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Cowrie shell, state title, year
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The 50 cauri coin is a circulation coin that was issued in 1971 by the Republic of Guinea. The piece had a face value equivalent to 0.50 sylis prior to the introduction of the second Guinean franc in 1985. It was distributed by the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea.
The coin is composed of aluminum and has a mass of 0.8 grams, a diameter of 19 millimeters, and a thickness of 1.3 millimeters. It has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Featured in the center of the obverse is an illustration of a cowrie shell, a mollusk shell that was once used as money in western Africa (including Guinea) and multiple other locations worldwide. The French state title of Guinea, "REPUBLIQUE DE GUINEE" (English: "Republic of Guinea"), is inscribed along the outer rim of the coin, commencing in an upward direction at the bottom left periphery, arching downward at the top of the coin, and concluding at the lower right rim. Curved along the bottom of the coin is the date "1971", flanked on either side by a small bullet point. The face value "50 CAURIS" is inscribed in the center of the reverse, the numeral and the word printed on separate lines and the former written in a much larger size than the latter. This indication of the value is partially surrounded by a wreath consisting of two branches tied together at the bottom. Printed along the upper rim of the coin is the French motto of the Republic of Guinea – "TRAVAIL - JUSTICE - SOLIDARITE" – which translates as "Work, Justice, Solidarity". Such a legend begins upward at the lower left rim, arches downward at the top of the reverse, and ends at the bottom right periphery. The remainder of the rim is occupied by "LE 1er MARS 1960" (English: "March 1st, 1960"), which represents the date the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea was established. This inscription is separated from the national motto by two bullets.
The total mintage of the Guinean 50 cauri coin is currently unknown.