1808 - 1809 - Ceylon

96 Stiver - Two Rix-dollar

Ninety Six Stiver silver coin struck in Ceylon for circulation by authority dated 1808 February 17th which reduced the fineness standard of the silver coins to 833.33.

Denomination96 Stiver
Diameter23.1 mm
Thickness4.8 mm
Weight Legal18.14 gms
Weight18.22 gms
1808_96st_ag_obverse 1808_96st_ag_reverse
Pridmore #1; Mitchiner #2201; Krause #78

Obverse : Within a circle of dashes an elephant facing left with the year 1808 below a ground line.
Reverse : Within a circle of dashes CEYLONGOVERNMENT preceded by a group of seven dots. The value in Stivers 96 ST at center within a bead circle. Two lines below the T.

R. Nott reports three varieties among (4) 1808 coins and two varieties among (2) 1809 coins he has from the Lowsley collection. Pridmore Lists 1 varieties for 1808 (P#1) and 2 varieties for 1809 (P#2-3), i.e. Seven dots with two, and no lines below T.

This coin has a small dot in the center of reverse between the 9 and 6 which I have not noticed on images of published specimens in Codrington, Pridmore, Krause, Mitchiner etc. The 1808 96 Stiver illustrated in Yeoman, seems to show a dot which was however not clear at the printed resolution.

Ted Buttrey informs me that the 1808 96 Stiver in Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge UK, which has a provenance of being purchased for 4/6 in 1885 London does also show this dot. Jan Lingen provided me an image of the 1809 96 Stiver coin in his collection and explains the source of the dot on the dies.

A similer dot/No-dot at the center of the reverse is also seen on the 1814 Ceylon silver fanam ( 4-stiver ) TOKEN coin of which I show both types.

Text from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
  Page 155 Chapter XI British - Coins struck in Ceylon. Plate 155.

This VF+ coin was scaned at 400dpi and displayed at 300dpi. It is Lot#825 Baldwin's Auction of Ken Wiggin's collection held in London on 8th May 2001. I thank Satya Bhupatiraju for placing the winning bid for me, and Ted Buttrey and Jan Lingen for their contributions.