The coins of the Rhodesian pound were part of the currency of Southern Rhodesia, which changed its name to Rhodesia, following the break-up of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, when the Rhodesian pound replaced the Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound.
These coins are interesting in two respects. First, Rhodesia was the first of two countries to utilise Arnold Machin's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on pre-decimal coinage (the other country was The Gambia). Secondly, the coins were dual-denominated (with 5c, 10c, 20c and 25c). This was not only to familiarise the public with the decimal system, but also to allow the coins to remain legal tender after the forthcoming change over to decimal currency.
On November 11, 1965, Rhodesia was declared by Prime Minister Ian Smith to be an independent Dominion. This led to sanctions being imposed by both the British Commonwealth and the United Nations, as the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) was not recognized as legitimate.
In 1966, the 'rebel' Rhodesian Government decided to issue a set of gold coins to commemorate the first anniversary of the UDI. These consisted of three denominations:
- five pounds - 3000 minted (bearing the arms of Rhodesia on the reverse)
all of which were identical in weight, size and gold content to the British sovereign, half-sovereign and five pound coin. These coins were issued singly and in a set of three, in cases inscribed RESERVE BANK OF RHODESIA. These coins, like the 1964 issue, were struck at Pretoria.
In 1968, the Rhodesian threepence (or tickey) was issued. This was not dual-denominated.
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