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Tour Highlights

Introduction
The Bank of Mauritius Museum is the custodian of the rich history and evolution of currency in the country, from the Dutch period to modern-day.  
All artefacts on display aim at highlighting the fact that, since the 17th century,  Mauritius, as a thriving port and trading settlement, was indeed ‘The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean’ and a true international financial centre.
 
 
The Dutch Period
In 1618, when Prince Maurice Van Nassau succeeded William V as Prince of Orange, he instructed that a new silver coin be minted. The new coin, which would be known as the Ducaton, was the first ever to bear the name ‘MAURITIUS’.
 
 
The French Period
In 1810, whilst the Isle de France was faced with a serious shortage of currency, Governor Charles Decaen came up with the makeshift solution of minting a local silver coin. The coin, which would be known as the Piastre Decaen, was subsequently be declared as the official currency of the settlement. The coin bore the French imperial eagle with "Isles de France et Bonaparte’’ engraved on the obverse. The reverse featured the denomination surrounded by olive and bay leaves. The Piastre Decaen piastre is unique in many aspects: it is the only coin ever minted in Mauritius, as well as the only coin ever minted out of France and used in one of its colonies. 
 
 
The British Period
After they took possession of the island, the British decided to continue using the predecessors’ Piastre Decaen. They brought a slight change by engraving CC for ‘Crown Colonies’ on the coin. It was not until 1820, under George IV, that a writ was issued to instruct the minting of small denomination coins known as the Anchor coinage. Based on the Spanish dollar, the silver coins were struck in four denominations to be used only across British colonies. 
 
 
The Mauritian Banking landscape in the 19th century
The Board of the Commissioners of Currency, the first such entity in the world, was established in Mauritius in 1849 by the British Imperial Government. The Board was responsible for the issue of currency in Mauritius and its creation put an end to the practice of ‘free banking’ that had prevailed throughout the 18th century and in the early part of the 19th century, whereby commercial banks competed with one another for the issue of banknotes. An Order in Council prescribed the Rupee as the only legal tender in Mauritius as from 1876. 
 
On the 5th of April 1966, the Sessional Paper on the establishment of the Bank of Mauritius was circulated in the Mauritius Legislative Council.  The Bank of Mauritius Bill No. 33 of 1966 was voted on the 12th of July 1966 and received the Governor General’s assent on the 28th of September 1966. The Bank of Mauritius was subsequently established on the 1st of September 1967. The Mauritian central bank has the sole right to issue currency in Mauritius.