Two Shilling of Malta

06 Jun 2019  Thu

As a student, we all have learned and studied historic details of war. When we refer to war, we relate it to bloodshed, bombings, food shortage and battle. But is vital to understand that during this gruesome times life does not stop, it goes on at its normal pace. The economic needs also remain the same as that during the time of peace.

To run a stable economy on needs the availability of currency in both emergency and standard situations. It’s important that the economy is stable during the war because people still have basic needs to fulfil, they need to spend, buy and shell in short words they need to survive.

This was the situation faced by Malta during World War II. The effect of this war was experienced by all corners of the world, so why the Islands of Malta be an exception. Malta islands lie in the Meditation Sea and have a very important strategic position geographically, lying halfway between the Strait of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal.

Malta was under the British Crown and during the height of three year Siege, they faced a shortage of value one shilling coins. One shilling was not available in notes because it was not issued by the Paper Currency Ordnance of 1939 AD.
Immediate delivery of these notes from England was impossible because notes were not printed and England was facing war. But by luck an old stock of 1918 two shillings with the effigy of King George V was available. So these Two Shilling notes were overprint ‘One shilling’ on both sides and were declared legal tender on 17 November 1942.

This overprint was circulated until new One Shilling notes were printed and delivered from London to Malta. In April 1943 the One Shilling notes stocks arrived in Valletta due to the lift of Siege and this old overprint were withdrawn.

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