New Brunswick, Victoria, 10 cents, 1864
By Library and Archives Canada | Monday, 29 March 2004
The decimal coinage issued by the Province of Canada in 1858 brought some semblance of order to the chaotic scramble for small change that was usual in the colonies. Since people had been using English and American coins as well as local tokens in their everyday transactions, the new currency was welcome. Other provinces soon followed the lead of the Province of Canada, although New Brunswick was the only one of them to issue silver coins.
In 1860 New Brunswick passed an act requiring all accounts rendered to the government to be in dollars and cents. The act also provided for the striking of "such silver coins representing dollars or the divisions of a dollar as Her Majesty shall see fit to direct to be struck for the purpose" and "such copper or bronze coins representing cents or multiples or divisions of a cent as Her Majesty shall see fit to direct to be struck for the purpose." The 5-, 10- and 20-cent silver pieces struck at the Royal Mint in 1862 and 1864 had the same obverse design as those of the Province of Canada, except that the legend DEI GRATIA REGINA was abbreviated to D:G:REG: to accommodate the longer NEW BRUNSWICK below the bust of the monarch.
The obverse of the 10-cent piece illustrated shows the laureate head of Queen Victoria facing left. It was designed and engraved by Leonard Charles Wyon, chief engraver at the Royal Mint. This coin forms part of the National Currency Collection, Bank of Canada.
New Brunswick: 10-Cent Piece, 1864
In common with the rest of British North America, New Brunswick suffered from an acute shortage of small change during the mid-nineteenth century. Business transactions were further complicated by the lack of a single, unified currency system. Small quantities of British, U.S. and other foreign coins, along with a motley assortment of semi-regal and private tokens, made up the circulating currency. Because of the need for a standardization of accounts and a sufficient quantity of coinage to meet both commercial and private needs, the New Brunswick government passed an act in 1860 requiring that all accounts rendered to the government be in dollars and cents.
It was further proposed that decimal coins in the value of 1, 5, l0 and 20 cents be ordered and struck. Silver 10-cent pieces like the one pictured were struck in 1862 and 1864. The design of the reverse, consisting of a denomination and date surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves tied by ribbon at the bottom and surmounted by St. Edward's crown, was identical to that of the Province of Canada 10-cent piece issued four years earlier. Although the new coins did not entirely alleviate New Brunswick's currency problems, they were popular and remained in circulation well into the 20th century. This coin forms part of the National Currency Collection, Bank of Canada.
This article represents a portion of the the article titled Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada
Source : Library and Archives Canada
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