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Not to be confused with the Malawian 5 kwacha coin.
5 kwacha
Zambia 5 kwacha 1992 WCG
General information

Flag of Zambia Zambia


5.00 kwacha



Measurements and composition
  • 25.31 g (1979 UNC)
  • 28.28 g (1979 proof)
  • 3.5 g (1992)
  • 38.61 mm (1979)
  • 21 mm (1992)

1.7 mm (1992)

  • silver (1979)
  • brass (1992)






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The 5 kwacha coin is a former commemorative and circulation piece issued in two types by the Republic of Zambia. The first coin of the denomination was struck in two varieties in 1979, in recognition of the conservation efforts of the local Kafue Flats lechwe (Kobus leche kafuensis). It was followed in 1992 by a circulation 5 kwacha piece.

Both coins were distributed by the Bank of Zambia and struck under contract at foreign mints. The British Royal Mint was responsible for the production of the 1979 commemorative, and the Royal Canadian Mint was tasked with the manufacture of the 1992 piece. Prior to their eventual demonetization, the coins carried a legal tender face value of 5.00 Zambian kwacha. While the 1992 piece saw common use for a period, the commemorative coin, as non-circulating legal tender, did not enter general circulation.


Conservation coins (1979)[]

The Kafue Flats lechwe (Kobus leche kafuensis), also referred to as the Kafue lechwe, is a type of African antelope located in the Kafue Flats of Zambia. Of particular concern to some conservationists was the introduction of hydroelectric dams to the animal's natural habitat during the 1970s, which has reportedly disrupted the antelope's breeding since. As a result, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Kafue Flats lechwe as vulnerable on its popular Red List of Threatened Species. In recognition of the conservation efforts of local fauna, Zambia issued a series of three commemorative coins in 1979, consisting of denominations of 5, 10, and 250 kwacha. The 5 kwacha piece, which focuses on the Kafue Flats lechwe, was struck in two varieties: an uncirculated coin weighing 25.31 grams and a proof weighing 28.28 grams. In spite of these disparities, both varieties have a common composition of .925 fine silver and diameter of 38.61 millimeters. They also have medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and are round in shape. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and undecorated.

Displayed in the middle of the coin's obverse is a right-facing illustration of Kenneth Kaunda (1924–), the President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. Designed by English artist Norman Sillman (1921–2013), this likeness first appeared on a commemorative pre-decimal 5 shilling coin in 1965. From then until Kaunda's fall from power, this unaltered bust of the president would continued to be included on most of Zambia's coins. Printed above Kaunda's portrait, extending clockwise along the coin's upper rim, is the state title "ZAMBIA". It is accompanied by the Gregorian date of minting, "1979", which is written in the opposite direction at the bottom periphery of the obverse. At the upper center of the reverse, a Kafue lechwe is shown facing right and standing on swampy ground. Inscribed on two lines below in a large thin font is the face value "5 KWACHA". The numeral is printed on a horizontal line, while the following word is stylized to curve counterclockwise along the coin's bottom rim.

A total of 6,657 examples of the coin were produced, including 3,250 uncirculated pieces and 3,407 proofs.

Circulation coin (1992)[]

Zambian 5 kwacha

1992 circulation coin

According to statistics published by the Bank of Zambia, from 1980 to 1990 Zambia's consumer price index (CPI) increased by about 4,000 percent. Consequently, this high inflation greatly reduced purchasing power of the kwacha, resulting in the disappearance of lower denomination coins and banknotes from circulation. In response, the Bank of Zambia authorized the production of new circulation coins in higher denominations of 25 and 50 ngwee, and 1, 5, and 10 kwacha. The 5 kwacha piece, which replaced the banknote of the same denomination, is composed of brass, weighs 3.5 grams, and measures 21 millimeters in diameter and approximately 1.7 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape. Both of the coin's rims are raised and undecorated.

As one of the first Zambian circulation coins after Kenneth Kaunda's fall from power in 1991, the piece does not bear the former president's image. Instead, in its place in the middle of the obverse, the coat of arms of Zambia is illustrated. Such a heraldic image consists of a central escutcheon decorated with wavy lines, supported by a Zambian man in Western attire and a woman in traditional garb, both standing on solid earth. Buildings, an ear of corn (Zea mays), and a plains zebra (Equus quagga) are additionally shown on the earth, and a scroll bearing the national motto "ONE NATION ONE ZAMBIA" is displayed below. Surmounting the escutcheon in the arms are a crossing pickaxe and hoe and an African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer). Appearing above the coin's rendition of the arms, inscribed in a clockwise direction at the rim, is the state title "ZAMBIA". It is accompanied by the Gregorian date of minting, "1992", which is printed counterclockwise at the coin's bottom boundary. Featured at the upper left portion of the reverse is an illustration of a sable antelope (Hippotragus niger), a species of antelope native to Zambia and neighboring countries. The numeral "5", indicating the coin's face value, is shown in large print to the right of the image. An additional rendering of the value reading "FIVE KWACHA" is inscribed horizontally below the antelope on two lines.

The total mintage of the 1992 coin is currently unknown. According to the Bank of Zambia, a small number of proof pieces were placed into sets.


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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