Danish West Indies

The Danish West Indies, also known as Danish Virgin Islands or Danish Antilles consist of the Saint Thomas, Saint John, and Saint Crois islands. Before the Danish West Indies became the United States Virgin Islands, the islands were inhabited by the Ciboney, Arawak, and Carib tribes. In 1671, the Danish West India Company took control of the islands and established a colony there. 

The islands’ economy was dependent on slavery. Its colonizers transported slaves from Africa to the Caribbean to work in the sugar plantations in exchange for manufactured goods. The abolition of slavery in 1848 was a turning point in the history of the Danish West Indies. The plantation economy, which was built on the backs of enslaved people, collapsed, and the islands struggled to find an economic replacement.  

Because of the financial burden of maintaining an unprofitable colony, the Danish tried to sell it to the United States and the German Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1917, the United States renamed the colony the United States Virgin Islands.  

The Danish West Indies’ currency was the daler, which was introduced in 1849 to replace the rigsdaler. Danish West Indies daler banknotes were issued dominated in franc which is the equivalent to the French franc. The currency was replaced by the US dollar in 1934, 17 years after the territory became the US Virgin Islands. 

The Danish West Indies used the Danish rigsdaler as its currency until 1849 when the Danish West Indies daler was introduced. The daler was equivalent to the Danish rigsdaler but was specifically issued for use in the colony. The Danish West Indies daler was divided into 100 cents, with coins and banknotes issued in various denominations. 

The Danish West Indies daler was used in the colony until 1934, long after the United States took control of the territory in 1917. The currency was replaced by the US dollar, which remains the official currency of the US Virgin Islands to this day.

Drop items here to shop
Product has been added to your cart