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The 1 pesewa coin is a circulation piece of the Republic of Ghana that was issued in two types. The first, part of the second Ghanaian cedi, was introduced in 1967 and subsequently produced again in 1975 and 1979. When the third cedi was established in 2007, many of the pesewa coins were withdrawn from circulation and demonetized, losing their legal tender face values of ₵0.01. During the same year, a new pesewa was introduced. While this piece continues to hold the status of legal tender, it has been virtually rendered obsolete due to inflation. They were both issued by the Bank of Ghana.
Coin of the second cedi (1967–1979)
The second Ghanaian cedi replaced the short-lived first currency in 1967 in order to facilitate exchanging between the previous pound and also remove the likeness of Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972), the former President of Ghana, from circulation. As part of the new currency, a series of coins consisting of denominations of ½, 1, 2½, 5, 10, and 20 pesewas was introduced that year. The 1 pesewa piece of the series, produced in 1967, 1975, and 1979, is composed of a bronze alloy, weighs approximately 5.7 grams, and measures 25.5 millimeters in diameter and 1.52 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape.
Featured in the center of the coin's obverse are two adowa drums, a traditional musical instrument played among indigenous peoples of Ghana. Inscribed clockwise along the coin's rim, above the illustration of the drums, is the state title "GHANA". The English national motto of the country, "FREEDOM AND JUSTICE", is engraved along the bottom periphery of the piece in the opposite direction, commencing at the left rim and extending counterclockwise to the opposite side of the obverse. Displayed in the middle of the reverse is a five-pointed star with a thick outline, which is similar in appearance to the star that appears at the top of the coat of arms of Ghana. The Gregorian date is printed in the center of the piece, the first two digits separated from the last two by the star. Also, the face value of "ONE PESEWA" is engraved along the upper and lower rims of the piece, divided by the central illustration. The first word appears at the top of the coin in a clockwise direction, while the second features at the bottom in a counterclockwise orientation. Two points are present near the tips of the star at the upper left and right peripheries. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and decorated with a denticulated border.
Over three years of production, approximately 130,252,000 examples of the first Ghanaian 1 pesewa coin were produced: 30,002,000 in 1967 (including 30,000,000 business strikes and around 2,000 proofs); 50,250,000 in 1975; and 50,000,000 in 1979. Only business strikes were minted for the latter two dates.
Coin of the third cedi (2007)
Rampant inflation of the cedi during the latter half of the 20th century and first few years of the 21st prompted the Bank of Ghana to introduce a new cedi currency in 2007. As a result, a new series of coinage was introduced that year, consisting of pieces denominated at 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 pesewas, and 1 cedi. The series was produced at the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, Canada. The 1 pesewa piece, issued solely in 2007, is composed of copper-plated steel, weighs 1.82 grams, and measures 17 millimeters in diameter and 1.2 millimeters in thickness. The presence of steel in the coin makes it magnetic. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape.
Featured in the middle of the obverse is an illustration of the coat of arms of Ghana – which consists of a central escutcheon quartered by St. George's Cross, featuring a crossed ceremonial chief's sword and linguist's staff at the top left, the Osu Castle on the sea at the top right, cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) at the bottom left, a gold mine at the bottom right, and a lion passant guardant in the center. This escutcheon is supported in the arms by two tawny eagles (Aquila rapax) with five-pointed stars hanging from their necks. Above the central escutcheon are beads and a five-pointed star, and below is a scroll bearing the motto "FREEDOM AND JUSTICE". Inscribed at the top of the obverse, above the arms, is the state title "GHANA", and engraved at the bottom of the coin, below the central illustration, is the date "2007". Featured at the bottom center of the reverse is a depiction of the Adomi Bridge, Ghana's largest suspension bridge, and a palm tree. This image of the bridge, excluding the tree, is similar to the illustration appearing on the obverse of the Ghanaian 2000 cedi banknote of 1994. The value "1 PESEWA" is engraved horizontally at the top of the coin, the serifed numeral displayed in a significantly larger font than the following word. Both the rims of the coin are raised.
The total mintage of the second 1 pesewa coin is currently unknown. The 1 pesewa, the lowest-denominated coin of Ghana, has been virtually removed from circulation in its country of origin and stored in large numbers in bank vaults.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation website
- Numista (English) (French)
- Colnect – Ghana - 1 Pesewa
- Ghanaian cedi on the English Wikipedia