|Coin from 1985|
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The 1 franc coin is a circulation piece of the Republic of Guinea that was issued in two types. The first type, introduced in 1962 during the presidency of Ahmed Sékou Touré (1922–1984), was part of the obsolete first Guinean franc. Since its demonetization following the introduction of the short-lived syli in 1971, this piece no longer holds its former legal tender face value of 1.00 Guinean francs. However, in 1985, when a second franc currency replaced the syli, a new 1 franc coin was introduced. Such a piece continues to hold its face value, but inflation has virtually rendered it obsolete, and it does not see much circulation. Both types were issued by the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea.
Coin of the first franc (1962)
Shortly after gaining its independence from France, the Republic of Guinea introduced its own franc currency in 1959, replacing the CFA franc at par. A first series of coins consisting of denominations of 5, 10, and 25 francs was issued that year. However, it was not until a redesigned second series in 1962 that the first 1 franc piece was introduced. Such a coin is composed of a cupronickel alloy and has a mass of 1.5 grams, a diameter of approximately 17.1 millimeters, and a thickness of 0.95 millimeters. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape.
The obverse, designed by Hungarian British artist Paul Vincze (1907–1994), features in its center a left-facing bust of President Ahmed Sékou Touré wearing a kufi on his head. Inscribed in a counterclockwise direction along the bottom rim of the piece, below the depiction, is the caption "SEKOU TOURE". The French state title of the Republic of Guinea, "REPUBLIQUE DE GUINEE", is written clockwise along the side rims of the piece, with the first word printed to the left of Touré's likeness and the final two printed to the right. Such text is separated from the caption at the bottom of the coin by two small points. The date "1962" is present near Touré's neck, the first two digits separated from the last two by the central illustration. Printed on three lines in the center of the reverse, also designed by Vincze, is the face value "1 FRANC GUINEEN", with the numeral displayed in a significantly larger font than the words below it. The word "GUINEEN" is arched along the bottom of a vine-like wreath that encircles the value. Also, flanking portions of the value, inside of the wreath, are two feathers. Displayed at the top of the reverse is the text "LE PREMIER MARS 1960" (English: "March 1, 1960"), with the words "LE PREMIER MARS" engraved in a clockwise direction along the rim and the date "1960" written horizontally between the ends of the wreath. Such text identifies the date of the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea's establishment. The French national motto of Guinea, "TRAVAIL - JUSTICE - SOLIDARITE" (English: "Work, Justice, Solidarity") is printed in a counterclockwise direction along the bottom rim of the piece, commencing at the left periphery and concluding at the right. The rims on both the obverse and reverse are raised.
The total mintage of the 1962 1 franc coin is currently unknown. Pieces were produced both as business strikes and as proofs.
Coin of the second franc (1985)
In 1971 the syli replaced the franc as the official currency of Guinea. However, by 1985 the syli was withdrawn from circulation and a second franc currency was introduced. During this year, a uniform series of coins denominated at 1, 5, and 10 francs was issued. The 1 franc coin of 1985 is composed of brass-plated steel, weighs approximately 1.44 grams, and measures 15 millimeters in diameter and 1.22 millimeters in thickness. It has coin alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape.
Displayed in the center of the obverse is the coat of arms of Guinea used from 1984 to 1993 – which consists of an escutcheon featuring a crossed sword and rifle in the center, with a dove above carrying in its beak an olive branch, which extends onto the escutcheon. Below all of this is a ribbon bearing the motto "TRAVAIL JUSTICE SOLIDARITE" ("Work, Justice, Solidarity"). The French state title "RÉPUBLIQUE DE GUINÉE" is inscribed along the upper rim of the coin's obverse, commencing in an upward direction at the top left periphery, arching downward at the top of the piece, and concluding at the upper right rim. Printed in a counterclockwise direction at the bottom of the obverse is the French value "UN FRANC GUINÉEN", which starts at the lower left rim and concludes at the lower right. The date "1985" is shown in the center of the coin in a larger font, the first two digits separated from the last two by the coat of arms. Engraved along the right side of the coin's reverse is an illustration of a palm branch. To the left is the value "1 FRANC GUINÉEN" on three lines, with the numeral printed in a larger font than the words. It is engraved closer to the periphery of the piece than the following text as well. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.
The total mintage of the 1985 1 franc coin is currently unknown. Only business strikes were made for this particular type.
- Guinean 1 syli coin
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation website
- Numista (English) (French)
- Catawiki – Guinea 1 franc 1962
- Flags of the World – Guinea
- Guinean franc on the English Wikipedia