Currency Wiki
10 shillings / shilingi
General information

Flag of Tanzania Tanzania


10.00 shillings



Measurements and composition

10 g


29 mm


2.25 mm

  • cupronickel (1987-1989)
  • nickel-plated steel (1990-1993)







Julius Nyerere


Coat of arms of Tanzania, value, year

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The 10 shilling/shilingi coin is a circulation piece of the United Republic of Tanzania. It was issued by the Bank of Tanzania in two primary types from 1987 to 1993, the first being distributed from 1987 to 1989, and the second being released from 1990 to 1993. Under contract with the Bank of Tanzania, the initial piece was struck at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, and the second was manufactured at the Royal Canadian Mint. Although both coins remain legal tender in their country of origin, they no longer circulate frequently due to their low face value of 10.00 Tanzanian shillings.

Coins dated 1987 to 1989 are composed of cupronickel, while later pieces are made of nickel-plated steel. In spite of having different compositions, the two types share a mass of 10 grams, a diameter of 29 millimeters, and a thickness of 2.25 millimeters. Both also have medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a reeded edge, and are round in shape.

Both types are nearly identical in appearance. A bust of Julius Nyerere (1922–1999), the President of Tanzania from 1964 to 1985, is engraved in the center of the coin's obverse. Initially designed for a commemorative 20 shilling coin by British sculptor Philip Nathan (1941–) in 1981, the illustration shows an older Nyerere wearing a collared shirt and facing ¼ left. It is surrounded by a solid circular boundary. Having worked as a secondary school teacher before becoming involved in politics, Nyerere was known by the Swahili honorific Mwalimu, meaning "teacher", during much of his life. This is reflected on the Tanzanian 10 shilling piece, which bears the caption "MWALIMU JULIUS K. NYERERE" at the top of the obverse. Such text, which extends clockwise from the coin's upper left to center right boundaries, is accompanied by the legend "RAIS WA KWANZA WA TANZANIA". Translating to English as "first President of Tanzania", this legend is engraved in the opposite direction as Nyerere's name, traveling from the piece's center left to center right rims. The two texts are separated at both sides of the obverse by four grouped squares (▪▪

Displayed in the middle of the reverse is the coat of arms of Tanzania – which consists of a warrior's shield containing a burning torch, the Tanzanian flag, a spear, a crossed axe and hoe, and six wavy lines. The shield stands upon a representation of Mount Kilimanjaro, and is supported by a Tanzanian man and woman holding elephant tusks. A clove bush is displayed at the feet of the man and a cotton bush at the feet of the woman. Displayed below, at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, is a scroll bearing the national motto "UHURU NA UMOJA", meaning "Freedom and Unity". On the coin, "SHILINGI KUMI", Swahili for "ten shillings" or "ten shilingi", is inscribed above the arms, traveling clockwise from the coin's center left to upper right peripheries. It is followed by the Gregorian date of minting, which is written in the same direction as the value and represented in Western Arabic numerals. Another indication of the coin's face value, a large numeral "10", is also included on the piece, appearing below the coat of arms. On coins made from 1987 to 1990, this number measures 4 millimeters in height and is close to the rim. On later pieces, however, it is only 3 millimeters and is spaced away from the coin's boundary.

From 1987 to 1988, a total of approximately 20,000,000 cupronickel coins were produced, 10,000,000 for each year. Mintage figures for all later years are unavailable. Only business strikes are known to have been struck during all years of production.

Year Mint Composition Mintage Notes
1987 Royal Mint Cupronickel 10,000,000 Large 10
1988 10,000,000
1990 Royal Canadian Mint Nickel-plated
1991 Small 10


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