Keeling-Cocos Islands 1968 Plastic Token Set (10 Rupee ~ 1 Cent) KM#Tn8~16 EF ~ Unc
Obverse: Palm tree scene above date, legend to right
Reverse: Denomination within scalloped design
This is a scarce and ever-popular set, it is always in demand right around the world.
The (Australian) Territory of The Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a small group of 27 islands in the Indian Ocean, about 2,700km northwest of Perth (quite literally halfway to Sri Lanka). The Cocos economy is largely based on coconut products and tourism - it has a history dating back to the 17th century.
The name of this island group can be a little confusing – initially discovered by Captain Keeling of the British East India Company in 1609; they were not settled until 1827 by a Scottish trader named John Clunies Ross.
Clunies Ross had a vision of his settlement being a way station for maritime trade in the region, once he arrived his attention quickly turned to the trade of coconut by-products, an industry that remains important nearly two centuries later. (Explaining the appellation “Cocos” in Cocos-Keeling Islands).
Administrative responsibility for the Cocos Islands has changed hands many times over the years – as an official possession of Great Britain from 1857; under the (British) Government of Ceylon from 1878; under the Directorship of the Straits Settlements from 1882; incorporated within the Crown Colony of Singapore in 1903; declared a Territory of Australia in 1955, and fully integrating with Australia in 1984.
Due to their isolation and relative autonomy, several quite different series of coins and notes were issued for use in the local Cocos economy over the years. When we consider that the population of the islands at present is a mere 629 people (estimated in 2004), we can get a clear idea of just how rare coins and paper money dating back to the early part of the last century really is.
The administration of the Keeling-Cocos Islands released a set of plastic tokens in 1968, each token features a palm tree growing from an island with the ocean in the background on the reverse, and the denomination within a geometric design on the obverse.
As the Australian dollar is the legal circulating medium in the Keeling-Cocos Islands, the exact purpose of the 1968 plastic token series is not clear. That some of these tokens are encountered in circulated condition leads some collectors to believe that they circulated or were at least used for some purpose.
Regardless, they are always in demand with collectors right around the world that are keen to collect at least one coin from each nation, country or territory in the world.
This set just requires the largest denomination in the set (the 25 Rupee) to become complete.
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