Currency Wiki
50 francs
West Africa 50 francs 1987
Coin from 1987
General information
Used by

Flag of Benin Benin
Flag of Burkina Faso Burkina Faso
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire Côte d'Ivoire
Flag of Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau
Flag of Mali Mali
Flag of Niger Niger
Flag of Senegal Senegal
Flag of Togo Togo

Flag of Mauritania Mauritania (1972–1973)


50.00 CFA francs



Measurements and composition
  • 5 g (1972-2011)
  • 4.82 g (2012-present)

22 mm


1.6 mm

  • cupronickel (1972-2011)
  • nickel-plated steel (2012-present)







Ashanti gold weight, bank title


Organization title, value, year

v · d · e

The 50 franc coin is a current circulation piece of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), an international organization consisting of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. In addition, prior to the introduction of the ouguiya in 1973, Mauritania also used the piece. It has been distributed since 1972 by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and produced at the Monnaie de Paris facility in Pessac, France. The piece currently holds a legal tender face value equivalent to 50.00 West African CFA francs.

Coins produced from 1972 to 2011 are composed of a cupronickel alloy, while pieces of later dates are made of nickel-plated steel. In addition, some essais from 1972 were struck in silver and gold. Cupronickel pieces weigh 5 grams, whereas their nickel-plated steel counterparts weigh 4.82. Coins of all compositions measure 22 millimeters in diameter and 1.6 millimeters in thickness. The 50 franc piece has coin alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape.

Featured in the center of the coin's obverse, designed by French sculptor Raymond Joly (1911–2006), is an illustration of a taku, an Ashanti gold weight shaped like a sawfish that serves as the logo of the BCEAO. The title of the Central Bank of West African States in French, "BANQUE CENTRALE DES ETATS DE L'AFRIQUE DE L'OUEST", is inscribed in a clockwise direction along the coin's boundary, commencing at the lower left rim and concluding at the lower right. In this, the articles "DES" and "L'" and the preposition "DE" are printed in a smaller font than the remainder of the text. Printed at the bottom of the coin, to the right of the saw-like rostrum of the gold weight, are the "RJ" initials of the engraver, and to the right of the rostrum is another small mark. Also, on essai pieces the word "ESSAI" is printed in small text to the right of the gold weight, next to the "D" in "DE L'OUEST".

Engraved horizontally on two lines in the center of the reverse, also designed by Joly, is the face value "50 FRANCS", the numeral written larger than the following word. This is flanked to the left and right by grains, at the top by two beans, and at the bottom by three peanuts. The French title of the West African Monetary Union, "UNION MONETAIRE OUEST-AFRICAINE", is written along much of the rim of the piece, starting at the coin's lower left boundary and extending in a clockwise direction to the bottom right periphery. Printed at the bottom of the coin is the Gregorian date of minting. This is flanked to the left by the cornucopia privy mark of the Monnaie de Paris and to the right by the mark of the Graveur général des monnaies at the time. The owl of Raymond Joly appears from 1972 to 1974, the dolphin of Émile Rousseau (1927–2010) from 1975 to 1993, the bee of Pierre Rodier (1939–) from 1995 to 1999, the horseshoe of Gérard Buquoy (1944–) from 2000 to 2002, the heart with "LS" initials of Serge Levet in 2003, the hunting horn of Hubert Larivière from 2004 to 2010, and the pentagon of Yves Sampo from 2011 to the present. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.

From 1972 to 2000, a total of at least 284,854,000 50 franc coins were produced for circulation, with the mintage of 1986 currently unknown. In addition, about 1,750 cupronickel; 120 silver; and 17 gold essais were minted in 1972.

Year Mintage Mark
1972 Cu&Ni essai 1,750 Owl - Joly
1972 Ag essai 120
1972 Au essai 17
1972 20,000,000
1974 3,000,000
1975 9,000,000 Dolphin - Rousseau
1976 6,002,000
1977 4,832,000
1978 7,200,000
1979 4,200,000
1980 7,200,000
1981 6,000,000
1982 12,000,000
1984 25,500,000
1985 4,120,000
1986 Unknown
1987 10,000,000
1989 17,000,000
1990 7,500,000
1991 5,600,000
1992 7,000,000
1993 2,800,000
1995 40,000,000 Bee - Rodier
1996 20,500,000
1997 25,800,000
1999 25,200,000
2000 14,400,000 Horseshoe - Buquoy
2003 Heart - Levet
2004 Horn - Larivière
2011 Pentagon - Sampo


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