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Eritrean cent 1997
General information

Flag of Eritrea Eritrea


0.01 nakfa



Measurements and composition

2.2 g


17 mm


1.52 mm


nickel-plated steel








Eritrean soldiers with a flag


Red-fronted gazelle (Eudorcas rufifrons), state title, value, year

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The 1 cent coin is a circulation piece of the State of Eritrea that was issued in 1997. It was distributed by the Bank of Eritrea in Asmara. Although the piece has not been issued for several years, it continues to hold a legal tender face value equivalent to 0.01 nakfa in its country of origin.

The coin is composed of nickel-plated steel and has a mass of 2.2 grams, a diameter of 17 millimeters, and a thickness of approximately 1.52 millimeters. It has coin alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. Displayed at the bottom center of the obverse, designed by Clarence Holbert of the United States Bureau of Printing and Engraving, is an illustration of five Eritrean soldiers in uniform standing on a formation by an Eritrean flag on a pole. This depiction reportedly symbolizes Eritrea's struggles in its fight for independence against Ethiopia. The year "1991" appears horizontally in large font to the left of the flagpole, representing the de facto year of Eritrea's independence. Engraved above, along the coin's periphery, is the English legend "LIBERTY EQUALITY JUSTICE", with a point between the first two words and the last two words. Such text commences at the coin's left boundary and travels clockwise to the opposite side of the reverse. Featured in the middle of the reverse, also designed by Holbert, is an image of a red-fronted gazelle (Eudorcas rufifrons), an animal native to the Sahel, a semi-arid zone in Africa located between the Saharan Desert and Sudanian Savanna that extends from Senegal to Eritrea. On the coin the gazelle is shown facing to the right, standing in short grass. The numeral "1", which represents the piece's face value of 1 cent, is shown above the animal's lower back, while the entire value, "ONE CENT", appears below the animal, inscribed counterclockwise along the bottom rim of the coin. Printed above the numeral and gazelle, wrapping clockwise from the upper left to upper right peripheries of the coin, is the state title "STATE OF ERITREA", followed by the date of minting, "1997". The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.

The total mintage of the Eritrean 1 cent coin is currently unknown. Only business strikes are known to have been produced.


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