BRITISH NORTH BORNEO 2 1/2 cents 1920 H


BRITISH NORTH BORNEO, 2 1/2 cents, 1920 H, Heaton mint, copper-nickel, KM4, VF

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Borneo is an old name for the Malaysian island now called Sabah. A German businessman bought land on the island and shopped a colonization scheme to various European governments. The British responded, and granted him a royal charter. Attempts by Spain and the Netherlands to assert control of the territories failed. It became a British Protectorate in 1888. There were several rebellions. The Japanese occupied the island during World War II and there was a lot of damage as the Japanese were dislodged. The private company was unable to reconstruct after the war, and ceded the territory to the British government in 1946.

The big player in East Asia is China, of course. Then there is Japan and Korea, throw in Mongolia. South of China and east of India, but not including, for the most part, the islands to the east, is what we call Southeast Asia. From Burma to Malaya there have been a series of local kingdoms for about 2000 years. Russia, with its Asian Siberia, doesn’t count. We consider it part of Europe.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.