Castle.

                                 An  image of Grosnez Castle.

Grosnez Castle: This is a ruined 14th century Castle in Saint Ouen, situated in Grosnez in the North-West corner of the Island of Jersey in the Channel Islands. The name “Grosnez” has its origins from the Old Norse words for “grey headland” (or “grar nes”) because of the way the land looks when viewed from the Sea. Over time the spelling evolved into resembling the French word for “Big Nose”.

 The Castle was built around 1330, around the time of the start of the Hundred Year’s War for protecting the local farmers and providing them a place of refuge from French attacks.

The walls are of local granite and are thickest on the landward side. The Castle’s position on a Cliff-top 200 feet or 60 metres above sea level makes sure that natural features of the site protect it from three sides. A ditch dug into the rock provided protection on the fourth side. A drawbridge and portcullis protected the gatehouse.

The French captured the Castle in 1373 and then, again, in 1381. The Castle was last used militarily during the time of the French occupation of Jersey (1461-1468), when the French held the East of the Island, but Jersey locals held the Western Parishes.

Philippe de Carteret defended this Castle against French aggression/attacks between 1461 and 1467. From the mid-16th Century, the Castle has been a ruin.

  In 1806, a naval signal station was established at Grosnez to send messages to Guernsey.

The Obverse of the One Pound coin showing the portrait QE II facing right and “Queen Elizabeth the Second” mentioned on the outer periphery, together with the year of issue “2005”.

The Reverse of the One Pound coin shows the ship “HMS RESOLUTE” and gives the year of its sail as 1877.

HMS Resolute:

There were four ships which were named HMS Resolute.

The most famous of these was the 424 ton, 115 feet (35 metres), 3 masted barque which was specially outfitted for Arctic exploration.

It was initially a part of six merchant ships which were purchased between 1848 and 1850 and all converted into Arctic exploration ships. During 1850-51, Resolute was the Flagship of Horatio Thomas Austin, leading a convoy of four ships – Resolute, Assistance, Pioneer and Intrepid – in search of the Arctic explorer John Franklin who had left Britain in 1845 in search of the North-West passage and had not been heard of since. The expedition only found traces of the remains of Franklin’s first winter camp on Beechey Island. The expedition returned home without any success.

The four ships were refitted along with another and sent on a second five ship expedition in 1952 under the command of Edward Beecher, once again, the mission being to search out Franklin. Of the total seven Royal Navy ships searching for Franklin’s Expeditionary team, only the Enterprise succeeded in finding some trace of Franklin in the form of some ship’s timber.

Resolute and Intrepid sailed far and wide but found no information on Franklin. Instead, they managed to rescue Captain McClure and his men in April 1853 from their ice-bound ship HMS Investigator where she had been languishing since 1850.

In August 1853, the Resolute was beset by floe-ice and after facing a severe winter, during which the Resolute floated at 1.5 knots per day with the ice floe, the ship had to be abandoned. In May 1854, Resolute’s Captain Kellett abandoned ship after securing it properly, and led his men in a harsh march across the ice so as to reach other ships of the expedition at Beechy Island.

On 10.09.1855, the abandoned Resolute was found adrift by the American whaler George Henry in an ice floe off Cape Walsingham of Baffin Island, some 1200 miles from where she was abandoned. The Resolute was returned to England by the US as a “gesture of national courtesy”.

As all the expeditions searching for Franklin’s exploratory party had returned empty-handed, some well-wishers still hoped that the Resolute would be going out for another search expedition, but as so much time had elapsed and some evidence pointed to Franklin’s expedition having met a grievous end, Resolute returned to serve the Royal Navy from 1856 onwards until she was put out of commission and was broken up in 1879.

The Obverse of the Two Pounds coin showing the portrait QE II facing right and “Queen Elizabeth the Second” mentioned on the outer periphery.

The Reverse of the Two Pounds coin showing the 12 Parish Crests of the States of Jersey. The year of issue on this coin is shown as “1998”. In the centre one can see “Pound 2”.

                         The Crest of Trinity Parish

                        The Crest of Saviour Parish

                                    The Crest of Peter Parish

                        The Crest of Quen Parish
                                     The Crest of Mary Parish

                                  The Crest of Martin Parish
                                The Crest of Lawrenc Parish

                                     The Crest of Johns Parish

                                    The Crest of Helier Parish

                               The Crest of Grouvil Parish

                           The Crest of Clement Parish
                          The Crest of Brelade Parish

(The above circulation coins have been brought for my collection by Jayant Biswas after much trouble in getting them collected from the States of Jersey to the USA and thereafter to India. Coins scanned and post researched and written by Rajeev Prasad)


British Crown Dependencies:

1) Specimen Banknotes from the States of Jersey

2) Coinage and Currency from the States of Jersey

3) Currency & Coinage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

4) Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar : An Overseas Territory of Great Britain

5) Coinage of Gibraltar: (A British Overseas Territory): An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by the Tower Mint, UK in 2010
6) The Isle of Man: An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by Pobjoy Mint, UK in 2015

7) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15.04.1912 - 15.04.2012): An Alderney Five Pound Coin Commemorating the Maritime Legend

8) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie

9) Coins & Currency of Bermuda

10) The Bailiwick of Jersey - Presently circulating coinage - Pounds and Pence 

11) St. Helena & Ascension Islands: An Uncirculated Coin Set from 2003 

12) The Legend of the "HMAV Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of the Pitcairn Islands: An uncirculated coin set from Pitcairn Islands in 2009 depicting the icons/relics of the Bounty minted by the New Zealand Mint 

Famous Battles

1) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to St. Helena: (Part I): A One Crown Commemorative coin issued by the Ascension Island (minted by Pobjoy Mint UK) 

2) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to st. Helena: (Part II) 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK. 2) A"Drie Landen Zilverset" ( ot the "Three Lands Silver set") containing coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint including coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK

3) Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain by issuing a 50 Pence coin by the Royal Mint UK

Gold Coins:
1) Gold Sovereigns issued in 2013 & 2014 by MMTC-PAMP in India under licence from the Royal Mint, UK, carrying the "I" Mint Mark

2) Gold Half-Sovereigns minted by MMTC-PAMP in India in 2014 under licence from the Royal Mint UK bearing the "I" Mint Mark 

Silver Coins:

1) A 20 Pound Silver coin minted for the first timr by the royal Mint UK: reverse design carries the famous St. George slaying the dragon design found on Gold Sovereigns 

British India Coinage:

 1) East India Company Quarter Anna Copper Coin which is one of the first issues under the Coinage Act 1835

2) Victoria Coinage: When she was Queen and afterwards Empress

3) Edward VII: King & Emperor  Coinage

4) George V King Emperor Coinage

5) George VI: The last of the British India Emperors Coinage 

Other British Royalty: 

1) Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK

2) Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953: A Five Pound Coin minted by the Royal Mint UK in 2013, depicting the Imperial State Crown

3) The Royal Coat of Arms of the UK: Great British 2012 Coin Set (Uncirculated) issued by the Royal Mint UK

4) Prince George's Christening Ceremony celebrated with coins issued by the Royal Mint UK in 2013

5) The British Empire:  A Case of Numismatic "segregation": (Guest Post by Rahul Kumar)

6) 1) The Portrait Collection: Various Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on Coinage 2) The Fourth & Final Circulating coinage of the Portrait designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and the First Edition of the portrait of the Queen made by Jody Clark

 British Coinage:

1) The contribution of the Great British One-Pound coins in keeping alive the historical legends/emblems/heritage of the UK (1983 onwards)

2) Transformation of a Five shilling Coin (Crown) into the UK Twenty-five Pence & then the Five Pound Coin

3) Transformation of the Two Shilling Coin (Florin) Coin into the UK Ten Pence

4) The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea: A Two Pound Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK celebrating the milestone

 Commemorative British Coinage:

 1) Commemorating the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens: A Two pound coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian Era

 2) Commemorating 50 Years of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - presently called the World Wide Fund for Nature by issue of a Fifty Pence coin by the Royal Mint, UK

3) Coins commemorating London Olympics & Paralympics (2012)

4) Commemorating 150 Years of the London Underground : Two pound Coins minted by the Royal Mint UK, showing the "Roundel" logo and a train emerging from a tunnel 

5) Commemorating the 100th Birth anniversary of Christopher Ironside with his" Royal Arms" design on a 50 Pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK 

6) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal Guidepost to Liberty and Freedom

Inspirations from Scottish History: 

1) The Legend of King Bruce & the Spider on Banknotes

Banknotes from Scotland:
1) Commemorating Sir William Arrol and his creation the Forth Rail Bridge by issues of Britain's first ever 5 Pound Polymer Banknote

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