|Coin from 1998|
|Measurements and composition|
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The 25 butut coin is a circulation piece of the Republic of the Gambia that has been issued in two types since 1971. The first was introduced in 1971, during the early presidency of Dawda Jawara (1924–). Subsequently, in 1998, under his successor, Yahya Jammeh (1965–), a second type of 25 butut coin was introduced, which was reissued in a different subtype in 2014. Both coins were produced at the British Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, and issued by the Central Bank of The Gambia. They currently hold a legal tender face value equivalent to 0.25 dalasis and can be found in circulation in The Gambia.
Coin of Dawda Jawara (1971)
After gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1965, The Gambia introduced a pound currency based on the British model. However, by 1971, under President Dawda Jawara, the current decimalized dalasi was introduced. The Gambian government commissioned the British Royal Mint to strike the first series of coins for the new currency, which consisted of denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 bututs, and 1 dalasi. Each coin bore the reverse designs of the former pound coinage, initially created by British Italian artist Michael Rizzello (1926–2004). The 25 butut piece is composed of a cupronickel alloy, weighs approximately 5.75 grams, and measures 23.5 millimeters in diameter and about 1.6 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and like most coins, is round in shape.
Featured in the center of the coin's obverse, also designed by Rizzello, is a left-facing bust of President Dawda Jawara wearing his signature glasses and a kufi. Inscribed in a clockwise direction along the rim is the English state title "REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA", which commences at the bottom left periphery and concludes at the upper right rim. The date "1971" follows such a legend, being present at the right rim, and is separated from it by a small curved line. Engraved at the bottom center of the reverse is an illustration of an oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), a species of plant native to The Gambia known for producing palm oil. This depiction is taken from the reverse of the 1 shilling coin that was issued by The Gambia in 1966. The numeral "25" is printed in a large, serifed, unfilled font in the top left quadrant of the piece. It is followed at the upper right rim by the clockwise word "BUTUTS", and at the bottom left periphery by the Arabic equivalent, "بتوت" (Romanized: Būtūt). The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.
In total, approximately 3,072,000 25 butut coins were produced in 1971, including 3,040,000 business strikes and 32,000 proofs.
Second coin type (1998–2014)
In 1994, members of the Gambian National Army under Yahya Jammeh ousted President Jawara in a bloodless coup, and instated Jammeh as the new leader of The Gambia. Under the new administration, a new coin series was introduced in 1998, consisting of the same denominations as the 1971 series. The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom was again called upon to strike the coins. The 25 butut piece of the series was later produced again in 2014 in a different subtype. Examples from 1998 are composed from cupronickel, whereas those of 2014 are made of nickel-plated steel. The latter coin is magnetic. Coins of both compositions weigh approximately 5 grams, and measure 23.5 millimeters in diameter and 1.6 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and are round in shape.
Displayed in the middle of the obverse is the coat of arms of The Gambia – which consists of a crossed hoe and axe inside of an escutcheon that is supported by two lions holding the tools displayed in the shield and surmounted by a heraldic helmet and oil palm. Present below the escutcheon is a scroll bearing the national motto "PROGRESS PEACE PROSPERITY". Inscribed along the upper periphery of the obverse is the state title "REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA", which commences in a clockwise direction at the left rim of the piece and concludes at the right. The date "1998" or "2014" is printed underneath the arms, around the bottom rim of the piece. The reverse of the second 25 butut coin is identical in appearance to that of the 1971 coin, featuring the oil palm and the numeral "25" and the accompanying English "BUTUTS" and Arabic "بتوت" (Būtūt). Both rims of the piece are raised.
The mintages for the 1998 and 2014 25 butut coins are currently unknown. They were only produced as business strikes.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation website
- Numista (English) (French)
- Central Bank of The Gambia – Development of Currency in The Gambia