1/10 Penny, Issued by, Nigeria and British West Africa, 1908
Minted by Royal Mint, London
Struck in Aluminium

This coin was probably the first aluminium coin in the world to go into circulation. The British Mint commenced mintage of these coins in 1906, and in 1907 also produced aluminium one cent coins for British East Africa. The aluminium coins suffered from corrosion, and were soon replaced with copper-nickel coins of the same designs.

Obverse Description

An imperial crown above a central circular hole with a scroll ornament to right and left; below crown, ONE TENTH OF A PENNY; around, outside the scroll ornaments, EDWARD VII KING & EMPEROR; below hole in Arabic, the denomination

Reverse Description

Around circular central hole, Solomon's seal, consisting of two equilateral triangles interlaced; around, NIGERIA BRITISH WEST AFRICA 1908

Edge Description



British West Africa was a grouping of four seperate British colonies - Nigeria Sierra Leone, Ghana (originally Gold Coast) and Gambia. From 1907 till 1911 the obverse of the coins took the form NIGERIA- BRITISH WEST AFRICA then from 1912 the word NIGERIA was discontinued. This denomination was struck in aluminium in 1907 and at the beginning of 1908. In the tropical conditions of that region the metal turned to powder. Vice (p.84) reports a Government official in 1912 stating that 'the ordinary native lives on 1 1/4 d. a day'. This is the reason for the production of such a low denomination coin as the tenth of a penny.

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