Minted Copper Elephant Stivers
The first coinage to be struck in Europe specifically for Ceylon. In 1801 Governor North requested 100,000 lb weight to be coined into stivers at the rate of 37 to the pound ; 15 stuivers at the established exchange to equal 8 pennys sterling. The copper to be of the same quality as that of the good half-pence in England. These Stivers were demonetized along with the fanam and Dutch duits by proclamation of 1874, March 17th.
The Governor was informed by the Secretary of State's despatch of 1802, May 1st, the concurrence of the Treasury for the coinage of 10,000 lb weight of copper. The coins were struck at the Soho Mint, Birmingham, by Matthew Boulton, and consisted of a whole, half and quarter stiver (48th, 96th and 192nd of a rix-dollar). The weight is seemingly based on 50 to the Dutch pound, the standard used for the first local copper coinage in 1801.
In 1802 Ceylon came under the immediate control of the Secretary of State for the Colonies; with the official accounts were now kept in rix-dollars, fanams, and pice, instead of in the Star pagoda. The rix-dollar was rated at a 1/4 of a pagoda or 2 Shillings.
The 1802 issue in Bronzed Proof (Pridmore 83A,86A,87A) and Gilt Proof
Pridmore collection (Glendining & Co Auction 1982 October 18th, London)
sold (lot#39) Bronzed Proof for GBP170 and (lot#40)
Gilt Proof for GBP210 (+10% buyers premium).
Dick Ford collection (in Taisei-Baldwin-Gillio Auction#19 1995 February 23 Singapore) sold (lot#177) Bronzed Proof set for $360/-, (lot#178) Gilt Proof for $300/-, and (lot#176) exremely fine for $130.
Proof Patterns not issued for currency exist of 1803 1/48th Rix Dollar
(Pr 84) and of 1804 1/48th (Pr 85) and 1/192nd Rix Dollar (Pr 88) and
in Gilt Proof (85A,88A).
The 1804 issues (Pr 85,85A,88) are illustrated in the Dick Ford collection in lots (#180,#181,#182) which sold for hammer price of US($120/-,$340/-,$260/- +10% buyers premium).
Text edited from
Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924 Chapter XI - British - I - 1796-1825 Page 147; Coins struk in England, page 154 - Plate 149 150.