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The 1 cent coin is a circulation and former commemorative piece of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. It was issued in two types by the Bank of Guyana from 1967 to 1992. Because Guyana lacks an official mint of its own, each piece was struck under commission at foreign mints.
The first coin of the denomination, a circulation piece, was introduced in 1967 and produced almost annually until 1992. A non-circulating commemorative cent was also released in 1976, the 10th anniversary of Guyana's independence, and then struck until 1980.
Both coins are currently legal tender, each carrying a nominal value of 0.01 dollar. However, because high inflation in the 1990s dramatically reduced the circulating coin's purchasing power, it no circulates frequently in Guyana. Also, the non-circulating piece, which was created solely for collectors, was never commonly used.
Circulation coin (1967–1992)Edit
In anticipation of Guyana's independence, which was finalized on May 26, 1966, production of a new national currency began in late 1965. Although banknotes for the Guyanese dollar were released during this first year, the first series of coins, consisting of denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents, was not introduced until 1967. With the exception of the 50 cent piece, which was only manufactured in 1967, each of the coins was struck under contract at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom from 1967 to 1992.
The 1 cent coin of the series is composed of a nickel-brass alloy and measures 1.53 grams in mass, 16 millimeters in diameter, and 1.1 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Both of its rims are raised and decorated with a dentilated border.
An illustration of three stylized Amazon water lilies (Victoria amazonica) on the water appears on the coin's obverse. Native to parts of the Amazon basin, the Amazon water lily was designated the national flower of Guyana after the country gained its independence.
A large numeral "1" representing the coin's face value is engraved in the middle of the reverse. It is accompanied by the written value "ONE CENT", with the first word displayed above the number and the second inscribed below. Both indications of the value are enclosed within three solid circular boundaries. Printed clockwise along the rim above is the English legend "BANK OF GUYANA", and inscribed in the opposite direction at the periphery below is the Gregorian date of minting. The date and bank name are separated from one another by two illustrations of the hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), the national bird of Guyana.
Excluding mintages from 1975, 1976, 1979, 1989, 1991, and 1992, around 121,535,100 examples of the coin were produced, including 121,530,000 business strikes and 5,100 proofs. All of the proofs were distributed in official proof sets by the Bank of Guyana.
Manatee coin (1976–1980)Edit
In 1976, Guyana celebrated its 10th anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom. In observance of this event, that year the Bank of Guyana authorized the Franklin Mint in the United States to produce a series of non-circulating commemorative 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent and 1, 5, and 10 dollar coins. The Bank of Guyana then permitted the mint to continue striking the pieces until 1980.
The 1 cent piece of the series is composed of a nickel-brass alloy and measures 1.53 grams in mass, 16 millimeters in diameter, and 1.1 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. Both of its rims are raised and undecorated.
Displayed in the middle of the obverse is the coat of arms of Guyana – which consists of a central escutcheon containing an Amazon water lily, three wavy lines, and a hoatzin. Surmounted by an Amerindian headdress and a helmet, the escutcheon is also supported by two jaguars (Panthera onca), one holding a pickaxe and the other carrying sugarcane and a stalk of rice. It appears above a ribbon featuring the national motto "ONE PEOPLE ONE NATION ONE DESTINY". On the coin, printed clockwise along the rim above the arms is the English legend "OUR PEOPLE – OUR MOST PRECIOUS ASSET". The text "BANK OF GUYANA" is inscribed horizontally below the coat of arms, and the Gregorian date of minting is engraved counterclockwise along the coin's lower rim, flanked on both sides by a small circular point. A small "FM" mint mark additionally appears between the coat of arms and the bank title.
The coin's reverse was designed by Neila Kun, an American artist and employee of the Franklin Mint. An illustration of a West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), a species of aquatic mammal native to the Caribbean Sea, including Guyana's territorial waters, is displayed in the center of the piece. The face value "1 CENT" is engraved on two lines to the left, the numeral rendered in the larger print than the following word. Inscribed clockwise along the rim to the upper right of the manatee is the word "FAITH".
More than 136,619 examples of the coin were manufactured, including over 15,000 matte; 46,569 proof; and 75,050 uncirculated pieces. Of these, 46,407 of the proofs and unknown numbers of the matte and uncirculated coins were distributed in official sets by the Bank of Guyana.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – Guyana - Cent, KM# 31 (1967–1992) • Guyana - Cent, KM# 37 (1976–1980)
- Colnect – 1 Cent (1967–1992) • 1 Cent (1976–1980)
- Numista – 1 Cent (1967–1992) • 1 Cent (1976–1980) (English) (French)
- Schön, Günter and Gerhard, Weltmünzkatalog 20. Jahrhundert, 44. Auflage, 2016, Battenberg Gietl Verlag, ISBN 9783866461192
- Guyanese dollar on the English Wikipedia