Some years ago I went with a co-worker to a coin show in Montreal. I was not interested in coins, but heard that the Chinese food was good, and wanted to see the city so I went along. The show itself was what I expected: a bunch of people, folding tables, vendors, boxes, bins, cases, binders with coins and numismatic items. I wandered around a bit and came to a table that had a plastic tote full of coins with a sign: 5¢. I thought I might find a coin from my childhood, so started pawing through the tub for an argentine coin of the 70s or 80s. What caught my attention in the bin was a Bermuda one cent piece from 1970. The coin sported a perky little porker. The coin wasn’t large; the size of a Lincoln cent, and it was made of bronze. I found the item quite interesting and purchased it along with a “resero” coin from Argentina. I quickly found my co-worker and his wife and showed him my find. That coin started it, collecting pigs on coins. (And stamps, and medals and banknotes, and…well who knows where it will all end up.)
Bermuda has an old history with hogs.
When the Sea Venture was driven into the reefs off Bermuda in 1609 the passengers and crew (and one dog, we’re told) took refuge on the island. Here they found hogs, presumably left by a previous European expedition as it seems to have been visited as early as 1503. This source of meat helped the settlers and those of Jamestown supplement their food supply (and I understand one died from bad pork). Early Bermuda coinage featured a hog.
The minting of the one cent coins
In modern times, the hog appears on the Bermuda one cent piece. It was minted semi-regularly from 1970 through 2000 (and beyond). The design features a hog with ONE CENT at the top and the year on the bottom . The reverse features the right profile bust of Queen Elizabeth II with the words BERMUDA on the left and ELIZABETH II on the right. It was not minted in 1972 and 1979. In 1986 the engraving of the queen was modified. In 1989 it was not minted and in 1988 there was a copper coated steel version minted along with the bronze. In 1991 it was minted in bronze and in new copper plated zinc. 1993 through 1997 were all made in the copper plated zinc (none were minted in 1992). In 1999 and 2000 the engraving of the queen was again changed and ELIZABETH II switched side with BERMUDA. One other variation in this coin was in 1995. That year it was minted in three different materials: Copper plated zinc, 3.7000 g of 0.9250 silver (only 2000 minted) and 6.2000 g of 0.9170 gold (only 500 minted).
Note: In my collection the obverse is the side with the pig, the reverse is the “other” side. This does not always correspond to the numismatic descriptions.