1942 - Ceylon

George VI - One Cent Bakelite Pattern

In 1942 in a selection process for the new type of coin to conserve metal for the war, a pattern was struck in very dark brown Runcolite (a plastic like Bakelite) in high relief. To overcome the shortage of one cent coins the Governor of Ceylon called in the Local Press for suggestions to manufacture 5 million pieces per year. Hector Mather, Agents in Ceylon for Runcolite Ltd of Oxford Street London requested Lacrinoid Products Ltd of Gidea Park Essex to manufacture samples in Copper Brown and very dark brown. 24 samples were made on 1942 October 15th and 11 more. Sent to Ceylon 2 samples by AirMail and 2 by seamail. This was not viewed kindly by the Royal Mint which decided to take no action against the Firm if the specimens were distroyed and the dies recovered. It was anyway seen that this pattern was not durable for circulation, and on 1942 September 8th, was a bronze coin of half the original weight was selected.

Denomination1 cents
Diameter22.4 mm
Thickness1.8 mm
Weight0.81 gms
1942_George~VI_01c_bakelight_pattern_obverse 1942_George~VI_01c_bakelight_pattern_reverse
KM Unlisted

Obverse : Crowned effigy of George VI to left in high relief in the center of the legend GEORGE VI KING AND EMPEROR OF INDIA, along periphery. Initials of designer P M in relief below the truncation.

Reverse : A Talipot palm in the center, Left Sinhala satheyer; Right Tamil Satam. CEYLON . ONE . CENTS and year 1942 below along periphery.

Since they were not done by the Royal Mint are they a Fantasy. But since they were sent to Bank for evaluation does it make them true Patterns. ? This Pattern is not listed in Pridmore or in Krause as yet.

The Pattern was sold at Dick Ford collection Taisei-Baldwin-Gillio Auction #19 23 Feb 1995 lot 255 for US$400+10%, claiming to be the only specimen of the few known in private hands. Not True. I would very much like to know the location of the other known specimens including the one sold in the Dick Ford collection.

Retired officer T. M. U. Sallay of the Central Bank of Ceylon, confirmed that it is an Pattern sent to CBC. The Bakelite was not durable and he remembers one specimen which had broken.

The pattern was scanned at 600dpi and the images are displayed at 250dpi. I thank Graham Dyer of the Royal Mint and Bruce Colins of Krause for the growing information on this piece.

This Lankan Bakelite Pattern is interestingly similer to the 1942 WWII - US patterns including one in Bakelite.