Keeling Cocos Islands 1977 Uncirculated Mint Coin Set of 7
Obverse: John Clunies-Ross facing left, wreath and legend around
Reverse: Coconut palm on beach to left of date
This is a complete set of the coins issued by Cocos Keeling Islands in 1977.
The (Australian) Territory of The Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a small group of 27 islands in the Indian Ocean, about 2,700km North West 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, his attention quickly turned to the trade in coconut by-products, an industry that remains important nearly two centuries later. (Explaining the appellation “Cocos” in Cocos-Keeling Islands).
Administrative responsibility for the Keeling 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 596 people (estimated in 2009), 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.
A series of coins were issued in 1977 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of British settlement - the coins were struck in Switzerland and all have a tiny mintage.
A complete set of the circulation coins like this is tough to get.
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