Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 10 Cents 1969-1985, KM# 30, Fiji, Elizabeth II
  • 10 Cents 1969-1985, KM# 30, Fiji, Elizabeth II

Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km; 1,300 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi). The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of 898,760. The capital, Suva on Viti Levu, serves as Fiji's principal cruise port.

Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC, and was settled first by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century, and, after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874. Fiji was a Crown colony until 1970, when it gained independence as a Commonwealth realm. A republic was declared in 1987, following a series of coups d'état.


Second crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara was a wedding present in 1947 from her grandmother, Queen Mary, who received it as a gift from the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland in 1893 on the occasion of her marriage to the Duke of York, later George V. Made by E. Wolfe & Co., it was purchased from Garrard & Co. by a committee organised by Lady Eve Greville. In 1914, Mary adapted the tiara to take 13 diamonds in place of the large oriental pearls surmounting the tiara. At first, Elizabeth wore the tiara without its base and pearls but the base was reattached in 1969. The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara is one of Elizabeth's most recognisable pieces of jewellery due to its widespread use on British banknotes and coinage.

Engraver: Arnold Machin



Fijian throwing club 'I ulã tavatava' divides value.

This club, as highly polished and well crafted as it is, is at its heart a functional object. In Fijian society there were many different types of clubs all distinguished by their design for specific uses. This particular design is named I ulã tavatava, for the deep serrations around the head or tavatava. The name ulã comes from the buttress root of the ironwood tree, a strong hard wood, which was shaped as it grew to produce the sinewy curves of the clubs. It was designed to be thrown from a distance causing injury and the incapacitated victim would be finished off from a close quarter killing blow. Whether this victim was an animal, such as the pigeons or giant fruit bats of the South Pacific, or a human, the club was a highly effective assassination weapon.

Though the club in the exhibition case has little decoration, many clubs had lots of carvings and indentations. They were highly decorated and beautiful objects, full of the ingenuity of the craftsmen and the masculine power of the warriors who held them. From a society which used weaponry to hunt, to defend and attack, clubs like this became a central object useful and symbolic all at once.

Engraver: Ken Payne



10 Cents

2nd portrait
KM# 30
Material Cupronickel
Weight 5.6 g
Diameter 23.6 mm
Thickness 1.71 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal

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3rd portrait

Nickel Bonded Steel, 4.76 g, ⌀ 23.6 mm