- Not to be confused with the Somali 5 shilling coin.
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Bank title, value
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The 5 shilling coin is a former circulation piece of the Republic of Somaliland, a self-declared state that claims portions of northern Somalia. It was issued in three types: two were struck in 2002, and the other was minted in 2005. All three were introduced under the authority of the Bank of Somaliland and produced by the Pobjoy Mint, a private-sector mint in the United Kingdom. While the coins continue hold a legal tender face value equivalent to 5.00 Somaliland shillings in most areas claimed by Somaliland, they no longer circulate frequently. This is due to inflation rendering the pieces virtually obsolete, and also the preferred use of Somali shillings by many Somalilanders.
Richard Francis Burton coin (2002)Edit
Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890) was a famed British explorer who embarked on many expeditions into Africa, the Americas, and Asia. On one of his journeys he traveled into Somali country, and in celebration of this expedition, Somaliland introduced a 5 shilling coin in 2002 bearing his likeness. Martin W. Lewis, a historical geographer, believes this commemoration of the explorer is to promote the British heritage of Somaliland, and thus distance itself from the rest of Somalia and its Italian history. The piece is composed of aluminum, weighs approximately 1.45 grams, and measures 21.9 millimeters in diameter and 1.9 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape.
Displayed in the middle of the obverse is a ½ right facing mustached portrait of Richard Francis Burton, seemingly based on a photograph from one of his expeditions[EL 1]. He is shown wearing a brimless cap on his head and local clothing on his upper torso. Inscribed to the left of the likeness is the date "1841", followed below by "1904". These dates are erroneous and not relevant to Burton, who was born in 1821 and died in 1890. Instead, they respectively correspond with the dates of birth and death of Henry Morton Stanley (1841–1904), another British explorer who journeyed through Somali territories. Printed to the right of Burton's image in a larger font than the two years is the Gregorian date of the coin's minting, "2002". The caption "RICHARD F. BURTON" is engraved in a clockwise direction along the left rim of the piece, followed along the right periphery by "EXPLORATION OF SOMALILAND". Only a space above Burton's cap separates the two texts. Featured in the middle of the reverse is the face value "5/-", the slash and dash representing the word "shillings", as in British contexts. The value is written again below, along the coin's bottom rim, as "FIVE SOMALILAND SHILLINGS". Such text commences at the left side of the reverse and extends in a counterclockwise direction to the right periphery. The remainder of the rim is occupied by the title of the Bank of Somaliland in Somali, "BAANKA SOMALILAND", which is written clockwise. The bank title and "FIVE SOMALILAND SHILLINGS" are separated from each other by two small arrow-like objects. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and not decorated.
Rooster coin (2002)Edit
In addition to the piece featuring Richard Francis Burton, in 2002 the government of Somaliland introduced a group of three coins denominated at 5, 10, and 20 shillings that display certain animals. The 5 shilling piece of the series, like the coin of Burton, is composed of aluminum and has a mass of 1.45 grams, a diameter of 21.9 millimeters, and a thickness of 1.9 millimeters. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape.
Displayed in the middle of the obverse is an illustration of a rooster facing toward the left, apparently representing the pastoral heritage of Somaliland. The English state title of Somaliland, "REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND", appears along the upper periphery of the piece, extending clockwise from the left to right sides of the obverse. Printed at the bottom of the coin in the opposite direction is the Gregorian date of the piece's production, written in Western Arabic numerals as "2002". The coin's reverse is identical to that of the coin commemorating Burton, featuring the value as "5/-" in a large font in the center and also as "FIVE SOMALILAND SHILLINGS" along the bottom rim, the bank title "BAANKA SOMALILAND" along the upper rim, and the two arrow-like objects separating the two texts inscribed at the piece's periphery. The rims of the obverse and reverse are raised and lack decoration.
The total mintage of the 5 shilling coin with the rooster is unknown. Only business strikes were made.
Elephants coin (2005)Edit
The next official coin of Somaliland after the 2002 series was a 5 shilling piece produced in 2005. Such a piece, like most of the earlier Somaliland pieces, features animals as its primary design. It is composed of aluminum and measures the same 21.9 millimeters in diameter. However, it has a smaller thickness of approximately 1.1 millimeters, resulting in a slightly lighter mass of 1.24 grams. The piece has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape.
The coin's obverse is very similar to that of the 2002 rooster piece. The English state title "REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND" is written clockwise along the rim from the left to right sides of the obverse, and the Gregorian date of minting is printed counterclockwise in Western Arabic numerals at the bottom periphery as "2005". Displayed in the middle of the obverse is a female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) walking to the right with a small elephant calf by her side. Such an animal, once common in parts of Somaliland's claimed territory, appears in the self-proclaimed country very rarely. The reverse of the piece is identical to that of the 2002 coins, featuring the value as "5/-" in the center, "FIVE SOMALILAND SHILLINGS" along the bottom rim, the bank title "BAANKA SOMALILAND" along the upper periphery, and the two arrow-like symbols between the texts along the outer boundary. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and undecorated.
The total mintage of the 2005 5 shilling coin is currently unknown. Only business strikes were produced.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation website
- Numista (English) (French)
- Somaliland shilling on the English Wikipedia
- Coins of the Somaliland shilling on the English Wikipedia
- GeoCurrents – Richard Francis Burton and the Somaliland Shilling
- The decline of elephant and black rhinoceros in Ethiopia