Gold Coast 1921 cocoa token. The elephant and castle was the emblem of the Royal African company, founded in 1660 as the Company of Royal Adventurers Trading in Africa. This organization held a monopoly on trade along the West African coast.
The British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley in 1924-5 launched the Gold Coast Cocoa campaign that boosted the sales of chocolate and cocoa. Inside the walls of the West Africa exhibit was a village of thatched huts, where people from Nigeria, the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and Sierra Leone showed how they produced woven, carved and leather crafts and grew cocoa, rubber and nuts. The British Empire Exhibition was so popular that it re-opened in 1925 with many new attractions, so that the organizers used the slogan “The Same Empire but a New Exhibition” in their advertising.
It is thought that many of the aluminum issues may have been struck for the Exhibition in 1924, where the tickets would have been freely distributed to visitors. A very rare first issue, manufactured in bronze, was struck in 1921.
The Gold Coast achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1957. The name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana, which once extended throughout much of West Africa.