20,000.00 CFA francs
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Coat of arms of Cameroon, indigenous carvings, value
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The 20,000 franc coin is a non-circulating legal tender commemorative piece of the Federal Republic of Cameroon that was issued in 1970, during the presidency of Ahmadou Ahidjo (1924–1989). It was minted in celebration of Cameroon's 10th anniversary of independence from France in 1960. The piece had a face value equivalent to 20,000.00 Central African CFA francs, but was intended primarily for collectors and thus saw very little (if any) general circulation.
The piece is composed of .900 fine gold, weighs approximately 70 grams, and measures 39 millimeters in diameter. Like most coins, it is round in shape. All of the text appearing on the piece is shown in a blackletter-style font. Displayed in the center of the coin's obverse is a left-facing mustached bust of President Ahmadou Ahidjo, accompanied below by the caption "El Hadj A. Ahidjo", which is curved toward the bottom of the piece. Printed on two lines along the upper periphery of the coin, to the upper left of the bust, is the French state title "Republique Federale du Cameroun". The first line, "Republique Federale", curves around the coin's rim in a clockwise direction, while the second, "du Cameroun", arches along the bottom of the first line. Written on two lines in a similar fashion along the upper right rim of the piece is the English equivalent, "Federal Republic of Cameroon". Both of these texts are separated from each other by a small diamond-shaped point at the top of the obverse. The national motto of Cameroon in French, "Paix Travail Patrie" appears on two lines along the lower left periphery of the coin, with the words "Travail Patre" separated by a diamond-shaped point and written counterclockwise along the rim, and the word "Paix" engraved above and arched downward. Printed on two lines in the same direction to the right is the English equivalent, "Peace Work Fatherland", with a point between "Work" and "Fatherland". The second lines of the mottoes are separated from the first lines of the aforementioned state titles by small points, whereas the first lines of the mottoes and second of the state titles are divided by larger, more stylistic design elements. Featured in the middle of the reverse is an illustration of the coat of arms of Cameroon of the time – which consists of a central escutcheon divided into three sections, the first and third bearing a five-pointed star at the top and the second containing a map of Cameroon superimposed by the scales of justice. Behind the escutcheon in the arms are two fasces. On the coin, the scrolls bearing the state title and national motto of Cameroon featured on the original arms are omitted. Printed above the illustration on the coin, curved slightly upward, is the French text "10e anniversaire de l'independance". The corresponding English text, "10th anniversary of independence" appears below the arms, curved significantly downward. The prepositions of both texts, respectively "de" and "of", are smaller than the remainder of the legend. On each side of the arms, separating the French and English inscriptions, is an indigenous carving. The numeral "20000" appears in large print around the periphery at the bottom of the piece, accompanied to the left and right by the word "Francs", which is shown in a smaller font. Underneath the left word is the cornucopia privy mark of the Monnaie de Paris in France, and underneath the right word is the "NI" mark of the Numismatica Italiana in Arezzo, Italy and a four digit number (between 0001 and 4000) that serves as a serial number of sorts. The remainder of the coin's periphery is occupied by a decoration. Both rims of the piece are raised.
A total of approximately 4,000 examples of the coin were produced, all with a proof finish.
References[edit | edit source]
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – 1970 Cameroon 20000 Francs KM# 22
- Tax Free Gold – 1970 Gold Coins
- 2013 Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles auction listing of the coin (via acsearch.info)