Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Straits Dollar Coins...................

  In the early 1900s Silver was the commodity much sought after, thus........................
The Straits Times 10 July 1903

The Singapore Free Press & Mercantile Advisor dated 19 July 1903

The Straits Times dated 24 July 1903 

The Straits Times dated 19 August 1903

The Straits Times dated 26 Sept 1903 

The Straits Times dated 3 Oct 1903 

Finally after a few months of newspaper publications, on 2 Oct 1903 new Straits Dollar coin was declared legal tender and subsequently issued but the coin was not popular with the local population especially the shopkeepers and illiterate market aunties.

Mexican and other dollars were collected and melted down to obtain the necessary silver bullion. Recoinage was done by the mint in Bombay, and was completed by November 1904.

 By this time the Straits Settlement Colony had received some 35,000,000 of the new dollar coins.

These coins were equal in weight and fineness to the existing British Dollar (416 grains troy, 900 millesimal fineness), but with a smaller diameter across the flan. The dies were engraved at the Royal Mint, from designs prepared by G.W. De Saulles.
(info from Pridmore: Coins and Coinage)


The Straits Times dated 3 Oct 1904


The Straits Times dated 27 Mar 1907

The Straits Times dated 14 May 1907

By September 1906, the Straits Government was once again confronted with the problem of raising exchange rate, ratio to gold, etc.

Thus after some discussion with the local Chinese Advisory Board and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, a decision was made for a second issue of Dollar coins with a reduction in weight, size but no reduction in fineness.

Subsequently, Dollar coins minted from 1907 to 1909 were smaller and lighter than the 1903 and 1904 dates.


After the accession of George V and coupled with the First World War, Silver was in great demand and the prices rose rapidly.

Thus it became more profitable for the local population to melt the Dollar coins to obtain the Silver sell it than to use as a currency medium.

Another series of the Dollar coins with even smaller in size, lighter in weight and least of the Silver fineness as compared to the other two predecessor was minted and issued.

The reverse designs remained unchanged, but the obverse now showed the effigy of George V, wearing the Imperial Crown and the Robe of State, with the collar of the Garter and the Badge of the Bath.
                                                        (info from Pridmore: Coins and Coinage)


1919 Restrike Proof 

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