Author Topic: The coinage of Namibia  (Read 1661 times)

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Offline <k>

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The coinage of Namibia
« on: August 12, 2018, 07:23:32 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Zambia, Angola, Botswana and South Africa. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River (essentially a small bulge in Botswana to achieve a Botswana/Zambia micro-border) separates the two countries.

Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek, and it is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Namibia was inhabited since early times by the San, Damara, and Nama peoples. Since about the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples have dominated the population and since the late 19th century have constituted a majority.

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 07:32:17 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Namibia became a German colony in 1884 under Otto von Bismarck to forestall British encroachment and was known as German South West Africa. However, the British determined that only the natural deep-water harbor of Walvis Bay was worth occupying, and this was annexed to the Cape province of British South Africa.

From 1904 to 1907, the Herero and the Namaqua took up arms against brutal German colonialism. In calculated punitive action by the German occupiers, what has been called the 'first genocide of the Twentieth Century' was committed, as government officials ordered extinction of the natives. In the Herero and Namaqua genocide, the Germans systematically killed 10,000 Nama (half the population) and approximately 65,000 Herero (about 80% of the population). Indeed, some historians have speculated that the German genocide in Namibia was a model used by Nazis in the Holocaust. The survivors were subjected to a policy of dispossession, deportation, forced labor, racial segregation, and discrimination in a system that in many ways anticipated the apartheid established by South Africa in 1948.

The end of the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles left South Africa in possession of South West Africa as a League of Nations mandate. However, South Africa interpreted the mandate as a veiled annexation and made no attempt to prepare South West Africa for future autonomy. After World War 2, South Africa requested permission from the UN to formally annex South West Africa. When the UN General Assembly rejected this proposal, South Africa dismissed its opinion as irrelevant and began solidifying control of the territory. From 1948, with the National Party elected to power, South Africa applied apartheid also to South West Africa.

In 1973 the UN recognised the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) as the official representative of the Namibian people; the party is dominated by the Ovambo, who are a large plurality in the territory. Following continued guerrilla warfare, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990. However, Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 07:37:57 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Namibia has a population of 2.6 million people and a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding, tourism and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, uranium, gold, silver, and base metals – form the basis of its economy. The large, arid Namib Desert has resulted in Namibia being overall one of the least densely populated countries in the world.

Below you see the country's flag. Its symbolism is as follows:

Red - represents Namibia's most important resource, its people. It refers to their heroism and their determination to build a future of equal opportunity for all.
White - refers to peace and unity.
Green - symbolises vegetation and agricultural resources.
Blue - represents the clear Namibian sky and the Atlantic Ocean, the country's precious water resources and rain.

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 07:40:03 PM »
Below you see the country's coat of arms.

The National Flag is reproduced on the shield.

The two animals and the plant on the Coat of Arms are used symbolically.

The African Fish Eagle has excellent vision and is a symbol of the farsightedness of the country's leaders.

The Oryx antelope is renowned for its courage, elegance and pride.

The Welwitschia Mirabilis, a unique desert plant, is a fighter for survival and is therefore a symbol of the nation's fortitude and tenacity.

The headband refers to Namibia's traditions and the diamond shapes to its natural resources.

The motto "Unity, Liberty, Justice" enshrines the key principles embodied in the Namibian Constitution.

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 07:43:37 PM »
From Wikipedia:

When Namibia was under South African rule as South-West Africa, from 1920 until 1990, it used the South African rand as its currency. The Namibian dollar has been the currency of Namibia since 1993. It replaced the South African rand at par.

The rand is still legal tender, as the Namibian dollar is linked to the South African rand and can be exchanged on a one-to-one basis locally. Namibia was also part of the Common Monetary Area from independence in 1990 until the introduction of the dollar in 1993. The Bank of Namibia issued the first banknotes on 15 September 1993 and in December issued the first national coins.

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2018, 07:54:59 PM »
The common obverse of the new coins featured the national coat of arms.

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 07:56:28 PM »
The 5 cents coin, the lowest denomination of the new coinage, was made of nickel-plated steel.

The reverse design featured an aloe plant (Aloe littoralis).

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 07:57:55 PM »
The 10 cents coin was also made of nickel-plated steel.

The reverse design featured a camelthorn tree (Acacia eriolaba).

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2018, 08:00:17 PM »
The 50 cents coin was also made of nickel-plated steel.

The reverse design featured a quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma).

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2018, 08:02:23 PM »
The dollar coin was made of brass. Curiously, the dollar sign was shown after the denominational numeral ("1") on the coin.

The reverse design featured a bataleur eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus).

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2018, 08:03:37 PM »
The 5 dollar coin, the highest denomination of the series, was also made of brass.

The reverse design featured an African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer).

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2018, 08:05:46 PM »
The Mint of Finland produced these coins. Unusually, the set did not include a 20 or 25 cents coin.

Jukka Uusitalo of Finland, who was a student at the time, designed the reverse of the 5, 10 and 50 cents. Jukka told me by email that a fellow student had produced some bird designs for the set, but the Namibians used the bird designs of a South African artist (name unknown) instead. The Mint of Finland produced the coat of arms design for the obverse of the coins.

Offline <k>

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2018, 08:10:05 PM »
Before the official coins were produced, some trial designs were minted, around 1990. I believe there were also some fantasy pieces produced around that time. Perhaps somebody could illustrate the trials and fantasies.

It would also be interesting to know to what extent South African coins circulate in Namibia.

Offline quaziright

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2018, 04:29:54 AM »
I wonder what the triangles along the rim symbolise. What’s the significance of the number of triangles on each coin; I can’t make out a trend here

Offline Pabitra

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Re: The coinage of Namibia
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2018, 07:14:29 AM »
Excluding 5 cent coin, they indicate the serial number in order of increasing denomination, in my opinion.