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500 francs
Niger 500 francs 1960
1960 essai
General information

Flag of Niger Niger


500.00 CFA francs


1960 (ND)

Measurements and composition

9.75 g


26.46 mm










Coat of arms of Niger, value, year


Hamani Diori, state title

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The 500 franc coin is a non-circulating legal tender commemorative coin of the Republic of Niger that was issued in 1960. It was produced in celebration of the country's independence from France on August 3 of that year. The piece was made by the Monnaie de Paris. While the piece held a legal tender face value equivalent to 500.00 West African CFA francs in Niger, it was intended primarily for collectors and did not see much (if any) general circulation before its demonetization.

The coin is composed of .900 fine silver, weighs approximately 9.75 grams, and measures 26.46 millimeters in diameter. It has coin alignment and a reeded edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Featured in the center of the coin's obverse is an illustration of the coat of arms of Niger – which consists of a central escutcheon bearing images of a spear crossed by two Tuareg swords, the sun, three pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) heads, and the head of a zebu (Bos taurus indicus). This is supported in the arms by four Nigerien flags, underneath which is a ribbon bearing the French title of the Republic of Niger, "REPUBLIQUE DU NIGER". The French word "INDEPENDANCE" (English: "Independence") is inscribed in a clockwise direction above the illustration of the arms, along the coin's upper periphery. Printed horizontally below the central image is the face value "500 FRS", abbreviated for 500 francs, and underneath that, written in a counterclockwise direction along the rim, is the date Niger gained independence in French, "3 AOUT 1960" (English: "August 3, 1960"). Engraved in the middle of the reverse is a bust of President Hamani Diori facing ¾ left, wearing a suit and tie and his signature glasses. The caption "PRESIDENT DIORI HAMANI" is inscribed above the likeness, extending from the upper left to upper right rims of the coin, whereas the French state title of Niger, "REPUBLIQUE DU NIGER", is shown in a counterclockwise direction from the piece's left to right peripheries below the depiction of Diori. Both texts are separated from each other by two small points. The rims of the obverse and reverse are raised.

The total mintage of the Nigerien 500 franc coin is currently unknown. All examples were produced with a proof finish. In addition, approximately 1,000 500 franc essais were minted, and can be distinguished from their normal counterparts by the presence of the word "ESSAI" in small print between the arms and value on the obverse.


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