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Julius Nyerere, state title, year
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The 5 senti coin is a circulation piece of the United Republic of Tanzania. It was produced in a single type from 1966 to 1984 by the Royal Mint, and distributed by the Bank of Tanzania. Although the piece continues to hold legal tender status in its country of origin, it no longer circulates frequently due to its low face value of 0.05 shillings.
The coin is composed of a bronze alloy and measures 4 grams in mass, 22.5 millimeters in diameter, and 1.33 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge, and is dodecagonal (12-sided) in shape.
The design of the coin's obverse, created by English artist Christopher Ironside (1913–1992), follows the obverse design of most Tanzanian pieces struck from 1966 to 1986. A left-facing bust of Julius Nyerere (1922–1999), the President of Tanzania from 1964 to 1985, is displayed in the center, flanked to the left and right by flowers engraved along the rim. The Swahili caption "RAIS WA KWANZA", which translates to English as "first President", is inscribed between the two flowers, arched in a counterclockwise direction along the coin's lower boundary. Printed in the opposite direction at the upper rim is the state title "TANZANIA" followed by the Gregorian date of minting, which is presented in Western Arabic numerals (see below).
An Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) is shown jumping left in the middle of the reverse, the numeral "5" inscribed beneath it in a large horizontal font. Native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the illustrated fish is often observed within the territorial waters of Tanzania, where it is sometimes referred to by the local names mbassi and nsuli nsuli. Engraved next to the depiction on the coin, extending clockwise from the left to right rims, is the legend "SENTI TANO", which translates from Swahili as "five cents" or "five senti".
Excluding mintages from 1972, 1975, 1982, and 1984, which are currently unknown, a total of over 171,123,550 examples of the coin were produced. Business strikes are reported for all 14 years of production, and around 5,500 proofs are known from 1966. All of the proofs were initially included in sets and sold to collectors by the Bank of Tanzania.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – Tanzania - 5 Senti, KM# 1 (1966–1984)
- Colnect – 5 Senti (1966–1984)
- Numista – 5 Senti (1966–1984) (English) (French)
- Bank of Tanzania – Currency Museum: Coins
- Tanzanian shilling on the English Wikipedia