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Alderney (French: Aurigny; Auregnais: Aoeur'gny) is the northernmost island of the Channel Islands. It is a crown dependency of the United Kingdom.


The etymology of the name "Alderney" is very obscure. The island is known in Latin as Riduna, but as with all of the names of the Channel Islands from the period of the Romans, there is some confusion. Riduna may have been the original name of Tatihou, while the original name of Alderney is conjectured to be identified with Sarnia. Alderney or Aurigny is supposed to be a Germanic or Celtic name. It may be a derivation of the Adreni or Alrene, probably from an Old Norse term meaning "island near the coast". Alternatively, it may have come from three Norse words put together: alda, meaning "swelling wave", renna, meaning "strong current", and oy or ey, meaning "island".


Early Middle Ages[]

In 933, along with all the Channel Islands, Alderney was annexed to the Duchy of Normandy. During 1042, the Duke of Normandy, William I, granted the island to the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel. Later, in 1057, Coutances took control of Alderney. After 1204, when mainland Normandy was added to the Kingdom of France, Alderney remained loyal to the Dukes of Normandy.

World War II[]

During World War II, the Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany from 1940 to 1945. It was harsh during this time. Some island residents were sent to slave labor on the continent, native Jews were sent to concentration camps, and there was partisan resistance. Four concentration camps were established on Alderney: Lager Norderney, Lager Borkum, Lager Sylt, and Lager Helgoland. On May 16, 1945, the Germans surrendered to the allies, who managed to regain Alderney for the British.

Prior to World War II[]

After World War II, several changes occurred in Alderney. The island had once again been under the rule of the United Kingdom, being given its currency. New economic systems as well as taxes were issued. The island has since been almost completely anglicised.

Numismatic history[]


Scrip issued during the German occupation of Alderney.

It is likely that after the annexation of the Channel Islands by the Duchy of Normandy in 933, that Alderney had begun to use the denier issued by Normandy. When Duke William I granted Alderney to France it is likely that the island began using the French currency at the time. When the British had managed to gain Alderney, presumably using their currency. When World War II occurred several centuries later, Germany occupied the Channel Islands, issuing scrip until the occupation ended in 1945. The pound sterling was then issued on the island, and as of this day, still remains the currency used on Alderney.

Alderney pound[]

For more information, see Alderney pound
Alderney Royal Visit

A two-pound coin issued by Alderney.

Alderney, according to Schedule 2 of the Government of Alderney Law, is allowed to issue coins as long as these coins are pegged to the pound sterling. Since 1989, Alderney has been issuing occasional commemorative coins composed of cupronickel, gold, or silver in denominations of 0.50, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 1000 pounds. No banknotes have been issued on the island recently, though a 1 pound note was printed in 1810.