Gilbert & Ellice Islands

The Gilbert and Ellice Islands were British colonies in the Pacific Ocean from 1892 to 1976, famous for phosphate mining. The Gilbert Islands, also called Kingsmill or King's-Mill Islands, consist of 16 atolls and coral islands in the western Pacific Ocean. They are located in Remote Oceania and considered part of the Micronesia subregion of Oceania. Meanwhile, the Ellice Islands consist of three reef islands and six atolls, spanning from south to west of the International Date Line. They are located between Hawaii and Australia and are considered part of the Polynesia subregion of Oceania.

From December 1941 until November 1943, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands were occupied by Japan. The Ellice Islands became Tuvalu and gained independence on Oct 1, 1978. The Gilbert Islands, on the other hand, along with Gilbert, Phoenix, Ocean, and Line Islands, became Kiribati on July 12, 1979, after being a British colony from 1892 to 1976.

 The islands’ economy is largely based on traditional subsistence farming and fishing, with copra being the major export.

The Australian Pound was used in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands until Feb 14, 1966 when it was replaced by the Australian Dollar. During the Japanese occupation, the Oceania Gumpyo Pound was used, and emergency scrip was issued prior to invasion. Both Kiribati and Tuvalu continue to use the Australian Dollar, with Kiribati issuing its own coins since 1979. The Pound was divided into 20 Shillings and 240 Pence, while the Dollar is divided into 100 Cents.  

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