Currency Wiki
Shilling / Shilingi
Tanzania Shiling Moja
1991 coin
General information

Flag of Tanzania Tanzania


1.00 shillins



Measurements and composition
  • 8 g (1966-1984)
  • 6.5 g (1987-1992)
  • 27.65 mm (1966-1984)
  • 23.5 mm (1987-1992)

1.6 mm (1966-1984)

  • cupronickel (1966-1984)
  • nickel-plated steel (1987-1992)







Hand holding the Uhuru Torch, value

v · d · e

The 1 shilling/shilingi coin is a circulation piece of the United Republic of Tanzania that was issued in two types from 1966 to 1992. The first type was produced during the administration of President Julius Nyerere (1922–1999; i.o. 1964–1985) from 1966 to 1984, while the second was made under his successor, Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1925–; i.o. 1985–1995), from 1987 to 1992. Both were distributed by the Bank of Tanzania and struck under commission at foreign mints, the first at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom and the second at the Royal Canadian Mint.

Both types currently hold legal tender status in their country of origin, each holding a face value equivalent to 1.00 Tanzanian shillings. In spite of this, they no longer circulate frequently due to their low purchasing power.


Coins of Julius Nyerere (1966–1984)[]

Tanzania 1 shilling 1966

1966 coin

In 1964 the nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar, later renamed to the current United Republic of Tanzania. Julius Nyerere, the President of Tanganyika from 1962 to 1964, was installed as the country's first leader shortly after its independence, and remained in office until his resignation in 1985.

After becoming a unified republic in 1964, Tanzania initially adopted the East African shilling used by the separate nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. However, by 1966 the country introduced its own shilling, replacing the old currency at par. That year the Bank of Tanzania contracted the Royal Mint to strike the first series of coins for the new shilling, which consisted of pieces in denominations of 5, 20, and 50 senti, and 1 shilling. These would later be joined by a 5 shilling coin in 1972 and a 10 senti piece in 1977. Excluding the 5 shilling piece, which was only struck until 1980, all coins of this initial series were struck until 1984. They were designed by Christopher Ironside (1913–1992), an English sculptor associated with the Royal Mint.

The 1 shilling piece is composed of a cupronickel alloy of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel and measures 8 grams in mass, 27.65 millimeters in diameter, and 1.6 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. The rims of both sides of the piece are raised and undecorated.

The obverse design follows that of most coins issued during Julius Nyerere's administration. A left-facing portrait of the Tanzanian leader appears in the center, flanked to the left and right by decorative flowers engraved near the rim. The Swahili caption "RAIS WA KWANZA", which translates to English as "first President", is inscribed below Nyerere's likeness and between the flowers, extending counterclockwise along the coin's lower periphery. Printed in the opposite direction at the piece's upper rim is the state title "TANZANIA" and the Gregorian date of minting.

An arm holding the Uhuru Torch, a Tanzanian symbol of freedom and light, is displayed in the middle of the coin's reverse, a large numeral "1" representing the face value engraved horizontally below. The Swahili "SHILINGI MOJA" (English: "One shilling/shilingi") is additionally included, traveling clockwise from the piece's lower left to lower right boundaries.

Excluding mintages from 1975 and 1981, which are currently unknown, approximately 118,005,500 examples of the first Tanzanian 1 shilling coin were produced. Of these, an estimated 118,000,000 specimens were minted as business strikes and 5,500 (all from 1966) were manufactured as proofs. All of the proofs were initially sold in collectors' sets by the Bank of Tanzania.

Year Mintage
1966 48,000,000
1966 Proof 5,500
1972 10,000,000
1974 15,000,000
1977 5,000,000
1980 10,000,000
1982 10,000,000
1983 10,000,000
1984 10,000,000

Unissued trial strike (1980)[]

A similar cupronickel trial strike was struck in 1981. It differs only from the issued pieces by the addition of the word "TRIAL".

Coin of Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1987–1992)[]

Tanzania 1 shilling 1992

1992 coin

After nearly two decades in power, Julius Nyerere relinquished his administrative position to Vice President Ali Hassan Mwinyi in November 1985. This change in leadership, along with the devaluation of the Tanzanian shilling, prompted the Bank of Tanzania to introduce a new series of coins in denominations of 50 senti and 1, 5, and 10 shillings. These were eventually followed in order by 20 (1990), 100 (1993), 50 (1996), 200 (1998), and 500 (2014) shilling pieces. The 1 shilling coin of the series was struck under commission at the Royal Canadian Mint from 1987 to 1992.

The shilling piece is composed of nickel-plated steel and measures 6.5 grams in mass and 23.5 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and is round like most coins. The rims of both sides of the piece are raised and undecorated.

A right-facing likeness of Ali Hassan Mwinyi in a collared shirt is depicted in the middle of the coin's obverse, and is flanked on both sides by decorative flowers engraved along the rim. Printed clockwise at the rim above is the state title "TANZANIA", and inscribed in the opposite direction at the periphery below is the Gregorian date of minting.

The reverse is identical to that of the first Tanzanian shilling coin, albeit modified for a smaller planchet. An arm holding the Uhuru Torch appears in the center, with a large numeral "1" written horizontally below and the text "SHILINGI MOJA" inscribed clockwise along the rim.

A reported 15,000,000 examples were reportedly struck from 1987 to 1988, but mintages for all other years are currently unavailable. Only business strikes are known to exist.

Year Mintage
1987 5,000,000
1988 10,000,000

See also[]

  • East African 1 shilling coin


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