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Coat of arms of Namibia, state title, year
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The 5 cent coin is a circulation piece of the Republic of Namibia that was issued from 1993 to 2012. With the introduction of the Namibian dollar in 1993, the first 5 cent coin was struck that year, and continued to be minted intermittently until 2012. A second type, a circulating commemorative celebrating the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was also made from 1999 to 2000.
While uncommon in circulation due to having low, 0.05 dollar face values, both pieces are currently considered legal tender in their country of origin. They are pegged in value to the discontinued South African 5 cent coin due to a monetary agreement between Namibia and South Africa.
Coins[edit | edit source]
General issue coin (1993–2012)[edit | edit source]
After nearly 75 years under the authority of South Africa, the mandate of South-West Africa received its independence in 1990. It was then renamed to the Republic of Namibia, and Sam Nujoma (1929–), the head of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) majority party, was installed as the country's first President. During its initial years of independence, Namibia continued to use the South African rand as its primary currency, although proposals to introduce a national currency were made as early as 1990. The Namibian dollar was established in 1993, and began to circulate alongside the rand at par. During that year, the Bank of Namibia contracted the Finnish Mint (Suomen Rahapaja) in Vantaa, Finland, to strike the first series of coins for the currency, which consisted of denominations of 5, 10, and 50 cents, and 1 and 5 dollars. The designs of the pieces were revealed on August 12 of that year in the Government Gazette of the Republic of Namibia, and officially entered circulation that December. Examples of the 5 cent piece were subsequently struck again in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2012, but at different mints. Those dated 2002 are believed to have been made at the Birmingham Mint, and those of later years were reportedly struck at the South African Mint in Pretoria.
The general issue Namibian 5 cent piece is composed of nickel-plated steel and measures 2.2 grams in mass, 16.9 millimeters in diameter, and 1.2 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and undecorated.
Displayed at the upper center of the obverse, designed by members of the Finnish Mint, is the coat of arms of Namibia – which consists of a central escutcheon bearing the design of the Namibian flag, supported by two gemsboks (Oryx gazella) and surmounted by a traditional head-ring and an African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer). In the arms, the compartment on which the gemsboks stand additionally contains a Welwitschia mirabilis plant and scroll bearing the national motto "UNITY LIBERTY JUSTICE". On the coin, printed horizontally in small print below the depiction, is the Gregorian date of minting in Western Arabic numerals. The state title in English, "REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA", appears below the year, written counterclockwise along the coin's lower rim. Featured at the center right of the reverse, designed by Finnish student artist Jukka Uusitalo, is an illustration of a mopane aloe (Aloe littoralis), a species of succulent plant native to parts of Namibia and neighboring Angola. The coin's face value is written on two lines to the right, abbreviated as "5c" (5 cents). It is stylized with a larger "5", and with the "c" positioned toward the lower right of the numeral. Appearing along much of the coin's rim, excluding the areas occupied by the aloe's leaves, is a rendition of the sun similar to that on the flag of Namibia, which symbolizes life and energy.
FAO circulating commemorative (1999–2000)[edit | edit source]
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations tasked with combating world hunger, was formally established in 1945. Among the priorities of the FAO is global food security, a condition in which all people have access to a sufficient amount of food for nourishment. In 1999 and 2000, the Bank of Namibia, along with the central banks of seven other countries, commissioned the Kremnica Mint of Slovakia to strike circulation coins commemorating the FAO. For Namibia, only a 5 cent coin was struck. It was announced on January 15, 2000, in the Government Gazette of the Republic of Namibia, which described the piece as part of an "educational base metal coin programme for children". The coin entered circulation later that year.
The FAO commemorative 5 cent coin is composed of stainless steel and is slightly larger than its general issue counterpart, weighing 3 grams and measuring 20 millimeters in diameter and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both sides are raised and undecorated.
The obverse of the piece is very similar in design to that of the general issue coin. Featured at the top center is the coat of arms of Namibia, with the Gregorian date of minting inscribed horizontally below in small print. Written under that, in a counterclockwise direction along the coin's rim, is the state title "REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA". However, unlike on the general issue piece, portions of the escutcheon in the coat of arms are shaded, and the font used for the state title is slightly different. A right-facing illustration of a Cape horse mackerel (Trachurus capensis) is displayed in the middle of the reverse. Such an animal, abundant in Namibian and South African waters, namely in the Atlantic Ocean and Cape of Good Hope, is often caught in both countries for food. The caption "HORSE MACKEREL" is written horizontally in small print below the illustration of the fish, and underneath that is the inscription "EAT MORE FISH". Written horizontally above the image is the face value "5c", which is engraved in a significantly larger font than the aforementioned texts. The legend "XXI CENTURY FAO • FOOD SECURITY", with the Roman numerals "XXI" representing "21st", is inscribed along the rims of the piece. The first two words are printed clockwise at the upper rim, and the remaining words are written in the opposite direction at the lower rim.
The total mintage of the FAO commemorative 5 cent coin is currently unknown. During its two years of production, only business strikes were minted. Interestingly, in some older versions of the popular Standard Catalog of World Coins, pieces bearing the date 1999 were not listed. This has since been corrected.
References[edit | edit source]
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – 1993-2009 Namibia 5 Cents KM# 1 • 1999-2000 Namibia 5 Cents KM# 16
- Numista – 5 Cents (1993–2012) • 5 Cents (FAO) (1999–2000) (English) (French)
- Numismatic Dimensions – Coins of Namibia
- Colnect – Coin: 5 Cents (F.A.O.) (Namibia)
- Government Gazette of the Republic of Namibia (12 August 1993)
- Government Gazette of the Republic of Namibia (15 January 2000)
- Namibian dollar on the English Wikipedia
|Banknotes||$10 • $20 • $50 • $100 • $200|
|Coins||5 c • 10 c • 50 c • $1 • $2 • $5 • $10 • $20 • $100|
|Miscellaneous||Bank of Namibia • Common Monetary Area • South African rand|
|Kalahar||2 k • 5 k • 10 k • 20 k|
|Patterns||Dollar: $1 • $10; Mark: 1 M • 10 M; Rand: 100 r|
|Miscellaneous||Erik Karlsson • Namibia Reserve Bank|