Gold Coins of Tristan da Cunha
Brief Historical Notes on Tristan da Cunha
Up until 1999, coins of Tristan da Cunha showed the full name of the island in their legends. Since 2005, the name have been removed, and the acronym TDC appears instead. This may have coincided with LMO (London Mint Office) starting to market Tristan da Cunha coins. In their advertising and promotional material, the name Tristan da Cunha is hardly ever mentioned, and then perhaps only in the small print. Photos often show the reverse side of the coin overlapping the obverse side, obscuring, or parttly obscuring, the TDC lettering. We believe LMO do this to sucker buyers into thinking they are getting a British coin, not one from a small island over 8,000 miles away.
The first time we saw it, we asked WTF is TDC!
According to Wikipedia:
Tristan da Cunha is a remote volcanic group of islands in the south Atlantic Ocean. It is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying 2,816 kilometres (1,750 mi) from the nearest land, South Africa, and 3,360 kilometres (2,090 mi) from South America. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, 2,430 kilometres (1,510 mi) to the north. It is said to be the "most remote place on earth."
The territory consists of the main island Tristan da Cunha (area: 98 square kilometres (38 sq mi), the uninhabited Nightingale Islands and the wildlife reserves of Inaccessible Island and Gough Island.
The Tristan da Cunha Website
In June 2013, we noticed The Tristan da Cunha Website(www.tristandc.com). Its "Coins" pages is quite interesting, although incomplete, and not up to date. We are sure they will not mind us quoting some sections of it:
tristandc.com has been made aware of various false allegations
circulating world-wide on 'blogging' sites and elsewhere
discrediting bona fide commemorative coins being offered for sale.
(It did not specify what these "false allegations" were).
Tristan da Cunha Commemorative Coins
Administrator Mike Hentley
outlines the background to the island's 21st Century coins which are now available for sale
Tristan is one of the few UK Overseas Territories not to have it's own currency. In the old days no-one needed money - goods and services were exchanged by barter trade. Even when the Island was garrisoned by British Forces during World War II, the common 'currency' was cigarettes or potatoes. With the establishment of the Fish Factory and an import/export trade with South Africa in the early 1950s, Rand notes and coins were used. However, when Tristan was resettled in 1963 after the exodus caused by the 1961 volcanic eruption, the returning Islanders brought back with them the money saved during their stay in the UK. Thus, pound sterling notes & coins entered circulation, and are today long established as the official currency (although visitors to the Island may also pay in Rand, US Dollars and Euro, which is converted at the prevailing rates of exchange).
Tristan does, however, have a Commemorative Coins Ordinance which enables the Governor (with the prior approval of the British Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs) to 'cause coins to be made and issued to commemorate notable events of importance to Tristan'. Coins made and issued under the provisions of this law are, in fact, legal tender on the Island (not that they would ever be used as such because their collectible or metal value is likely to exceed their face value).
The Ordinance has been used from time to time. But design and production costs, when combined with the logistical challenges of bringing the commemorative coins to the Island for distribution and sale, resulted in a net loss of revenue for the Tristan Government which, after the economic decline in the mid 1990's, was unable to afford to produce further issues.
A change for the better happened in November 2004 when, with the approval of the Governor and the Secretary of State, the Tristan Government entered into a five year agreement with the Commonwealth Mint & Philatelic Bureau Ltd (formerly known as London Mint Ltd). This innovative partnership enables Tristan to select and approve designs for proposed issues, with the company arranging production and distribution to collectors via established dealerships worldwide. Production costs are met by the income from sales and, in addition, the Government receives a royalty on each coin sold. This provides a welcome revenue stream in addition to traditional income from the fisheries sector, a modest amount of tourism, and sales of stamps and souvenirs; and helps to finance the provision of essential government services such as Camogli Hospital and St Mary's School.
We looked up Commonwealth Mint & Philatelic Bureau Ltd, using duedil.com, and found the information given on tristandc.com to be incorrect. Commonwealth Mint & Philatelic Bureau Ltd was incorporated on 13th April 2005, and changed its name on 13th December 2005, from "London Mint Connection Limited"; close, but not the same. Precision is very important when it comes to registration of company names, as a slighly different name would denote and belong to a completely different company.
Diameter = Approximate Diameter in millimetres.
Weight = Weight in grams.
Alloy = Fineness of gold.
AGW = Actual fine gold weight in troy ounces.
Postage & Packing
UK Registered Post (Special Delivery) £9 per order
EU Insured Post £10 per order
USA Airmail $10 per order
USA Insured Shipping $20 per order
Tristan da Cunha Silver and Base Metal Coins
For silver and base metal coins of Tristan da Cunha, please look at our original Chard Coins website.
We make an active market in almost all world coins, gold or otherwise, including Tristan da Cunha gold coins. If you have any of these coins to sell, please contact us, or post them to us for appraisal and offer.
Obverse of 2008 Gold Proof Guinea
Reverse of 2008 Gold Proof Guinea
Reverse of 2010 Gold Proof Sovereign