Australia Post | Stamp Collectibles

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

20 October 2020

Currency of the Clunies-Ross Era

Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Currency of the Clunies-Ross Era, 20 October 2020. Images from Australia Post Stamp Bulletin No. 367.

Technical Specifications:

Issue date: 20 October 2020
Issue withdrawal date: 30 April-2021
Denomination: $1.10 x 2, $2.20 x 2
Stamp and product design: Stacey Zass, page12design
Paper: Tullis Russell Red Phos
Printer: RA Printing
Printing process: Offset lithography
Stamp size (mm): 37.5 x 26
Minisheet size (mm): 135 x 80
Perforations: 13.86 x 14.6
Sheet layout: Module of 50 (no design)
FDI Postmark: Cocos (Keeling) Islands WA 6799
FDI withdrawal date: 18 November-2020

n 1827, Scottish merchant seaman John Clunies-Ross settled on the uninhabited Cocos (Keeling) Islands and  established a business exporting copra. He recruited Malay workers to harvest the island’s copious coconut palms. For more than 150 years, the Clunies-Ross dynasty effectively ruled the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Until 1955, when the islands became an external Australia territory, the Cocos Malay employees were paid with tokens redeemable only at the company store. The stamps feature paper, ivorine tokens and plastic tokens in addition to metal coins issued in 1977 by the last “king of Cocos”, John Cecil Clunies-Ross. In 1978 the Australian government purchased the islands and on 6 April 1984 the Cocos Malay community voted to integrate with Australia in a status referendum of self-determination.

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