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The 1 pound coin is a circulation piece of Sudan that was issued in five types from around 1885 to 2011. The first piece, denominated at 100 qirsh, was issued briefly by the Mahdist State in what is now Sudan in 1885, under self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad (1844–1885). However, because Sudan entered a period of joint ownership by Egypt and the United Kingdom after the Mahdist State fell, another 1 pound coin would not be issued until 1978, twenty-two years after Sudan broke away from foreign control and became Democratic Republic of Sudan. Such a piece was struck in commemoration of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a division of the United Nations tasked with combating world hunger. Another pound coin was introduced by the current Republic of Sudan in 1987, which was followed by a fourth type two years later in 1989. The most recent coin of the denomination was introduced in 2011. The later four types were distributed by the Central Bank of Sudan and struck at the Khartoum Mint.
The Mahdist pound coin, part of a series of local currency, and the following three pieces, included in Sudan's first pound currency system, carried the status of legal tender prior to their demonetizations but are no longer valid. The only 1 pound coin currently in circulation is the 2011 example.
Coins[edit | edit source]
Coin of the Mahdist State (c. 1885)[edit | edit source]
Muhammad Ahmad, a Sudanese religious leader and self-proclaimed Mahdi, began in the late 19th century a campaign against the foreign powers controlling the areas of Sudan, namely the Khedivate of Egypt and United Kingdom. The Mahdist's successful siege of Khartoum in early 1885 resulted in the establishment of a Mahdist State, with Muhammad Ahmad appointed as its first leader. Between this time and Muhammad Ahmad's unexpected death the same year, the first Sudanese 1 pound coin, a gold piece with a face value of 100 qirsh, was introduced. However, reportedly, fiscal difficulties caused Muhammad Ahmad to withdraw the coins from circulation before his death, and as a result they saw limited use. The piece's appearance was based on the Egyptian pound coins that circulated in Egypt during the rule of Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I (Abdul Mejid I; 1823–1861), which lasted from 1839 to 1861. The Sudanese piece can be distinguished from its Egyptian counterpart by its cruder edge reeding and features, and also its smaller mass. Genuine Egyptian pieces weigh approximately 8.5 grams, whereas Sudanese examples measure between 7 and 7.5 grams. The imitation coin has a reeded edge and medallic alignment, and is round in shape.
Displayed in the center of the coin's obverse is the tughra of then deceased Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I, which reads "عبد المجيد خان بن محمود مظفر دائماً" (Romanized: Abdülmecid Han bin Mahmud muzaffer daima) in Ottoman Turkish and translates to English as "Abdülmecid son of Mahmud is forever victorious". Shown above the hançer in the tughra is the stem of a rose. The face value "ش ١٠٠" (100 sh), the "ش" (šīn) abbreviated for "قرش" (qirsh), appears below the sere of the tughra on two lines, with the numeral inscribed in smaller print than the accompanying letter. The Arabic legend "ضرب في مصر" (Ḍáraba fī Maṣr), which translates as "struck in Egypt", is engraved in the middle of the coin's reverse. This element, directly copied from the Egyptian pound piece, does not reflect the location the Sudanese coin was struck. Printed above the "ب" (bāʾ) in the legend is the numeral "٢" (2), which on the Egyptian coin identifies minting during the second year of Abdülmecid I's reign, 1840. The Islamic Hijri date in which Abdülmecid I ascended the throne appears horizontally below the word "مصر" (Maṣr) as "١٢٥٥" (1255), the equivalent of 1839 in the Gregorian calendar. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are ornamented with a dentillated border and raised, although they are often uneven due to off center striking.
The total mintage of the 1 pound coin of the Mahdist State is currently unknown.
FAO circulated commemorative coin (1978)[edit | edit source]
Following the ultimate defeat of the Mahdist State in 1899, Egypt and the United Kingdom established Sudan as a condominium under their joint control. However, by 1952 the territory was granted the right of autonomy, and then in 1956 its independence. A short-lived Republic of Sudan then existed from then until 1969, which was followed by the Democratic Republic of Sudan from 1969 to 1985. In 1978, during the period of the Democratic Republic under President Gaafar Nimeiry (1930–2009), Sudan introduced a circulation commemorative coin denominated at 1 pound. Made in celebration of the advancement of rural women in Sudan, the piece was among several coins from around the world that was minted that year for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Such a piece is composed of cupronickel, weighs approximately 28.6 grams, and measures 40 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment and is decagonal (10-sided) in shape.
Displayed in the center of the coin's obverse is an illustration of the emblem of Sudan from the time period – consisting of a secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) bearing a shield from Muhammad Ahmad's time on its body, with a scroll displaying the national motto "النصر لنا" (Romanized: An-nasr lanā; English: "Victory is ours") shown above the bird's head and another containing the Arabic state title "جمهورية السودان الديمُقراطية" (Romanized: Jumhūrīyat as-Sūdān ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah; English: "Democratic Republic of Sudan") below its feet. The Gregorian date of minting is inscribed to the left of the emblem on the coin in Eastern Arabic numerals as "١٩٧٨" (1978), while its Islamic Hijri equivalent, "١٣٩٨" (1398), appears to the right of the central illustration. Featured in the middle of the reverse is a depiction of a Sudanese woman in a hijab facing toward the right side of the coin, her hands moving a piece of fabric from underneath a mechanism resting on a table. The face value "جنيه ١" (1 junayh), meaning "1 pound", superimposes portions of the illustration, the numeral displayed in a large font in the center of the piece and the following word "جنيه" (junayh) shown smaller along the coin's bottom periphery. Engraved counterclockwise at the top of the piece is the Arabic legend "نهضة فتاة الريف" (Romanized: Nahḍa fatāh al-rīf), which translates as "advancement of rural women". The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.
A total of approximately 456,000 1 pound coins were minted by Sudan in 1978, all as business strikes.
First general issue coin (1987)[edit | edit source]
Demonstrations against the government officials of the Democratic Republic of Sudan ultimately resulted in the establishment of the current Republic of Sudan in 1985. Nimeiry was deposed and sent into exile, and in 1986 Sadiq al-Mahdi (1935–) was formally elected as Prime Minister and Ahmed al-Mirghani (1941–2008) as President. A year later, in 1987, during the new administration, the Central Bank of Sudan introduced a series of uniform circulation coins consisting of denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 qirush, and 1 pound. Of these, the 1 pound coin is composed of an aluminum-bronze alloy and has a mass of approximately 8.4 grams, a diameter of 32.2 millimeters, and a thickness of 2.45 millimeters. It has medallic alignment and is round in shape.
Engraved at the top center of the coin's obverse is the Central Bank of Sudan's old headquarters in Khartoum. Printed horizontally below, to the right, is the date "هجرية ١٤٠٨" (1408 Hijrīyyah), which signifies production during year 1408 of the Islamic Hijri calendar. Its Gregorian equivalent, "ميلادية ١٩٨٧" (1987 Mīlādīyyah), is written to the left, the word "ميلادية" (Mīlādīyyah) identifying the Western calendar. Engraved below both dates, which are separated from each other by a small dash, are two crossing branches. The coin's face value, "جنيه ١" (1 junayh), appears in the middle of the coin's reverse, the numeral shown in the center in large print and the following word inscribed in smaller text along the bottom rim. Two of what Krause's Standard Catalog of World Coins describes as "flower sprigs" – branches of Levant cotton (Gossypium herbaceum) with bolls and flowers – are displayed along the left and right sides of the reverse. The branches are separated from each other by the word "جنيه" (junayh) at the bottom of the piece and by the state title "جمهورية السودان" (Romanized: Jumhūrīyat as-Sūdān; English: "Republic of Sudan") engraved counterclockwise along the coin's upper periphery. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and adorned with a decorative border alternating between denticulation and dashes.
The total mintage of the 1987 Sudanese pound coin is currently unknown. Only business strikes are known to have been produced.
Second general issue coin (1989)[edit | edit source]
In 1989, Omar al-Bashir (1944–) overthrew al-Mahdi and al-Mirghani in a bloodless coup. He then abolished the office of prime minister and appointed himself President of Sudan, a position he holds to this day. During the first year of his administration, the Central Bank of Sudan introduced another series of Sudanese coinage, consisting of denominations of 25 and 50 qirush and 1 pound. The pound piece of the series is composed of cupronickel-plated steel, weighs about 7.5 grams, and measures 26.3 millimeters in diameter and 2.13 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and is round in shape.
Displayed in the middle of the reverse is an illustration of the old headquarters of the Central Bank of Sudan. This image is similar in appearance to that appearing on the 1987 pound, but a bit smaller and more stylized. Printed horizontally below in a style similar to kufic is the text "بنك السودان" (Bānik as-Sūdān), which translates to English as "Bank of Sudan". Engraved in the middle of the reverse is a large shaded numeral "١" (1), which represents the coin's face value of 1 pound. The full value is written horizontally to the left of the numeral as "واحد جنيه" (wāḥida junayh), each of the two words displayed on its own line. The Arabic state title of the Republic of Sudan, "جمهورية السودان" (Romanized: Jumhūrīyat as-Sūdān), is engraved above the values, written counterclockwise along the rim of the piece. Arched around the bottom right rim of the reverse is the Islamic date "١٤٠٩" (1409) followed by the letter "هـ" (hāʾ), abbreviated for "هجرية" (Romanized: Hijrīyyah). Printed next to this Islamic date, separated by a dash, is the Gregorian equivalent "١٩٨٩" (1989) and a "مـ" (mīm) for "ميلادية" (Romanized: Mīlādīyyah). The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and decorated with a border consisting of alternating large and small rectangles.
The total mintage of the 1989 pound coin is currently unknown. Only business strikes are known to exist.
Current circulation coin (2011)[edit | edit source]
Inflation and successive devaluations of the Sudanese pound prompted the Central Bank of Sudan to replace the first pound currency in 1992 with a new dinar based monetary system, although in Southern Sudan the earlier currency continued to be used. However, because the dinar itself had devalued over time and the use of two currencies in Sudan caused confusion, a second pound was introduced in 2007 for the whole country. In 2011, a 1 pound coin was minted for the new currency, accompanying the 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 qirsh pieces already in circulation. The coin is composed of nickel-plated steel, weighs approximately 8.5 grams, and measures 27 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment and is round in shape. The edge is reeded and inscribed with the Arabic name of the Central Bank of Sudan, "بنك السودان المركزي" (Romanized: Bānik as-Sūdān al-Markaziy).
Displayed in the center of the coin's obverse is an image of the the Central Bank of Sudan's current headquarters in Khartoum, along with the fountain in front of it and nearby trees and bushes. Such a depiction is enclosed within a circular border. The English text "CENTRAL BANK OF SUDAN" appears clockwise along the upper periphery of the piece, extending from the coin's upper left to upper right boundaries. The Arabic equivalent, "بنك السودان المركزي" (Romanized: Bānik as-Sūdān al-Markaziy), is featured in the same direction at the bottom of the piece, wrapping from the piece's bottom right to bottom left rims. Engraved in the middle of the reverse is a large numeral "١" (1), identifying the piece's face value of 1 pound. The full value "واحد جنيه" (wāḥida junayh), written in a significantly smaller size than the numeral, appears in the center of the coin, the word "واحد" (wāḥida) shown to the right of the central number and the "جنيه" (junayh) written to the left. All of the aforementioned elements are surrounded by a circular boundary, above which, along the upper rim of the coin, is the face value in English, which reads "ONE SUDANESE POUND" in a clockwise direction. Printed before the beginning of this text, at the left side of the piece, is the Gregorian date of minting in Western Arabic numerals, "2011", and inscribed after the end, at the right side of the reverse, is its equivalent in Eastern Arabic numerals, "٢٠١١" (2011). The remainder of the coin's periphery is occupied by cotton sprigs. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.
The total mintage of the Sudanese 1 pound coin of 2011 is currently unknown. Only business strikes are known to have been produced.
References[edit | edit source]
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation website
- Numista (English) (French)
- Central Bank of Sudan – Currency Museum
- Baldwin's Auctions Ltd – Mahdist coin (via acsearch.info)
- FAO Money and Medals: Newsletter 24
- Sudanese pound on the English Wikipedia