Banknote Index


Country Jamaica
Authority Government of Jamaica
Currency Shilling
Denomination 10
Issue Start Date 02/01/1939
Issue End Date 02/01/1948
This Notes Issue Date 01/11/1940
Type Normal
Material Paper
Width in mm 138
Height in mm 77
Signatures A.H.Hodges
Description Front King George VI at Left
Description Back Coat of Arms
Guilloche patterns with TEN SHILLINGS in 2 lines
Comments The change of color of Jamaica's 10 shilling note P38 blue to P39 purple came about as a result of the wreck of the S.S. Politician off Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides in 1941 on board was 290,000 10 shilling notes (P38) for Jamaica along with 28,000 cases of malt whisky the local area had been dry of alcohol due to war-time rationing the locals who had saved the crew and from them learned what the cargo on board was, "salvaged" some of the cargo and subsequently some of the banknotes as well. Thus started a merry old time for the locals so much so that is prompted author Compton Mackenzie to write the novel Whisky Galore in 1947 and a movie of the same name was produced in 1949 by Ealing Studios (released in the USA as Tight Little Island). The banknotes began turning up at banks and were redeemed all over Europe the USA and even Jamaica itself. This caused the authorities to De-monetize P38 in 1951 and produce P39 in a different color.

The serial numbers for the "Politician" notes are known and as follows

Prefix C6 C7 C8 50001 - 100000
Prefix C9 C10 60001 - 100000
Prefix C11 30001 - 100000

In all after authorities recovered the majority of notes from the wreck and redemption of notes in world banks some 74000 notes are not "accounted for"
Source Bill Vesty
BNI Banknote Id 63674

Catalog & Valuation Details

SourceCatalog # / ReferenceValueDate of ValueComments
12th Ed SCWPM General Issues P-0038b    
Jamaica, 10 Shilling, P38b