- Not to be confused with the Rwanda and Burundi 1 franc coin of 1964.
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The 1 franc coin is a circulation coin of the Republic of Burundi and former Kingdom of Burundi, issued in three types since 1965. Nearing the end of a long-standing monarchy, Burundi issued its first 1 franc coin in 1965, during the later regnancy of King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng (1912–1977; r. 1915–1966). In 1970, nearly four years after the establishment of the Republic of Burundi in 1966, a second type was introduced for circulation. It was then followed by a third piece in 1976, which continued to be minted intermittently until 2003.
The coin of the third type currently holds the status of legal tender, and currently circulates in Burundi for its face value of 1.00 francs. The first piece (and possibly the second) was eventually demonetized, and is no longer valid tender.
The initial type was distributed under the authority of the Bank of the Kingdom of Burundi. This institution's successor, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi, then assumed the authority to circulate the later two coins. Examples dated from 1990 to 2003 were produced at the Pobjoy Mint in the United Kingdom.
Coin of Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng (1965)Edit
The Kingdom of Burundi became independent from the Belgian mandate of Ruanda-Urundi in 1962, during the later rule of King Mwambusta IV Bangiriceng. Initially, sovereign Burundi and the neighboring Republic of Rwanda maintained the unified Rwanda and Burundi franc introduced by the Belgians in 1960, but shortly thereafter, in 1964, both nations abandoned this monetary system and established their own versions of the franc. In Burundi, only banknotes were made for circulation during the first year of the new currency. However, during the following year, in 1965, a single coin was put into circulation in the small African nation, a base metal 1 franc piece. It would later be followed by the first 5 and 10 franc coins in 1968.
The 1 franc piece of Mwambutsa IV is composed of a brass alloy. It weighs approximately 4.2 grams, and measures about 23 millimeters in diameter and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. The coin has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and undecorated.
Displayed in the center of the coin's obverse is an illustration of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Burundi. Such a heraldic image consists of a central escutcheon bearing the facing head of a roaring lion, which superimposes four crossing spears. Surmounting the escutcheon is a laurel branch and a karyenda drum, and below it is a scroll bearing the Kirundi text "GANZA SABWA" (English: "(The king) rules and reigns"). The title of the Bank of the Kingdom of Burundi in Kirundi, one of the issuing country's local languages, is inscribed in a clockwise direction along the outer rim of the obverse. Reading "IBANKI Y'INGOMA Y'UBURUNDI", the legend extends from the bottom left to bottom right peripheries of the piece. Printed horizontally below the scroll of the coat of arms, between the ends of two spears, is the Gregorian date "1965", flanked by two small asterisk-shaped items.
The text "1F", indicating a face value of 1 franc, is written in a large font in the middle of the reverse, inside of a circular border. Such a border consists of conjoined segments that alternate in size. "BANQUE du ROYAUME du BURUNDI", the title of the Bank of the Kingdom of Burundi in French, another commonly spoken language in the country, is engraved along the upper rim of the piece. It travels in the same clockwise direction as the text on the obverse, and commences and concludes near the same positions. The logo of the Bank of the Kingdom of Burundi, a circle bearing the abbreviation "BRB" in the center, is shown at the bottom of the reverse, superimposing portions of the aforementioned segmented border. It is flanked by two asterisk-styled items similar to those found on the obverse near the year of minting.
A total of approximately 10,000,000 examples of the first Burundian franc coin are known to have been produced. All were minted as business strikes.
First coin of the Republic (1970)Edit
On July 8, 1966, Ntare V Ndizeye (1947–1972) deposed Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng, his father, and declared himself King of Burundi. The young Ntare, however, ruled for only a few months before being removed in a military coup on November 28 of the same year. Shortly after, Prime Minister Michel Micombero (1940–1983), the orchestrator of the coup, abolished the monarchy and instated himself as the first President of the Republic of Burundi. In spite of the transition to a new government, a new type of 1 franc coin was not issued until 1970, about halfway into Micombero's administration. Such a piece came to accompany the 5 and 10 franc coins already in circulation.
The Burundian 1 franc coin of 1970 is composed primarily of aluminum, and has a mass of 0.84 grams and a diameter of 19.2 millimeters. It uses coin alignment and bears a reeded edge, and is round in shape. The rims of the obverse and reverse are raised and undecorated.
An illustration of a rising sun is engraved in the middle of the coin's obverse. Written along the outer periphery of the piece is the Kirundi name of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi, "IBANKI YA REPUBLIKA Y'UBURUNDI". Such text travels in a clockwise direction along the rim, extending from the coin's lower left to lower right boundaries. Displayed between this text and the illustration of the sun, travelling clockwise in an arch in smaller print, is the national motto of Burundi, "UBUMWE IBIKORWA AMAJAMBERE", meaning "Unity, Work, Progress" in Kirundi. The Gregorian date of minting, "1970", curves along the bottom of the obverse in the opposite direction as the aforementioned text.
"1F", identifying a face value of 1 franc, appears in the middle of the reverse, using a similar font to that utilized for the value on the 1965 coin. The French translation of Burundi's national motto, "UNITE TRAVAIL PROGRES", surrounds the face value. "UNITE", engraved without the e-acute (É), is written vertically and upward to the left of the "1"; "TRAVAIL" is displayed horizontally above the value; and "PROGRES", shown without the e-grave (È), is printed vertically and downward to the right of the "R". "BANQUE DE LA REPUBLIQUE DU BURUNDI", the title of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi in French, is included along the rim of the reverse, commencing in a clockwise direction at the lower left periphery of the piece and extending to the lower right. Like in "UNITE" in the motto, an e-acute in "REPUBLIQUE" is not included. The abbreviation of Burundi's central bank, "BRB", occupies the remainder of the coin's rim, written in a counterclockwise direction at the bottom of the piece. It is separated from the primary legend by two small circular points.
Approximately 10,000,000 examples of the piece were coined, all as business strikes. Of the three Burundian franc coins, the 1970 type is the most expensive.
Current circulation coin (1976–2003)Edit
At some point, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi commissioned a foreign mint to strike a redesigned series of 1 and 5 franc coins for 1976. The former of the two pieces was then subsequently minted at the same facility in 1980, and then at the Pobjoy Mint in the United Kingdom in 1990, 1993, and 2003. Although currently unrecognized by Krause's Standard Catalog of World Coins, two subtypes of the piece, distinguishable from the size of their rims and contents, are known to exist. The first subtype includes coins dated from 1976 to 1993, while the second solely encompasses examples made in 2003.
The piece, like the 1970 franc, is composed primarily of aluminum. It weighs approximately 0.87 grams, and measures roughly 18.91 millimeters in diameter and 1 millimeter in thickness. The coin has coin alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape. Both the obverse and reverse featured raised and undecorated rims. These rims on the first subtype are noticeably thinner than those on the second, and as a result the contents of the piece are larger on the former than the latter.
Engraved in the middle of the obverse is the current coat of arms of Burundi – which consists of a central escutcheon bearing the facing head of a roaring lion and superimposing three crossing spears. A scroll bearing the national motto "UNITÉ - TRAVAIL - PROGRÈS" is typically displayed below the escutcheon in the arms, although on the coin the word "UNITÉ" is shown as "UNITE", the "PROGRÈS" is illustrated as "PROGRES", and the circular points substitute the dashes. The Kirundi version of the national motto, "UBUMWE - IBIKORWA - AMAJAMBERE", encircles much of the arms on the coin, extending clockwise from the lower left to lower right rims of the obverse. Printed in the opposite direction at the bottom of the piece is the Gregorian date of minting, which is separated from the aforementioned motto by two circular points. On examples minted in 1990, 1993, and 2003, a small "PM" mark for the Pobjoy Mint is present above the left point, angled downward and toward the right.
The face value "1F", shortened for 1 franc, is displayed in the center of the reverse in a font and size similar to that utilized on the Burundian franc coins of 1965 and 1970. Written clockwise along the outer boundary of the reverse, extending from the lower left to lower right rims, is the French legend "BANQUE DE LA REPUBLIQUE DU BURUNDI", which lacks the e-acute in the word "REPUBLIQUE" as the 1970 piece does. The "BRB" abbreviation of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi encompasses the remainder of the rim, printed counterclockwise along the bottom of the piece. It is flanked by two circular points, which separate it from the French title of Burundi's central bank.
The total mintage of the third Burundian franc coin is currently unknown. Approximately 5,000,000 examples are recorded to have been produced in 1976, but mintage figures for 1980, 1990, 1993, and 2003 are not available. Only business strikes are known from all five years of production.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation website
- Numista (English) (French)
- Bank of the Republic of Burundi – Billets et Pièces en Circulation (French)
- Burundian franc on the English Wikipedia