- This article is about the Zimbabwean coin issued from 1980 to 2003. For the piece of Rhodesia, see Rhodesian 20 cent coin.
|Measurements and composition|
Zimbabwe Bird, state title, year
Birchenough Bridge, value
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The 20 cent coin is a former circulation piece of the Republic of Zimbabwe that was issued in two varieties from 1980 to 2003. The first variety was introduced in 1980, shortly after the recognition of Zimbabwe's independence, and was produced frequently until 1997. A similar piece, differing only by its composition and measurements, was then issued in 2001 and struck annually until 2003.
Both varieties were distributed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). The first coin was struck at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, and the second was produced at the Zimbabwe Mint in Bulawayo. Initially, the coins carried a legal tender face value equivalent to 0.20 Zimbabwean dollars. However, following the redenomination of the dollar in 2005, both were eventually demonetized.
Twenty-cent coins minted from 1980 to 1997 are composed of cupronickel and measure 22 millimeters in diameter and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. Later pieces are made of a cheaper alternative, nickel-plated steel, and are slightly larger, with a diameter of 23 millimeters and a thickness of 2 millimeters. In spite of these disparities, both varieties share a common mass of 5.5 grams. Additionally, each piece has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and undecorated.
The obverse, designed by English artist Barry Stanton (1943–), features an illustration of the Zimbabwe Bird in its center. As an official symbol of Zimbabwe, the bird appears frequently on the nation's heraldry and official works, including its currency. Written above the image, extending clockwise from the left to right rims, is the state title "ZIMBABWE". The Gregorian date of minting appears below the Zimbabwe Bird, arched in a counterclockwise direction at the coin's bottom periphery. It is separated from the state title by two diamond-shaped objects, one at the piece's lower left boundary and the other at the lower right. The reverse, designed by Zimbabwean artist Jeff Huntly (1931–2008), displays an overhead panoramic view of the Birchenough Bridge and the surrounding landscape at the upper center. Such a structure, which spans the Save River (Sabi River) in the western part of Manicaland Province, is one of the nation's most famous landmarks. It is accompanied on the coin by the numeral "20", which identifies the face value of 20 cents. The number, engraved below the image of the bridge, is written horizontally in a large, serifed font.
The total mintage of the 20 cent coin is currently unknown. Business strikes exist from all twelve years of production, along with 15,000 proofs from 1980 and 5,500 proofs from 1997. All of the proofs were initially contained in sets distributed by the Zimbabwean government.
References[edit | edit source]
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – Zimbabwe 20 Cents KM# 4 (1980–1997) • Zimbabwe 20 Cents KM# 4a (2001–2003)
- Numista – 20 Cents - Zimbabwe (1980–1997) • 20 Cents - Zimbabwe (2001–2003) (English) (French)
- Numismatic Dimensions – Coins of Zimbabwe
- Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe – Mints
- Zimbabwean dollar on the English Wikipedia