When the coinage of Hong Kong was being introduced in the 1860s several trial pieces were prepared for the range of planned denominations. The one cent piece illustrated here was one such trial, combining a crowned portrait of Queen Victoria on the obverse with several symbolic devices on the reverse, including a miniature St George and the dragon.


Hong Kong One Cent (v2).jpg


The reverse also includes the letters RM, for Royal Mint, and TG, the initials of the then Master of the Mint Thomas Graham. It may well have been in Thomas Graham's mind that an earlier Master, William Wellesley Pole, had gone to great pains to ensure that his initials appeared on the new half-crowns, shillings and sixpences introduced in February 1817.   As it transpired, Thomas Graham was not to have his moment of glory on the Hong Kong coinage, his initials being omitted from the designs finally approved.


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