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Tanzanian 5 shilling coin

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5 shillings / shilingi
Tanzania 5 shillings 1993
1993 coin
General information
Country

Flag of Tanzania Tanzania

Value

5.00 shillings

Years

19711993

Measurements and composition
Mass
  • 13.5 g (1971-1980)
  • 8.3 g (1987-1989)
  • 8.52 g (1990-1993)
Diameter
  • 31.5 mm (1971-1980)
  • 27.6 mm (1987-1993)
Thickness
  • 2.2 mm (1971-1980)
  • 2 mm (1987-1993)
Composition
Appearance
Shape

decagonal

Alignment

medallic

Edge

alternating reeded and plain

Obverse

See text

Reverse

See text

v · d · e

The 5 shilling/shilingi coin is a circulation and commemorative piece of the United Republic of Tanzania that was issued in six types from 1971 to 1993, four during the administration of President Julius Nyerere (1922–1999; i.o. 1964–1985) and two under his successor, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1925–; i.o. 1985–1995). All of the pieces were distributed by the Bank of Tanzania and struck under commission at foreign mints. The first five types were produced at the Royal Mint in Llanstrisant, Wales, United Kingdom, while the last was manufactured at the Royal Canadian Mint.

The first 5 shilling coin, a circulating commemorative, was introduced in 1971 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Tanganyika's independence. It was then followed in 1972 by a similarly designed general circulation coin, which continued to be produced intermittently until 1980. Two additional circulating commemoratives were then issued later in Nyerere's rule: one in 1976 celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Bank of Tanzania, and another in 1978 commemorating the 10th FAO Regional Conference for Africa. Under the leadership of Ali Hassan Mwinyi, a new general circulation piece was introduced in 1987. It was struck annually until 1989, and was replaced the following year by a similar type, which remained in production until 1993.

All six types currently hold legal tender status in their country of origin, each carrying a face value of 5.00 Tanzanian shillings. In spite of this, they no longer circulate frequently due to their low purchasing power.

CoinsEdit

Coins of Julius Nyerere (1971–1980)Edit

Independence coin (1971)Edit

Tanzania 5 shillings 1971 independence

1971 independence coin

After signing the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty with Germany in 1890, the United Kingdom declared a protectorate over the Sultanate of Zanzibar (now the Zanzibar semi-autonomous region of Tanzania). It was followed in 1918 by the territory of Tanganyika (now mainland Tanzania), which officially became a British possession with the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles. Pressured by the United Nations and African nationalists, the United Kingdom eventually granted independence to Tanganyika on December 9, 1961, and to Zanzibar on December 10, 1963. Both countries united on April 26, 1964, to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which was renamed to the current United Republic of Tanzania on October 29 of the same year.

In 1971, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Tanganyika's independence, the Bank of Tanzania commissioned the Royal Mint to strike the nation's first circulating commemorative 5 shilling coin.

The piece is composed of cupronickel and measures 13.5 grams in mass, 31.5 millimeters in diameter, and 2.2 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and raised, undecorated rims, and is decagonal (10-sided) in shape. The coin's edge alternates between reeded and plain, with five segments of each.

The coin's obverse, designed by English sculptor Christopher Ironside (1913–1992), features a left-facing bust of President Julius Nyerere in its center. Such a likeness is flanked on both sides by grains, between which the state title "TANZANIA" is written clockwise at the piece's upper rim, and the text "1961-1971" is engraved counterclockwise at the obverse's lower boundary. Because the year "1971" is included in an inscription and is not used elsewhere, the coin is non-dated.

A large numeral "5" indicating the coin's face value is engraved horizontally in the middle of the obverse, where it is enclosed within a solid circular boundary. It is partially surrounded inside the border by the Swahili text "SHILINGI TANO" (English: "5 shillings/shilingi"), the first word curved in a clockwise direction above and the following "TANO" arched in the opposite direction below. The words are separated from one another by six circular points, three at each side of the numeral "5". Four representations of Tanzania's agricultural, horticultural, and dairy development are illustrated inside decorative borders along the coin's rim. Clockwise from the top, these are a cluster of bananas (Musa), a corn stalk (Zea mays), a lying zebu (Bos taurus indicus), and some cereal plants. Between the boundaries of each of these representations is a teardrop shaped object (possibly a seed).

During a single year of production, about 1,000,000 examples of the coin, all business strikes, were produced.

General circulation coin (1972–1980)Edit

Tanzania 5 shillings 1972

1972 coin

In 1972, the Bank of Tanzania contracted the Royal Mint to strike the first general circulation 5 shilling piece. Upon its initial release, the coin was used alongside the Tanzanian 5, 20, and 50 senti and 1 shilling pieces introduced in 1966. It would later be joined by the 10 senti coin in 1977.

The 5 shilling coin is composed of cupronickel and measures 13.5 grams in mass, 31.5 millimeters in diameter, and 2.2 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and raised, undecorated rims, and is decagonal in shape. The coin's edge alternates between reeded and plain, having five segments of each.

The obverse of the general circulation piece is very similar in appearance to that of the 1971 commemorative. The same left-facing bust of Nyerere is displayed in the center and flanked on both sides by grains engraved near the rim. Unlike the 1971 coin, the Swahili caption "RAIS WA KWANZA", meaning "first President", is arched counterclockwise at the coin's lower boundary, while the state title "TANZANIA" and Gregorian date of minting are curved in the opposite direction at the upper periphery.

The general circulation coin's reverse is identical to that of the 1971 commemorative. A large numeral "5" is inscribed in the middle, and is surrounded by the Swahili text "SHILINGI TANO" and six points and a solid circular border. Outside of this boundary, illustrations of a cluster of bananas, a corn stalk, a zebu, and some cereal plants are displayed inside decorative borders separated from one another by teardrop shaped objects.

Over three nonconsecutive years of production, approximately 18,000,000 examples of the coin, all business strikes, were minted.

Mintages
Year Mintage
1972 8,000,000
1973 5,000,000
1980 5,000,000
Total 18,000,000
Unissued trial strike (1980)Edit

A similar cupronickel trial strike was manufactured in 1980. It differs from the issued specimens by the addition of the word "TRIAL", which appears vertically to the left of Nyerere's likeness on the obverse, and inverted next to the "5" on the reverse.

As an unissued trial strike, the coin exists in very small quantities. On February 27, 2016, one example sold for 110 in H.D. Rauch's 19th live e-Auction.

Bank of Tanzania coin (1976)Edit

Tanzania 5 shillings 1976 BoT

1976 Bank of Tanzania coin

Following the dissolution of the East African Currency Board, Bank of Tanzania was officially established by the National Assembly in 1965, and commenced operation on June 14, 1966. In celebration of the institution's 10th anniversary, a celebratory 5 shilling piece was introduced in 1976. Like earlier Tanzanian coins, the circulating commemorative was struck at the Royal Mint.

The piece is composed of cupronickel and measures 13.5 grams in mass, 31.5 millimeters in diameter, and 2.2 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and raised, undecorated rims, and is decagonal in shape. Its edge alternates between reeded and plain, having five segments of each.

The coin's obverse is slightly modified from that of the earlier 1971 commemorative and the general circulation piece. The same left-facing likeness of Julius Nyerere is engraved in the center, flanked to the lower left and lower right by sharp leaved plants. Printed clockwise from the coin's left to right rims is "BENKI KUU YA TANZANIA", the Swahili name of the Bank of Tanzania, and written in the opposite direction at the piece's lower periphery is the inscription "1966-1976". Because the year "1976" is part of an inscription and does not appear elsewhere, the coin is non-dated.

The Bank of Tanzania headquarters in Dar es Salaam is featured in the middle of the reverse, the numeral "5" printed in a large horizontal font below. Another representation of the coin's face value, the Swahili inscription "SHILINGI TANO", is written in a clockwise direction at the piece's upper rim. The remainder of the reverse's boundary is occupied two branches with sharp leaves.

A total of 1,000,200 examples of the coin were made, including 1,000,000 business strikes and 200 proofs. Of these, a small number of business strikes and an unknown amount of proofs were sold in special packaging by the Bank of Tanzania.

FAO coin (1978)Edit

Tanzania 5 shillings 1978 FAO

1978 FAO coin

Since its inception in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations (UN) devoted to fighting world hunger, has provided assistance to several countries around the world, including Tanzania. As part of its efforts, the FAO has held regional conferences for Africa biennially since 1960. On the occasion of the 10th such conference, which was held in Arusha, Tanzania, in September 1978, the Bank of Tanzania authorized the production of a new circulating commemorative 5 shilling piece. Like all previous Tanzanian coins, it was struck under commission at the Royal Mint.

The piece is composed of cupronickel and measures 13.5 grams in mass, 31.5 millimeters in diameter, and 2.2 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and raised, undecorated rims, and is decagonal in shape. Its edge alternates between reeded and plain, having five segments of each.

A left-facing rendition of Julius Nyerere is displayed in the center of the obverse, flanked on both sides by grain stalks engraved near the rim. This portrait of the Tanzanian president, which was also designed by Christopher Ironside, is similar to the one appearing on the earlier 5 shilling pieces, but also includes portions of Nyerere's upper torso. The state title "TANZANIA" and the date "1978" are inscribed clockwise along the rim above, while the caption "RAIS WA KWANZA" is written in the opposite direction at the periphery below.

An illustration of a Tanzanian man plowing his field with a tractor is displayed in the middle of the reverse. Printed clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right rims is the legend "F.A.O. TENTH REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA", and written in the opposite direction at the bottom periphery is the Swahili value "SHILINGI TANO". Another representation of the piece's face value, a large numeral "5", is inscribed horizontally between the central illustration and the Swahili text.

A total of only 52,000 examples of the coin were produced, including 50,000 pieces with a standard finish and 2,000 proofs. Of these, an undetermined number of standard and proof pieces were sold in special packaging by the Bank of Tanzania.

Coins of Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1987–1993)Edit

After nearly two decades in power, Julius Nyerere relinquished his administrative position to Vice President Ali Hassan Mwinyi in November 1985. This change in leadership, along with the devaluation of the Tanzanian shilling, prompted the Bank of Tanzania to introduce a new series of coins in denominations of 50 senti and 1, 5, and 10 shillings. These were eventually followed by, in order, 20 (1990), 100 (1993), 50 (1996), 200 (1998), and 500 (2014) shilling pieces. The 5 shilling coin of the series was struck at the Royal Mint from 1987 to 1989, and then at the Royal Canadian Mint from 1990 to 1993.

Pieces struck from 1987 to 1989 are composed of cupronickel, while all later coins are made of nickel. The two varieties differ slightly in mass, respectively weighing 8.3 and 8.52 grams, and share a diameter of 27.6 millimeters and a thickness of 2 millimeters. Both have medallic alignment and raised, undecorated rims, and are decagonal in shape. The coins' edges alternate between reeded and plain, having five segments of each.

A right-facing depiction of Ali Hassan Mwinyi wearing a collared shirt is engraved in the middle of the obverse, flanked on both sides by decorative flowers curved along the left and right rims. Two varieties of the president's bust exist on the nickel pieces: one measuring 17 millimeters, which only occurs on 1990 coins, and another measuring 18 millimeters, which appears on all examples minted from 1991 to 1993. Inscribed clockwise at the periphery above is the state title "TANZANIA", and printed in the opposite direction at the boundary below is the Gregorian date of minting.

The reverse is identical to that of the 1971 commemorative and the general circulation piece of Julius Nyerere. A large numeral "5" is inscribed in the middle, and is surrounded by the Swahili text "SHILINGI TANO" and six points and a solid circular border. Outside of this boundary, illustrations of a cluster of bananas, a corn stalk, a zebu, and some cereal plants are displayed inside decorative borders separated from one another by teardrop shaped objects.

A reported 15,000,000 cupronickel examples were reportedly struck from 1987 to 1988, but mintages for all other years are currently unavailable. Only business strikes of both metal varieties are known to exist.

Years
Year Type Mintage
1987 Cupronickel, 18 mm bust 5,000,000
1988 10,000,000
1989 Unknown
1990 Nickel, 17 mm bust Unknown
1991 Nickel, 18 mm bust Unknown
1992 Unknown
1993 Unknown

ReferencesEdit

Template:Tanzanian shilling

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