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10 cents
Liberia 10 cents 1978 proof
Proof coin from 1978
General information

Flag of Liberia Liberia



Measurements and composition
  • 1.4 g (1847-1864)
  • 10.89 g (1847 countermarked)
  • 2.5 g (1896-1961)
  • 2.1 g (1966)
  • 1.8 g (1968-1987)
  • 17 mm (1847-1864, 1966-1987)
  • 27.5 mm (1847 countermarked)
  • 18.4 mm (1896-1906)
  • 15 mm (1864 bronze)
  • 2.39 mm (1847 countermarked)
  • 1 mm (1960-1987)
  • silver (1847-1961)
  • bronze (1847-1861)
  • cupronickel (1966-1987)


  • n/a; uniface (1847 countermarked)
  • medallic (1896-1906)
  • coin (1960-1987)
  • reeded (1896-1987)
  • "O.A.U. July 1979" (1979)
Host coin

1843 United States large cent (1847 countermarked)

  • Blank (1847 countermarked)
  • Palm tree, value (1847)
  • Palm tree in shield, wreath, value, year (1864)
  • Wreath, value, year (1896-1987)
v · d · e

The 10 cent coin is a current circulation piece of the Republic of Liberia that was issued in two main types from 1896 to 1987. In addition, some patterns were made before then, in 1847 and 1864. The first general issue 10 cent piece of Liberia was introduced in 1896, as part of the first Liberian dollar, and subsequently produced again in 1906. However, shortly after Liberia adopted the British West African pound in 1907, this first coin lost its legal tender face value of $0.10 and was demonetized. In 1960 the second type was introduced after the reintroduction of the dollar. Its first subtype was issued from 1960 to 1961, its second from 1966 to 1987, and its third, which was not intended for circulation, in 1979 alone. The coins of the second type currently hold the status of legal tender and are used for transactions in Liberia.


1847 pattern coins[]

Liberia 10 cents 1847

1847 pattern

In 1847, the newly independent Republic of Liberia introduced its own dollar currency, which was linked to the American monetary system of the same name. The first series of coins, produced at the Soho Mint in Birmingham, England, consisted of pieces denominated at 1 and 2 cents for circulation. However, in addition, patterns of both denominations, as well as 10 cent and 1 dollar pieces, were struck. The 10 cent pattern is known in two compositions: bronze and silver. Both measure 17 millimeters in diameter, and the silver example weighs approximately 1.4 grams. They have coin alignment and are round in shape. In addition, a pattern exists countermarked over an 1843 United States large cent. This uniface coin is therefore made of bronze (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc), weighs approximately 10.89 grams, and measures 27.5 millimeters in diameter and 2.39 millimeters in thickness.

Featured in the center of the obverse is a left-facing bust of the goddess Liberty with a Phrygian cap bearing a five-pointed star covering much of her curly hair. Such an illustration, identical to that which appears on the circulation pieces of 1847, is enclosed within a circular boundary. Inscribed in a clockwise direction along the upper rim of the piece, outside of the border, is the English state title "REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA", which commences at the left periphery and concludes at the right. The date "1847" is inscribed counterclockwise at the bottom of the piece, also outside of the border. On the uniface coin, this design is stamped invertedly at the right side of the 1843 cent's obverse. Displayed in the middle of the reverse is a palm, another feature appearing on the issued 1847 coins. The face value "10 C.", abbreviated for 10 Cents, is engraved in the center of the piece, the number and following letter separated by the trunk of the tree. Inscribed horizontally below the illustration is the word "ESSAY", identifying that the piece was a test, and was not to be put into circulation. The reverse of the countermarked coin is blank. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.

The mintage of the bronze and silver 1847 10 cent patterns is currently unknown. The countermarked piece, once part of the coin collection of King Farouk of Egypt and Sudan (1920–1965), is believed to be unique.

1864 pattern coins[]

Liberia 10 cents 1864

1864 pattern

By 1864, nearly 17 years after the dollar was introduced, Liberia had only issued four types of coins for circulation, including two types of 1 and 2 cent coins. However, no other denominations were introduced by this time period, although various patterns were minted but never put into circulation. Among these patterns are two 10 cent pieces from 1864, one made of silver and the other of bronze. The former weighs approximately 1.4 grams and measures 17 millimeters in diameter, while the latter has a smaller diameter of 15 millimeters. Coins of both compositions have coin alignment and are round in shape.

The obverse of the 1864 pieces is identical in appearance to that of the earlier 10 cent patterns, featuring inside of a central circular boundary the same likeness of Liberty. Outside it, in the same position as the 1847 pieces, is the state title "REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA", and printed at the bottom of the obverse in a counterclockwise direction is the original date, "1847". The reverse, however, was altered with a new design. Engraved in the middle is a shield containing an illustration of a leaning palm tree, partially enclosed within a wreath consisting of two different branches tied together with a ribbon. Inscribed horizontally above the shield is the date "1864", and above that, arched in a clockwise direction along the upper rim of the piece, is the value "TEN CENTS". To identify the piece as a pattern, the word "ESSAY" is written along the bottom periphery of the coin, underneath the stems of the branches and ribbon in the illustration. Both rims are raised.

The mintages of both 1864 patterns are currently unknown.

Coin of the first Liberian dollar (1896–1906)[]

Liberia 10 cents 1906

Coin from 1906

From 1847 to 1895, various pattern coins in denominations of 1, 2, 10, 25, and 50 cents, and 1 dollar were produced, but only the aforementioned four types of Liberian coins entered circulation. However, in 1896 a new series of circulation pieces was introduced, consisting of coins valued at 1, 2, 10, 25, and 50 cents. Commissioned to strike this series was the Birmingham Mint (Heaton's Mint), which was established in 1850 shortly after the original Soho Mint was closed. The first circulation 10 cent piece was issued in 1896 and 1906. It is composed of .925 fine silver and has a mass of 2.5 grams and a diameter of 18.4 millimeters. The piece has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and like most coins, is round in shape.

Displayed in the middle of the obverse is a left-facing laureate bust of the goddess Liberty with her hair, partially covered by a tiara, put into a bun. Engraved along the rim of the piece is the state title "REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA", which commences at the obverse's lower left periphery and extends in a clockwise direction to the bottom right rim of the coin. Featured below the illustration of Liberty, near the bottom of the obverse, is a single five-pointed star, and inscribed in small print by the bust truncation of the image is the "H" mint mark of the Birmingham Mint. The value "10 CENTS" is engraved on two lines in the center of the reverse in a serifed font, followed below by the date in slightly smaller print. The numeral "1" appearing in both the value and date features a serif at the top, and a curve towards the right at the bottom. Engraved along the periphery of the reverse, encircling the value and year, is a laurel wreath consisting of two branches tied together by a single ribbon. The rims on both the obverse and reverse are raised, and the latter is decorated with a dentillated border.

In total, approximately 55,000 10 cent coins were produced from 1896 to 1906, including about 20,000 in 1896 and 35,000 in 1906. Both business strikes and proofs were produced for the two years.

Coin of the second Liberian dollar (1960–1987)[]

Liberia 10 cents 1975

1975 coin

Liberia 10 cents 1960

1960 coin

In 1907, Liberia abandoned the dollar for the British West African pound of the neighboring British African colonies, but by 1935 the dollar was reintroduced. A series of coins denominated at 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents for the new dollar was issued in 1960. The 10 cent piece was produced at various mints, including the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom and the Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Mints and unofficial Franklin Mint in the United States. The initial subtype of the second circulated 10 cent piece, issued from 1960 to 1961, is composed of .900 fine silver and has a mass of 2.5 grams. The second subtype was introduced in 1966 and produced until 1987, whereas the third was produced solely in 1979. Both are composed of cupronickel, and, aside from the 1966 piece, which weighs 2.1 grams, the two share a mass of 1.8 grams. All subtypes measure approximately 17 millimeters in diameter and 1 millimeter in thickness. The pieces have coin alignment and are round in shape. The first two subtypes bear a standard reeded edge. However, the third, which was minted to commemorate the July 1979 summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Monrovia, bears the lettering "O.A.U. July 1979" on its edge.

Featured on the obverse, designed by United States Mint Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts (1905–1992), is a left-facing bust of Liberty wearing a headdress concealing much of her pulled back hair. Unlike the depiction of the goddess appearing on the pieces issued in 1896 and 1906, the newer Liberty is portrayed as a black Liberian woman instead of a white European. Engraved directly below the illustration, at the bottom of the coin, is a five-pointed star. The state title "REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA" is inscribed in a serifed font around the periphery of the obverse in a clockwise direction, commencing at the bottom left rim and concluding at the bottom right. Portions of the image of Liberty conceal or interrupt this text at certain points: the headdress interrupts between the words "OF" and "LIBERIA", and covers part of the "F" in "OF" and the "L", "I", and "A" in "LIBERIA". The reverse of the coin is virtually identical to that of the first circulation 10 cent piece, featuring the value "10 CENTS" on two lines in the center, with the date of minting printed below. Surrounding these elements is a circular wreath that extends along the coin's boundary. The rims of the obverse and reverse are raised, and the latter is decorated with a dentillated border.

A total of approximately 2,200,000 silver 10 cent pieces were struck from 1960 to 1961, all business strikes from the Philadelphia Mint. At least 15,569,698 of the reeded edge cupronickel pieces were produced, including over 15,504,500 business strikes and about 65,198 proofs. The coin with the lettered edge has a mintage of 1,857 pieces, all proofs.

Mintages (1960-61)
Year Mint Mintage
1960 Philadelphia 1,000,000
1961 1,200,000
Total 2,200,000
Mintages (1966-89)
Year Mint Mintage
1966 Philadelphia 2,000,000
1968 Proof 14,000
1969 Proof 5,056
1970 Denver 2,500,000
1970 Proof San Francisco 3,464
1971 Proof Philadelphia 3,032
1972 Proof 4,866
1973 Proof 11,000
1974 Proof 9,362
1975 4,500
1975 Proof 4,056
1976 Proof 2,131
1977 Unknown
1977 Proof 920
1978 Proof Franklin Mint 7,311
1979 Proof (OAU) 1,857
1983 500,000
1984 500,000
1987 Philadelphia 10,000,000
Total > 15,571,555


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