|Measurements and composition|
1 mm (1974-2011)
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The 5 cent coin is a circulation and former commemorative piece of the Kingdom of Swaziland. It was issued from 1968 to 2011 in six types, two under King Sobhuza II (1899–1982; r. 1921–1982) and four under Mswati III (1968–; r. 1986–). The first type was distributed by the Swazi government, while the other five were issued by the Central Bank of Swaziland and its precursor, the Monetary Authority of Swaziland. All of the pieces were struck under commission at foreign mints, the first and sixth at the South African Mint in Pretoria, South Africa, and the rest at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales.
The first piece, a non-circulating commemorative, was struck in 1968 to celebrate Swaziland's independence from the United Kingdom. It was followed in 1974 by the first circulation Swazi 5 cent piece, which continued to be struck until 1979. Four years after Sobhuza's death in 1982, Prince Makhosetive Dlamini succeeded his father as king, adopting the royal name Mswati III. A new circulation 5 cent coin was introduced shortly after the new leader's coronation in 1986, and was followed by a similar type in 1992. From 1995 to 2010 a fifth type was issued, and most recently, in 2011, the sixth was introduced.
All of the 5 cent pieces are legal tender in their country of origin, each carrying a face value of 0.05 lilangeni, which is also equivalent to 0.05 South African rand. As a collectors' piece, the 1968 coin does not circulate frequently, if at all, despite its status as legal tender. The other types are no longer used frequently due to their low purchasing power.
On April 20, 2016, the Central Bank of Swaziland announced that it had began recalling all pre-2015 circulation coins, with the exception of the 2011 5 cent piece. They are expected to be out of circulation by September 1.
- 1 Coins
- 2 References
Coins[edit | edit source]
Coins of Sobhuza II (1968–1979)[edit | edit source]
Independence coin (1968)[edit | edit source]
Through a convention in 1894, Swaziland became a protectorate of the South African Republic, a neighboring southern African Boer state. However, this protectorate was short lived. With the conclusion of the Second Boer War (1899–1902), fought between the Boer states and the United Kingdom, Swaziland became a British protectorate in 1906. After over 60 years of British control, Swaziland was granted independence in 1968, during the later reign of King Sobhuza II. In celebration of Swaziland's independence, the Swazi government issued a series of non-circulating commemoratives in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, 1 luhlanga, and 1 lilangeni. These were struck under commission at the South African Mint and designed by South African sculptor Thomas Sasseen.
The 5 cent coin is composed of .800 fine silver and measures 2.75 grams in mass and 17.5 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a reeded edge, and is round in shape.
Featured in the middle of the obverse is a bust of Sobhuza II facing ¾ left, sporting his signature goatee and wearing a necklace and umhelwane, a traditional Swazi fabric covering the torso. The caption "SOBHUZA II" is printed counterclockwise along the rim below, accompanied by the legend "SWAZILAND INDEPENDENCE", which extends in the opposite direction from the coin's left to right boundaries. Engraved in small print to the bottom right of Sobhuza's likeness are the "T.S." initials of the designer.
An ox hide combat shield of the Swazi Emasotsha Regiment is presented vertically in the center of the reverse, covering two assegais and a a staff decorated with injobo tassels. Such an illustration also appears on the flag of Swaziland, but is displayed horizontally instead of vertically on the flag. The face value "5c
–", abbreviated for "5 cents", is engraved to the bottom left, angled to the lower right, while the Gregorian date "1968" is printed to the bottom right, slanted to the upper right. Featured in small print below the bottom left portion of the shield are the artist's initials, "T.S.".
Circulation coin (1974–1979)[edit | edit source]
After independence, Swaziland initially adopted the South African rand as its currency. However, because Swaziland and South Africa could not reach an agreement on how to share seigniorage of the rand in Swaziland, the country adopted the lilangeni in 1974. That year, the newly established Monetary Authority of Swaziland (now the Central Bank of Swaziland) commissioned the Royal Mint to strike the first series of lilangeni coins, consisting of pieces in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and 1 lilangeni. All seven were designed by Italian-British sculptor Michael Rizzello (1926–2004).
The 5 cent piece, which was struck intermittently until 1979, is composed of cupronickel and measures 2.15 grams in mass, 18.5 millimeters in diameter, and 1 millimeter in thickness. It has medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge. The coin is scalloped in shape, having 12 rounded notches.
A bust of Sobhuza II appears in the center of the obverse. The Swazi monarch is shown facing ¼ right, wearing his signature goatee and wearing an inyoni, a headdress worn by the King of Swaziland; a ligcebesha, a type of traditional beaded necklace; and an umhelwane. Printed counterclockwise along the rim below is the state title "SWAZILAND".
Featured in the middle of the reverse is an illustration of an arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), a species of flowering plant native to parts of southern Africa, including Swaziland and its neighbors. The face value "5 CENTS" is printed next to the image, with the numeral written horizontally in large outlined font to the upper left, and the word "CENTS" curved counterclockwise along the coin's bottom left periphery. Engraved in the same direction as the word "CENTS" at the piece's lower right rim, below the lily, is the Gregorian date of minting.
Over three non-consecutive years of production, 4,455,000 examples of the coin were produced, including 4,432,000 pieces with a normal finish and 13,000 proofs. Proofs were only minted in 1974 and 1979, whereas normal pieces were struck during all three years: 1974, 1975, and 1979. Of these, an unknown number of uncirculated pieces; all 13,000 of the 1974 proofs; and 3,231 of the 10,000 1979 proofs were sold in sets.
Circulation coins of Mswati III (1986–2011)[edit | edit source]
First portrait coins (1986–1992)[edit | edit source]
Before his death in 1982, Sobhuza designated Prince Makhosetive Dlamini, one of his sons, to succeed him as king. However, being only 15 years old at the time of his father's death, Makhosetive was considered too young to rule, and Queen Dzewile (1927–2003), one of Sobhuza's wives, was selected to rule as regent until he came of age. After an internal dispute, though, Queen Ntfombi (1950–), Makhosetive's mother, became regent in 1983. She held this position until 1986, when her son was crowned and adopted the name Mswati III.
With the exception of the 1 cent piece, which was minted into 1983, no Swazi circulation coins were produced during the regencies of Dzeliwe and Ntfombi. However, when Mswati came to power in 1986 a new series of coins was introduced, which consists of the same denominations as the previous series, excluding the 2 cent piece. The Royal Mint was commissioned by the Central Bank of Swaziland to strike all of the pieces. In the popular Standard Catalog of World Coins, many of these are misattributed to Queen Dzeliwe.
The 5 cent piece was minted in two varieties, the first in 1986 and the second in 1992. They differ only in composition and mass, with the former being struck in cupronickel and weighing 2.15 grams and the latter being minted in nickel-plated steel and weighing 2.3 grams. Both measure 18.5 millimeters in diameter and 1 millimeter in thickness. They have medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge, and are scalloped in shape, with 12 rounded notches.
The obverse features a facing bust of Mswati III wearing an inyoni and ligcebesha in its center. Printed along the rim below in a counterclockwise direction is the state title "SWAZILAND".
The coin's reverse is virtually identical to that of the circulation coin of Sobhuza. An arum lily appears in the middle, with the value "5 CENTS" printed to the left and the Gregorian date of minting, "1986", inscribed below, arched counterclockwise along the coin's lower right periphery.
Second portrait coins (1995–2011)[edit | edit source]
Scalloped coin (1995–2010)[edit | edit source]
From 1995 to 1996, the Central Bank of Swaziland introduced a new series of coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and 1, 2, and 5 emalangeni. As with previous series of circulation coins, all of the pieces were commissioned to be struck at the Royal Mint.
The 5 cent coin of the series was minted from 1995 to 2010. It is composed of a cupronickel alloy and measures 2.15 grams in mass, 18.5 millimeters in diameter, and 1 millimeter in thickness. The piece has raised, undecorated rims and a plain edge, and is scalloped in shape, having 12 round notches. Most examples use medallic alignment, but some coins from 1998 are reported to have a 15 degree die axis.
An updated bust of a goateed Mswati III is displayed in the center of the obverse, facing ¾ right and wearing an inyoni, ligcebesha, and umhelwane. Written in a clockwise direction along the rim above is the state title "SWAZILAND".
The reverse is identical to that of earlier circulation 5 cent coins. An arum lily appears in the middle, with the face value "5 CENTS" printed to the left and the Gregorian date of minting engraved below, curved counterclockwise along the coin's lower right rim.
The total mintage of the piece is currently unknown. During the coin's 14 years of production, only business strikes are reported to have been produced.
Numismatic author Paul Baker indicates four varieties of the coin exist. The most common, struck from 1995 to 1996 and again from 1999 to 2010, has a thin obverse legend, and a depression in the scalloping at the top of the obverse and reverse. Another variety of coins from 2000 bears a bolder obverse legend and a slightly larger portrait, with a depression at the top of both sides. The other two varieties exist solely for 1998 coins: one has an elevation in the scalloping at the top of both sides, while the other only has the elevation at the top of the reverse, effectively giving it a 15 degree die axis. The Standard Catalog of World Coins suggests there is yet another variety from 1999 that features Mswati facing ¼ right.
|1995||Thin obverse legend, depression at top (both sides)|
|1998||Thin obverse legend, elevation at top (both sides)|
|Thin obverse legend, elevation at top (reverse only)|
|1999||Thin obverse legend, depression at top (both sides)|
|Thick obverse legend, depression on top (both sides)|
|2001||Thin obverse legend, depression at top (both sides)|
Round coin (2011)[edit | edit source]
A new series of coins consisting of denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and 1 lilangeni was introduced from 2009 to 2011 by the Central Bank of Swaziland. These pieces were produced under commission at the South African Mint, and per the bank's request, were struck in cheaper metals with round planchets. At a press conference in late 2011, Martin Dlamini, the Governor of the Central Bank of Swaziland, stated that the intent behind changing the metal content and shape of the coins was to reduce the cost of making Swazi currency.
The 5 cent coin, issued solely in 2011, is composed of copper-plated steel and measures approximately 2 grams in mass, 17.5 millimeters in diameter, and 1 millimeter in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge. Its rims are raised and form a scalloped outline, and are undecorated.
The same bust of Mswati III appearing on Swazi coins from 1995 to 2010, which features the king facing ¾ right and wearing an inyoni, ligcebesha, and umhelwane, is included on the obverse of the 2011 piece. Printed in a clockwise direction along the rim above is the state title "SWAZILAND".
The reverse follows the design of previous circulation 5 cent coins. An arum lily is displayed in the center, with the face value "5 CENTS" printed to the left, and the Gregorian date of minting, "2011", inscribed counterclockwise below, at the piece's lower right periphery.
The total mintage of the 2011 piece is currently unknown. Only business strikes are reported to have been produced.
References[edit | edit source]
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – Swaziland - 5 Cents, KM# 1 (1968) • Swaziland - 5 Cents, KM# 9 (1974–1979) • Swaziland - 5 Cents, KM# 40.1 (1986) • Swaziland - 5 Cents, KM# 40.2 (1992) • Swaziland - 5 Cents, KM# 48 (1995–2010) • Swaziland - 5 Cents, KM# 48a (1999)
- Colnect – 5 Cents (Independence) (1968) • 5 Cents (1974–1979) • 5 Cents (1986) • 5 Cents (1992) • 5 Cents (1995–2010) • 5 Cents (1999) • 5 Cents (2011)
- Numista – 5 Cents - Sobhuza II (Independence) (1968) • 5 Cents - Sobhuza II (1974–1979) • 5 Cents - Mswati III (1986) • 5 Cents - Mswati III (1992) • 5 Cents - Mswati III (1995–2010) • 5 Cents - Mswati III (2011) (English) (French)
- StarAfrica – Swazi Central Bank recalls pre-2015 coins
- Coin Brothers – Swazi 5 Cents (1995–2010)
- Numismatic Dimensions – Varieties on Swaziland’s 12-scallop Coins
- Umntsholi (December 2011)
- Swazi lilangeni on the English Wikipedia
|Banknotes||L1 • E2 • E5 • E10 • E20 • E50 • E100 • E200|
|Coins||1c • 2c • 5c • 10c • 20c • 50c • LH1 • L1 • E2 • E5 • E7½ • E10 • E15 • E20 • E25 • E50 • E100 • E250|
|Miscellaneous||Cent • Central Bank of Swaziland • Lilangeni • Luhlanga • Multilateral Monetary Area • Swazi leaders on currency|