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Sobhuza II, state title
Trees, value, year
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The 2 cent coin is a former circulation piece of the Kingdom of Swaziland. It was issued in two types during the later reign of King Sobhuza II (1899–1982; r. 1921–1982) by the Central Bank of Swaziland and its precursor, the Monetary Authority of Swaziland. Both types were struck under commission at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, United Kingdom.
The first type, a general circulation piece, was introduced in 1974 and continued to be struck intermittently until 1982. A similar second circulation coin was then issued in 1975 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Both types currently hold legal tender status in their country of origin, each carrying a face value of 0.02 lilangeni, which is also equivalent to 0.02 South African rand through the Multilateral Monetary Area (MMA). Due to their low purchasing power, however, the 2 cent pieces are not commonly circulated, with only 230 such coins reportedly in circulation as of March 31, 2015.
On April 20, 2016, the Central Bank of Swaziland announced that it had begun recalling all pre-2015 circulation coins, including both 2 cent pieces. They are expected to be out of circulation by September 1.
General circulation coin (1974–1982)Edit
After becoming independent from the United Kingdom in 1968, Swaziland adopted the South African rand as its primary currency. However, unable to reach an agreement with South Africa on how to share seigniorage of the rand in Swaziland, the country adopted the lilangeni six years later in 1974. That year the newly founded Monetary Authority of Swaziland (now the Central Bank of Swaziland) contracted the Royal Mint to strike the first series of Swazi circulation coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 lilangeni. Michael Rizzello (1926–2004), a prominent Italian-born British sculptor, was commissioned by the mint to design all seven coins.
The 2 cent piece, which was struck intermittently until 1982, is composed of a bronze alloy of 70 to 90 percent copper and 10 to 30 percent tin and measures 2.8 grams in mass, 18.6 millimeters in length, and 1 millimeter in thickness. It has medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge. The coin is quadrilateral, forming the shape of a square with rounded corners.
A bust of Sobhuza II appears in the middle of the obverse. In the likeness, the monarch is shown facing ¼ right, sporting his signature goatee, and wearing an inyoni, a ceremonial headdress worn by the King of Swaziland; a ligcebesha, a type of traditional beaded necklace; and an umhelwane, a Swazi fabric covering the upper torso. The state title "SWAZILAND" is curved in a counterclockwise direction along the bust truncation.
The reverse features a group of three trees in its center. Printed to the left is the face value "2 CENTS", the numeral presented horizontally in a large outlined font near the trees' foliage and the word "CENTS" curved in the direction of the coin's bottom left corner. The Gregorian date of minting is written in Western Arabic numerals to the lower right of the trees, arched toward the coin's bottom right corner.
Over three nonconsecutive years of production, 3,775,000 examples of the coin were produced, including 3,752,000 pieces with a standard finish and 23,000 proofs. An unknown number of uncirculated coins from 1974 were included in mint sets, and all 13,000 of the 1974 proofs and 3,231 of the 10,000 1979 proofs were placed into proof sets by the Central Bank of Swaziland.
Food and Agriculture Organization coin (1975)Edit
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations dedicated to fighting world hunger, was formed on October 16, 1945, at a conference in Quebec City, Canada. Since its establishment the FAO has provided assistance to various countries worldwide, including Swaziland. In 1975, on the occasion of the organization's 30th anniversary, the Monetary Authority of Swaziland issued a series of circulating FAO themed commemorative coins in denominations of 1, 2, and 10 cents. All three were struck at the Royal Mint and were designed by Italian-British artist Michael Rizzello.
The 2 cent piece has the same compositions and measurements as the general circulation 2 cent piece introduced the previous year. It is made of a bronze alloy of 70 to 90 percent copper and 10 to 30 percent tin and measures 2.8 grams in mass, 18.6 millimeters in length, and 1 millimeter in thickness. It has medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge. The piece is quadrilateral, forming the shape of a square with rounded corners.
The obverse is identical in design to that of the general circulation piece, featuring in its center a bust of Sobhuza II facing ¼ right and wearing a goatee, inyoni, ligcebesha, and umhelwane. Inscribed in a counterclockwise direction along the bust truncation is the state title "SWAZILAND".
The reverse is also similar in design to the reverse of the general circulation coin. A group of three trees appears in the middle, with the value "2 CENTS" printed to the left and the Gregorian date of minting, "1975", written near the lower right rim. Inscribed above in small print, extending in a clockwise direction at the coin's upper boundary, is the motto "INCREASE EXPORTS", which promotes the idea of agricultural productivity and sustainability. To make space for this additional inscription, the trees and numeral "2" are more compressed than on the general circulation piece.
A total of 1,500,000 examples of the coin were produced, all with a standard finish.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – Swaziland - 2 Cents, KM# 8 (1974–1982) • Swaziland - 2 Cents, KM# 22 (1975)
- Colnect – 2 Cents (1974–1982) • 2 Cents - F.A.O. (1975)
- Numista – 2 Cents - Sobhuza II (1974–1982) • 2 Cents - Sobhuza II (FAO) (1975) (English) (French)
- Central Bank of Swaziland – Annual Report (April 2014–March 2015)
- StarAfrica – Swazi Central Bank recalls pre-2015 coins
- Swazi lilangeni on the English Wikipedia
|Banknotes||L1 • E2 • E5 • E10 • E20 • E50 • E100 • E200|
|Coins||1c • 2c • 5c • 10c • 20c • 50c • LH1 • L1 • E2 • E5 • E7½ • E10 • E15 • E20 • E25 • E50 • E100 • E250|
|Miscellaneous||Cent • Central Bank of Swaziland • Lilangeni • Luhlanga • Multilateral Monetary Area • Swazi leaders on currency|