Trinidad and Tobago No Date (1798) 1 1/2 bitts

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photo courtesy Stack's Bowers Auctions

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago, originally invaded and occupied by the Spanish, were wrested from Spanish control by the British in 1797. The two islands were merged as a single entity in 1888. It remained a colony of Great Britain until achieving independence in 1976. Up until independence, no coins were struck locally. Evidence of official authorization of the the coin shown has not been found, but they were circulating by 1798[1].

This example was lot 1333 at the N.Y.I.N.C Auction – Sale 71 by Stack's Bowers Auctions and sold on Jan 7, 2011 for $1298. the catalog description reads:
"TOBAGO. Moco (1 1/2 Bits), ND (1798). Cut central portion of an 8 Reale[s], 15 crenellations radiate "T" countermark. Pridmore states that official issues are that of 14 crenellations. However, this has been found to only one known die for this issue and it is found of both coins of 14 and 15 crenellations. The 15 crenellation type displays a die break, hence the 14 crenellation type is earlier. VERY RARE. Minor encrustation. VERY FINE.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver.

Catalog reference: KM-9; Prid-2.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [1]Byrne, Ray, Coins, Tokens, & Medals from the West Indies, Jess Peters, Inc, auction catalog - Sale #78, June 13-15, 1975.
  • Ponterio, Richard, and Kent Ponterio, Ponterio sale 158: The 2011 N.Y.I.N.C. Auction, Irvine: Bowers and Merena, 2010.

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