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10 shillings
Uganda 10 shillings 1987
1987 circulation coin
General information

Flag of Uganda Uganda


10.00 shillings



Measurements and composition
  • 20 g (1969-1970)
  • 28.28 g (1981)
  • 5.7 g (1987)
  • 40 mm (1969-1970)
  • 38.61 mm (1981)
  • 25.91 mm (1987)
  • silver (1969-1970)
  • cupronickel (1981)
  • nickel-plated steel (1987)
  • coin (1969-1970)
  • medallic (1981-1987)
  • reeded (1969-1981)
  • plain (1987)
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The 10 shilling coin is a current circulation and former commemorative coin of the Republic of Uganda. It was issued in three types from 1969 to 1987: two commemoratives and one general circulation piece. In celebration of Pope Pope Paul VI's (1897–1978) visit to Uganda, the first 10 shilling piece, a non-circulating commemorative, was struck in 1969 and 1970. It was followed in 1981 by a circulating commemorative piece of the denomination, which was minted for the wedding of Prince Charles of Wales (1948–) and Lady Diana Spencer (1961–1997) that year. With the introduction of the second Ugandan shilling, the first general circulation 10 shilling coin made its début in 1987. It has not been minted since, but continues to circulate in limited quantities.

The 1969–1970 and 1981 commemoratives carried a legal tender face value of 10.00 Ugandan first shillings prior to their eventual demonetization. As collectors' pieces, however, neither saw much general circulation. The 1987 coin remains valid for 10.00 Ugandan second shillings, but does not circulate frequently due to its low face value.


Papal visit coin (1969–1970)[]

Before the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), a handful of popes voluntarily traveled outside Rome, and those who did stayed in Europe. Pope Paul VI was the first pope to travel globally, visiting all six continents from 1964 to 1970. This precedent has since been followed by most of Paul's successors.

Pope Paul VI visited Uganda from July 31 to August 2, 1969. Among the most notable events of Paul's trip was the mass at the Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs in Namugongo.

In 1969, in commemoration of the pope's visit, the Bank of Uganda commissioned the Gori and Zucchi Mint in Arezzo, Italy, to strike a series of non-circulating commemorative coins in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 30, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 shillings. They were minted again in 1970, and were sold by Italcambio on behalf of the Bank of Uganda.

The 10 shilling piece of the series is composed of .999 fine silver and has a mass of 20 grams and a diameter of 40 millimeters. It has coin alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both sides of the coin are raised and decorated with a beaded border.

Featured in the center of the obverse is the coat of arms of Uganda – which consists of a central escutcheon decorated with waves, the sun, and a traditional drum, supported to the left by a Ugandan kob (Kobus kob thomasi) and to the right by a crested crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps). Two crossing spears are illustrated behind the escutcheon, and below the feet of the two supporters is a fertile landscape and the waters of the Nile, along with a scroll bearing the national motto "FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY". Coffee and cotton are additionally included on the landscape, respectively beneath the kob and the crane. Extending clockwise from the obverse's left to right peripheries is the coin's face value, "TEN SHILLINGS". A large number "10" is also inscribed horizontally below the coat of arms. Written in small print below the number is the Gregorian date of minting, "1969" or "1970". Two circular points are shown at the lower left and right sides of the obverse, just below the arms and to the sides of the "10", and a "999" in an oval, indicating the coin's silver purity, is displayed near the coin's bottom rim, to the right of the year.

Appearing in the middle of the reverse is the Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs in Namugongo, with two trees shown in the background. Printed on two lines in small font below is the caption "UGANDA MARTYRS' SHRINE NAMUGONGO", with the first three words shown on the first line and the township name "NAMUGONGO" solely displayed on the second. The illustration of the shrine and the caption are enclosed within a solid circular border. Traveling clockwise from the left to right peripheries of the reverse, outside the border, is the legend "BANK OF UGANDA". The date of minting, either a "1969" or "1970", is engraved in the opposite direction at the bottom of the piece, again outside the border, and is flanked on both sides by branches.

The coin was minted with a proof finish, and was sold individually and in proof sets with other 1969 commemoratives. It is currently listed in the popular Standard Catalog of World Coins, which reports a combined mintage of 6,720 examples for 1969 and 1970. The catalog also indicates that 6,070 pieces were placed in sets with the commemorative 2, 5, 20, 25, and 30 shilling coins, and 1,390 were included in sets with the 2, 5, 20, 25, 30, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 shilling pieces.

Royal Wedding coin (1981)[]

Uganda 10 shillings 1981 RW

1981 commemorative coin

On July 29, 1981, Charles, Prince of Wales, married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. A widely publicized event, the marriage was viewed by millions of people across the world, and celebrated in the United Kingdom and its territories, and the Commonwealth realms.

Uganda, a previous British protectorate and Commonwealth realm, celebrated the royal wedding in 1981 by issuing a series of commemorative 10, 100, and 1,000 shilling pieces. These were struck under contract at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, and distributed by the Bank of Uganda.

The 10 shilling coin of the series is composed of cupronickel or .925 fine silver. It is the size of a crown, measuring 28.28 grams in mass, 38.61 millimeters in diameter, and 3 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a reeded edge, and is round in shape.

The coat of arms of Uganda appears in the middle of the coin's obverse. Printed clockwise from the left to right peripheries of the piece is the legend "BANK OF UGANDA", and inscribed on two lines below the arms is the face value "10 SHILLINGS". The word "SHILLINGS" in the value is considerably smaller than the numeral that precedes it, and is arched along the bottom rim in a counterclockwise direction. Two circular points are also included at the lower left and right sides of the obverse, next to the scroll in the coat of arms.

The reverse, designed by Australian artist E. W. Roberts, features right-facing busts of Charles and Diana in its center, with Charles shown in the foreground and Diana displayed in the midground. Engraved in small print near the truncation of Charles' bust are the "ER" initials of the artist. "WEDDING OF PRINCE CHARLES AND LADY DIANA SPENCER" is written clockwise along the coin's outer periphery, extending from the lower left to lower right rims. The remainder of the piece's boundary is occupied by the Gregorian date of minting, "1981", which is inscribed between two circular points at the bottom of the reverse.

A total of approximately 10,000 examples of the 1981 cupronickel commemorative were produced, all in Uncirculated grade. The number of silver coins, which were only struck as proofs, is currently unknown. Many pieces of both compositions were initially placed in plastic cases bearing the country name "UGANDA" and the text "WEDDING OF H.R.H. PRINCE CHARLES 1981".

Circulation coin (1987)[]

See also: Ugandan 1 shilling coin
Uganda 10 shillings 1987 WCG

1987 coin

During the 1980s, the Ugandan economy was greatly affected by the Ugandan Bush War, an armed conflict between the National Resistance Army (NRA) led by Yoweri Musevini (1944–) and the governments of Milton Obote (1925–2005) and Tito Okello (1914–1996). Immediately after deposing Okello as president in 1986, Musevini began to take steps toward rehabilitating Uganda's economy. Among these was the introduction of the Ugandan second shilling in 1987.

During late 1986, the Royal Mint received an order from Uganda to strike a series of coins in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and 1 shilling. A few months after production began, however, the order was amended, changing the values of the 10, 20, and 50 cent and 1 shilling pieces respectively to 1, 2, 5, and 10 shillings. The 5 cent coin was dropped altogether. Aside from the face values, the designs of the coins remained the same.

The 10 shilling piece is composed of nickel-plated steel and measures 5.7 grams in mass and 25.91 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment; raised, undecorated rims; and a plain edge. The coin is equilaterally heptagonal in shape and has rounded corners.

The coat of arms of Uganda appears in the center of the coin's obverse, with the legend "BANK OF UGANDA" arched clockwise along the rim above, and the face value "TEN SHILLINGS" curved in the opposite direction at the periphery below. Two small circular points are additionally engraved at the left and right sides of the obverse, between "BANK OF UGANDA" and the face value.

Displayed in the center of the reverse is a large numeral "10" surrounded by a solid circular border. Six branches of a coffee plant, Uganda's most important cash crop, are illustrated outside the border: two to the left, three to the right, and one above. A bowl of coffee beans is additionally engraved below the "10", along with the Gregorian date of minting, "1987", which is printed horizontally at the bottom of the piece. "BANK OF UGANDA" appears at the top of the reverse, curved along the rim in a clockwise direction.

Examples of the coin were struck with either a normal or proof finish. An unknown number of Uncirculated pieces were placed into mint sets, and approximately 2,500 proofs were included in proof sets.

See also[]

  • Samoan 1 tālā commemorative coins (1980–1997)


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