Saturday, 24 September 2016

PENANG BALEMARK 1/4 CENT (1/10 PICE)

Malaysia Penang  Quarter cent or 1/10 Pice 1787 Copper




Observe: The United East India Company's balemark, under it the date 1787 divided by a six pointed star. A toothed border round the edge.

Reverse: Inscription in Arabic "Jezirah ab Wailis" (Island of Wales). The inscription is abbreviated due to lack of space. A toothed  border round the edge.

Edge: Plain

Weight: 13-15 grains, 0.84 - 0.97 grammes

Composition: Copper

This wasn't an easy one to find information about! It turns out to bear the heart-shaped design of a merchant's mark, or 'bale mark', used by the British East India Company in the late 18th century. Such a token would identify a unit of goods as belonging to the East India Company, such that they could be successfully recovered and ownership proven after transport from India to Great Britain. These coins or tokens were produced in numbers that seemingly allowed them to also circulate as coinage, with the bale mark image of the East Indian Company on the coin as a sort of official seal of approval. Genuine larger 1 pice coins weigh around 9.65 grams, while the tiny one-tenth pice coins only weigh 0.9 to 1 gram. These coins were minted in Calcutta, India. If your coin has no date and only one side has a design (the EIC inside the heart standing for East India Company), then it was minted in 1786. Coins with only one side struck are known as 'uniface' coins. All varieties are rare and highly collectible 1/4 Cent or ONE-TENTH PICE 1787 (small and light, 1 gram): Weight: 0.84g Diameter : 12mm Edge : Plain ONE PICE 1787 (large and heavy, 9 grams): UNIFACE COIN, NO DATE (minted 1786): Issues such as holes, corrosion or gouges will lower the value considerably, though the rarity of these coins will mean that they remain slightly collectible even with moderate damage.

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