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Cent
Solomon Islands cent 1996
1996 coin
General information
Country

Flag of the Solomon Islands Solomon Islands

Value

$0.01

Years

19772010

Measurements and composition
Mass
  • 2.6 g (1977-1983)
  • 2.3 g (1985-2010)
Diameter

17.53 mm

Thickness

1.7 mm

Composition
Appearance
Shape

round

Alignment

medallic

Edge

plain

Obverse

Elizabeth II, monarch name, state title, year

Reverse

Wood bowl, value

v · d · e

The 1 cent coin is a former circulation piece of the Solomon Islands. It was issued in three types from 1977 to 2010, all during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (1926–; r. 1952–). Each was distributed by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands and its precursor, the Solomon Islands Monetary Authority, and struck under commission at foreign mints.

The first coin of the denomination was introduced in October 1977, a few months before the Solomon Islands became independent from the United Kingdom. It was then produced annually until 1983, and replaced in 1985 by a piece of the same design but different composition. A final cent with an updated obverse design was then issued intermittently from 1987 to 2010.

All three pieces were initially legal tender in their country of origin, each circulating for a nominal value of 0.01 Solomon Islands dollar. However, because of their low purchasing power, they eventually fell out of use and were subsequently demonetized in 2012.

CoinsEdit

First portrait (1977–1985)Edit

Solomon Islands cent 1977

1977 coin

The British Solomon Islands achieved self-government on January 2, 1976. In anticipation of its independence, which was scheduled for July 7, 1978, the newly autonomous protectorate introduced its own currency, the Solomon Islands dollar, in October 1977. The first series of coins for this new currency, consisting of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 cent and 1 dollar pieces, was released into circulation on that date. The 1 cent coin of the series was struck annually from 1977 to 1983 at the Franklin Mint in the United States and in 1977 and 1981 at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales.

To reduce production costs, the Central Bank of Solomon Islands changed the composition of the 1 and 2 cent coins from bronze to copper-plated steel in 1985. Both of these new pieces were struck solely that year at the Royal Mint.

The bronze coins issued from 1977 to 1983 weigh 2.6 grams, while the copper-plated pieces released in 1985 weigh a slightly smaller 2.3 grams. Coins of both compositions measure 17.53 millimeters in diameter and about 1.7 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment and plain edges, and are round in shape. The rims of both sides of the two pieces are raised and undecorated.

The obverse of both coins, designed by British sculptor Arnold Machin (1911–1999), features a right-facing illustration of Elizabeth II wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara in its center. Engraved clockwise along the rim to the left is the caption "ELIZABETH II", and inscribed in the same direction at the periphery to the right is the state title "SOLOMON ISLANDS". The Gregorian date of minting appears in the opposite direction below Elizabeth's likeness.

The reverse, designed by David Thomas, features a depiction of a decorated wooden bowl in the middle. It is accompanied by the face value "1 CENT", with the numeral engraved above the image and the word displayed below. On coins struck at the Franklin Mint, a small "FM" mark additionally appears below the bowl.

The mintage of the bronze coin is unknown, but exceeds 1,883,703 pieces. All of the examples produced at the Royal Mint were released into circulation as business strikes, whereas the pieces struck at the Franklin Mint were sold to collectors in matte, proof, and uncirculated finishes. Many of the Franklin Mint coins were distributed in mint and proof sets.

The mintage of the copper-plated steel piece is also unknown. Only business strikes of this type are reported to exist.

Mintages
Year Mint Mintage
Bronze
1977 Royal Mint 1,828,000
1977 Matte Franklin Mint 6,000
1977 Proof 14,000
1977 Uncirculated Unknown
1978 Matte 6,000
1978 Proof 5,122
1978 Uncirculated 544
1979 Matte 6,000
1979 Proof 2,845
1979 Uncirculated 677
1980 Matte 6,000
1980 Proof 1,031
1980 Uncirculated 624
1981 Royal Mint Unknown
1981 Matte Franklin Mint 6,000
1981 Proof 448
1981 Uncirculated 212
1982 Proof Unknown
1982 Uncirculated Unknown
1983 Matte Unknown
1983 Proof Unknown
1983 Uncirculated 200
Total > 1,883,703
Copper-plated steel
1985 Royal Mint Unknown

Second portrait (1987–2010)Edit

Around 1982, officials at the Royal Mint decided to replace Machin's coin portrait of Elizabeth II with a new likeness of the queen. The mint invited 17 artists to submit portrait models for consideration, and of the 38 proposals received, one by Israeli-British sculptor Raphael David Maklouf (1937–) was ultimately selected. This controversial new portrait became available as early as 1985, but was not adopted on the coins of the Solomon Islands until 1987, when new 1, 2, 5, and 20 cent pieces were released. These were later followed by a redesigned 10 cent coin and the first 50 cent piece in 1990 and a 1 dollar coin in 1996. The cent of this new series was struck intermittently from 1987 to 2005 at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales. Pieces from 2010, which are cruder than their earlier-dated counterparts, were produced at an unknown mint.

The cent is composed of copper-plated steel and measures 2.3 grams in mass, 17.53 millimeters in diameter, and 1.7 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Both of its rims are raised and undecorated.

Maklouf's right-facing portrait of Elizabeth II, which shows the queen wearing the George IV State Diadem, Coronation Earrings, and Coronation Necklace, is displayed in the middle of the obverse. Printed clockwise along the rim to the left is the caption "ELIZABETH II", and engraved in the same direction at the periphery to the right is the state title "SOLOMON ISLANDS". The Gregorian date of minting appears in the opposite direction below Elizabeth's likeness.

The reverse is identical to that of earlier cents. It features a decorated wooden bowl in is center, the numeral "1" engraved horizontally above and the word "CENT" inscribed below.

The mintage of the coin is currently unknown. Only business strikes are reported to exist.

ReferencesEdit

Template:Solomon Islands dollar

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