|Measurements and composition|
"ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION ☆ 24.10.1964 ☆ "
Kenneth Kaunda, "year"
Coat of arms of Zambia, state title, value
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The 5 shilling coin is a former commemorative coin of the Republic of Zambia. It was minted solely in 1965 to celebrate the first anniversary of Zambia's independence from the United Kingdom. The piece was issued by the Bank of Zambia, Zambia's central bank, and produced under commission at the Royal Mint at Tower Hill, London.
The coin initially carried legal tender status in its country of origin, holding a nominal value equivalent to 5 shillings, or ¼ of a pound. As a collectors' piece though, the coin was not intended for circulation, even though circulated examples are reported to exist. It was eventually demonetized following the introduction of the kwacha in 1968. During the period of transition between the pound and the new currency, the 5 shilling coin temporarily remained valid for 0.50 kwacha.
The 5 shilling piece is composed of a cupronickel alloy of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel and is about the size of a crown, measuring approximately 28.5 grams in mass, 39 millimeters in diameter, and 3 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and raised, undecorated rims, and like most coins, is round in shape. The piece's edge is smooth and inscribed with the national motto of Zambia, "ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION", and the Gregorian date of Zambia's independence in day-month-year format, "24.10.1964". The year is flanked by two five-pointed stars, which separate it from the motto. Two varieties of this edge inscription are reported to exist, differing only in how the spaces are arranged (see below for images).
The coin's obverse was designed by Norman Sillman (1921–2013), a prominent English sculptor often contracted by the Royal Mint. A right-facing bust of Kenneth Kaunda (1924–), the President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991, is displayed in the center. Inscribed clockwise along the rim above is the caption "PRESIDENT KAUNDA", and engraved in the opposite direction at the periphery below is the date of the second Zambian Independence Day, "24 OCTOBER 1965". The two legends are separated from one another by two four-pointed glyphs (✥), one at each side of the obverse.
Displayed in the middle of the reverse, also designed by Sillman, is the coat of arms of Zambia – which consists of a central escutcheon decorated with wavy lines and supported by a Zambian man in Western-style clothing and a woman in traditional attire. Both Zambians are shown standing on a grassy compartment, on which some small buildings, a plains zebra (Equus quagga), and an ear of corn (Zea mays) are also displayed. Below the compartment is a scroll bearing the national motto "ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION", and above the escutcheon are a crossed hoe and pickaxe and an African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer). Written above the arms on the coin, curved in a clockwise direction along the upper rim, is the state title "ZAMBIA". The face value "FIVE SHILLINGS" also occupies the coin's boundary, extending in a counterclockwise direction at the coin's bottom periphery. Although the state title and value are divided by a considerable amount of space, they are additionally separated from one another by a four-pointed glyph (✥) at the upper left and upper right sides of the reverse.
A total of 30,000 examples of the coin were produced, including 10,000 uncirculated pieces and 20,000 proofs. One hundred of the proofs were sold in sets by the Bank of Zambia, and an unknown quantity of proofs were distributed in green hinged cases.
¹The font used in this image is not the same as that used on the coin. See here for more details.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – Zambia - 5 Shillings, KM# 4 (1965)
- Colnect – 5 Shillings ("Five" - 1st Anniversary of Independence) (1965)
- Numista – Zambia - 5 Shillings (1965) (English) (French)
- Numismatic Dimensions – Coins of Zambia § An edge variety rarely mentioned - Zambia's 5 Shillings coin
- Zambian pound on the English Wikipedia
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