Currency Wiki

Zambia ngwee 1983
1983 coin

Zambia ngwee 1968
1968 coin

General information

Flag of Zambia Zambia


0.01 kwacha



Measurements and composition

2.1 g


17.5 mm

  • 1.25 mm (1968-1978)
  • 1.45 mm (1982-1983)
  • bronze (1968-1978)
  • copper-plated steel (1982-1983)







Kenneth Kaunda, state title, year


Aardvark (Orycteropus afer), value

v · d · e

The 1 ngwee coin is a former circulation piece of the Republic of Zambia. It was issued in two metal varieties, the first being made from 1968 to 1978, and the second being struck in 1982 and 1983. Both were distributed by the Bank of Zambia and produced at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom. Initially carrying a legal tender face value of 0.01 Zambian kwacha, the piece continues to be valid for 0.00001 kwacha after the 2012 rebasing of Zambian currency. While it remains legal tender, the coin no longer circulates due to its low value.

Coins struck from 1968 to 1978 are composed of bronze and measure approximately 1.25 millimeters in thickness. Later examples are instead made of a much cheaper alternative, copper-plated steel, and measure a slightly larger 1.45 millimeters in thickness. Pieces of both varieties share a mass of 2.1 grams and a diameter of 17.5 millimeters, and additionally, they have medallic alignment and a plain edge, and are round in shape. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and undecorated.

A right-facing bust of Kenneth Kaunda (1924–), the President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991, appears in the center of the obverse. Designed by English artist Norman Sillman (1921–2013), this likeness of Kaunda appeared for the first time on a commemorative pre-decimal 5 shilling piece in 1965. Printed above the portrait on the 1 ngwee coin, arched in a clockwise direction at the upper rim, is the state title "ZAMBIA". It is accompanied by the Gregorian date of minting, which is inscribed counterclockwise in Western Arabic numerals at the bottom of the obverse. Featured at the top center of the reverse, also designed by Sillman, is an illustration of an aardvark (Orycteropus afer). Such an animal, a well known species of insectivorous mammal, is distributed throughout much of Sub-Saharan Africa, including parts of Zambia. Written horizontally on two lines below is the face value "ONE NGWEE", with the first word shown in larger print than the second. A stylized numeral "1" is additionally displayed to the left in a larger size.

A total of approximately 139,004,000 examples of the 1 ngwee coin were produced, including 69,004,000 bronze coins and 70,000,000 copper-plated steel pieces. Of the bronze coins, 68,976,000 were struck with a normal finish; the remaining 28,000 were produced as proofs. Four thousand of these proofs were made in 1968, and all were included in sets distributed by the Bank of Zambia. The remaining 24,000 were minted in 1978, and of which, 20,000 were reportedly put into sets. A small number of 1968 pieces were also included in official mint sets. Only business strikes are known to exist for the copper-plated steel coins.

Year Mintage
Bronze (1968–1978)
1968 8,000,000
1968 Proof 4,000
1969 16,000,000
1972 21,000,000
1978 23,976,000
1978 Proof 24,000
Copper-plated steel (1982–1983)
1982 10,000,000
1983 60,000,000


 v · d · e
Zambian kwacha
Banknotes Current: 2 K5 K10 K20 K50 K100 K
Former: 50 n1 K • 2 K • 5 K • 10 K • 20 K • 50 K • 100 K • 500 K1,000 K5,000 K10,000 K20,000 K50,000 K
Coins Current: 5 n10 n50 n1 K
Former: 1 n2 n • 5 n • 10 n • 20 n25 n • 50 n • 1 K • 5 K10 K20 K75 K100 K200 K250 K500 K1,000 K2,000 K2,500 K4,000 K5,000 K10,000 K20,000 K25,000 K40,000 K50,000 K100,000 K500,000 K
Miscellaneous Bank of ZambiaDe La RueKwachaNgweeRebasingZambian pound