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Reverse of 1844 Thirteenth of a Shilling
Obverse of 1844 Thirteenth of a Shilling
Reverse of 1844 Thirteenth of a Shilling
Reverse of 1844 Thirteenth of a Shilling
A Brief History of the Jersey
The Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency and one of the Channel Islands, located just off the French Normandy Coast. Its capital is St Helier.

Early History
It is known that ancient Jersey was populated by Celts. However, historical references to Jersey during ancient times are scarce, although Jersey was known to the Romans as part of the Lenur Islands, nobody knows for sure what Jersey itself was called. One theory is that it was once known as ‘Caesarea’ and the etymological origin of the word ‘Jersey’ therefore stems from this. However, this is only a theory, and according to the Antonine Itinerary of Roman place names (which lists the names of the Channel Islands), Jersey could also have been called ‘Sarnia’, ‘Barsa’, ‘Silica’ or ‘Andium’.

Duchy of Normandy<>BR> William I (Longsword), Duke of Normandy seized Jersey from the Duchy of Brittany in 933 and added them to his own Duchy of Normandy. A later Duke of Normandy, William II famously conquered England in 1066. Thus the Channel Islands established their link to the English (and later British) Crown. Jersey, along with the rest of the Channel Islands was administered as part of the Duchy of Normandy until 1204, when the French King, Philip II confiscated mainland Normandy from King John of England. This legal separation was confirmed in 1259 when King Louis IX of France dropped his claim to Jersey and the other Channel Islands in return for Henry III’s recognition of the loss of continental Normandy as part of the Treaty of Paris (1259).

Anglo-French Wars
Despite this treaty, Jersey was still subject to French hostility during the various wars between England and France over the centuries. The castle of Mont Orgueil was constructed from 1204 to defend the island from French incursion.
In spite of this, the island was invaded and briefly occupied by the French during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses. The last attempt at French conquest took place in 1781, when a French force of 1,000 was defeated by British Regulars and the Royal Jersey Militia during the Battle of Jersey.

Role during the Civil War and Restoration
Jersey supported the Royalists during the Civil War until its capture by the Parliamentarians in 1651. It was in St Helier that Charles II was proclaimed King following his father’s execution in 1649. The Commonwealth used Jersey as a place to imprison its more troublesome opponents, such as the Leveller (so-called) John Lilburne and William Prynne. Following the restoration, Charles II also used the castle of Mont Orguil to imprison those regicides whose role in his father’s execution was not considered direct enough to warrant execution.

The 19th Century
The development of steamships and railways in both Britain and France encouraged the development of tourism in Jersey, which is still an important part of the economy today. In 1837, Jersey adopted sterling as its official currency, as the French livre tournois, which was still up until that point the official currency of Jersey, had not had coins struck in its name for several decades following the French Revolution.

Nazi Occupation
Following the Fall of France in May 1940, Jersey was considered to be too difficult to defend, and was therefore abandoned by the British military and was partially evacuated. The Germans arrived soon afterwards to garrison the island, and established an intricate series of bunkers and fortifications around the island to prevent the allies from taking them back. The assault never came however, and Jersey was not liberated until after VE day.

Jersey Today
Following the end of the war, tourism was re-established. However, the island’s prosperity in recent years can be largely put down to the rise of the finance industry. As Jersey is not technically a part of the United Kingdom, it does not owe any taxes to the British government, which is nevertheless responsible for the defence and foreign affairs of the island.

Coinage of Jersey
The first coins in use in Jersey were likely Celtic staters used in Gaul and southern Britain, followed by coins of Roman origin, followed by French deniers.
Although Jersey has been a English/British Crown dependency since about 1204, for a long time its currency was more closely linked to that of France than to England. Due to economic links with France, Jersey used the French livre for trade and everyday transactions, and the use of the livre in Jersey even survived long after it had been demonetised in France itself in the 1790s. In the 1830s, coins of the old French livre were becoming worn out and increasingly scarce, and a law was passed in 1834 to replace the livre with sterling by 1840.
A Jersey coinage was issued from 1840 onwards, but the Jersey penny was, unlike its British counterpart, worth 1/13th instead of 1/12th of a shilling. This was because a Jersey penny thus valued was worth 2 sous, making the exchange less complicated.
The 1/13th (and 1/26th and 1/52th) of a shilling denominations were finally replaced in 1877 with coins in line with those of sterling. Copper coins were issued until 1866 until they were replaced with bronze in 1866. In 1957, Jersey introduced a nickel-brass threepence, but unlike its British equivalent, it was round, and a dodecagonal version was not introduced until 1964.
When Britain decimalised in 1971, Jersey followed suit with denominations identical in size, shape and composition to their British equivalents. M
Today, coins of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 are issued for circulation. Coins feature the portrait of Elizabeth II and a variety of designs representing Jersey on the reverse. Although they are not legal tender on the British mainland, they are occasionally found in small change here and are usually accepted at face value.

For Sale and Wanted
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Jersey Coins

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