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Emblem of Algeria, state title
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The 1 santim coin, often Anglicized and Francized as 1 centime, is a former circulation piece of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, issued in 1964. The country's central bank, the Bank of Algeria, was originally responsible for the distribution of the piece. Initially carrying a legal tender face value equivalent to 0.01 dinar, the santim coin was eventually demonetized and withdrawn from circulation.
The piece is composed of aluminum and measures 0.6 grams in mass, 16 millimeters in diameter, and 1.06 millimeters in thickness. Erroneously, the popular Standard Catalog of World Coins reports the coin to be much smaller, with a mass of 0.5 grams and a diameter of 11.5 millimeters. The santim piece has coin alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Both of the coin's rims are raised.
Displayed in the middle of the obverse is an earlier version of the emblem of Algeria – which consists of an Islamic star and crescent under three ears of grain and between two Algerian flags. Displayed above the wheat in the arms is the Hamsa, flanked by two branches. Surrounding all of the aforementioned elements are two different branches with a plain ribbon below. Interestingly, this was not the emblem used at the time of the coin's minting. According to vexillologist Whitney Smith (1940–) in Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, the representation on the coin would not come to be an official symbol of Algeria until 1971. Encircling the emblem is the Arabic state title of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, "لجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية" (Romanized: al-Jumhūrīyah al-Jazā'irīyah al-Dīmūqrāṭīyah al-Sha'bīyah). Written clockwise along the outer rim, this legend begins and concludes at the top of the piece. The Eastern Arabic numeral "١" (wāḥid), the equivalent of the Western Arabic "1", is engraved in the middle of the reverse, identifying the coin's face value of 1 santim. Printed out below is another indication of the face value, but instead written out in Arabic as "سنتيم واحد" (santīm wāḥid), which means "one santim". Such text is significantly smaller than the numeral above it, and is arched in the direction of the coin's bottom rim. Inscribed to the upper left of the number in Western Arabic numerals, curved toward the rim, is the Gregorian date "1964". The Islamic equivalent, 1383, appears in Eastern numerals as "١٣٨٣" to the upper right of the central value. Engraved near the rim of the reverse is an ornamental, geometric border, with a small mark shown above the bottom portion of this boundary.
A total of approximately 35,000,000 examples of the coin were produced, according to the Standard Catalog of World Coins. Only business strikes are reported to have been struck.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – Algeria Centime KM# 94 1383 (1964)
- Numista – 1 Santīm (Algeria) (English) (French)
- Smith, Whitney. Flags Through the Ages and Across the World New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975. Print.
- Algerian dinar on the English Wikipedia