Author Topic: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti  (Read 737 times)

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Offline <k>

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Map of French Somaliland and the Horn of Africa in 1935.



From Wikipedia:

The boundaries present Djibouti were established during the Scramble for Africa. In March 1862, the Afar sultan, Raieta Dini Ahmet, signed a treaty in Paris whereby the Afars sold lands around the small port of  bock. The French were interested in having a coaling station for steamships, which would become especially important upon the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Up to that time French ships had to buy coal at the British port of Aden across the gulf, an unwise dependency in case of war.

In March 1885 the French signed another treaty with the Somalis whereby the latter would become a protectorate under the French. No monetary exchange occurred and the Somalis did not sign away any of their rights to the land. The agreement was to protect their land from outsiders with the help of the French. In 1894 Léonce Lagarde established a permanent French administration in the city of Djibouti and named the region French Somaliland. It lasted from 1896 until 1967, when it was renamed the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas".
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 12:24:50 AM »
From Wikipedia:

From 1884, when the French Somaliland protectorate was established, the French franc circulated alongside the Indian rupee and the Maria Theresa thaler. These coexisted with 2 francs = 1 rupee and 4.2 francs = 1 Maria Theresa thaler.

From 1908 francs circulating in Djibouti were legally fixed at the value of the French franc. Starting in 1910, banknotes were issued for the then colony by the Bank of Indochina. Chamber of Commerce paper money and tokens were issued between 1919 and 1922.

In 1948 the first coins were issued specifically for use in Djibouti, in the name of the "Côte Française des Somalis" (French Somaliland). In 1949 an independent Djiboutian franc came into being when the local currency was pegged to the US dollar at a rate of 214.392 francs = 1 dollar. Consequently, the Djiboutian economy was not affected by the further devaluations of the French franc.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 12:33:42 AM »



In 1948 aluminium 1, 2 and 5 francs were issued. Above you see the "essai" version of the coins' obverse.

French artist and sculptor Lucien Bazor designed the common obverse.


Marianne appears in a striking design with four ships in the background.

The ships denote that this is a French overseas territory.

The design was also used for other overseas territories, such as Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and Madagascar.


The French Union (Union française, 1946–1958) referenced in the legend was a political entity that replaced the old French colonial system.

Similarly, the British replaced the term 'Empire' with Commonwealth.

 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 12:58:21 PM by <k> »
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 12:46:39 AM »


Reverse of the 1 franc coin.



The common reverse featured the head of a Hunter's antelope (Beatragus hunteri).

A stylised palm tree with spread leaves appeared in the background.

A fish overlaid with a seashell appeared at either side of the antelope's head.


See also: Beasts of French Africa.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 12:50:01 AM »


Reverse of the 2 francs coin.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2020, 12:51:46 AM »


Reverse of the 5 francs coin.



Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 12:59:01 AM »
The legend on the obverse of these coins was later changed in 1959.

The 1 and 2 franc coins in those versions seen above were issued in 1948 and 1949. The similar version of the 5 francs was issued in 1948 only.


The 1, 2 and 5 franc coin had a diameter of 23 mm, 27 mm and 31 mm respectively.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2020, 01:06:15 AM »


Obverse of the 20 francs coin.



A 20 francs coin was issued in 1952. It was made of aluminium-bronze and had a diameter of 23.5 mm.

The coin with the obverse legend seen above was issued in 1952 only.

NOTE: The coin shown above is the 'ESSAI' version. That word did not appear on the circulation version.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2020, 01:13:21 AM »


Reverse of the 20 francs coin.



The reverse design of the 20 francs coin was once more by Lucien Bazor.

The design featured a dhow, and in the background another dhow and also an ocean liner.

This outstanding design is both realistic and romantic and highlights Djibouti's ocean location.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2020, 01:26:57 AM »


The altered obverse of the 1, 2, and 5 franc coins of 1959.



In 1958 the French Union was dissolved and replaced by the concept of the French Community.

New versions of the 1, 2 and 5 franc coins were reissued in 1959 to reflect this change. However, the coins remained the same in every detail except that the words 'UNION FRANCAISE' were removed from the obverse legend. These versions of the coins were issued in 1959 and 1965 only.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2020, 01:33:48 AM »


The reverse of the 10 francs coin.



In 1965 a new denomination was issued: a 10 francs coin.

The reverse bore the same pictorial design as the 20 francs coins.

Whereas the earlier 20 francs coin was made of aluminium-brass, the 10 francs coin was made of brass.

Pattern versions of the 10 francs coin were also minted in aluminium-brass.

Those versions bore the word 'ESSAI' but were not issued for circulation.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2020, 01:39:32 AM »
In 1965 a brass version of the 20 francs coin was also issued, to match the new 10 francs coin.

Those coins, along with the 1, 2 and franc coins of 1965, were the last to be issued in the name of French Somaliland.


The 10 francs coin weighed 3 g and had a diameter of 20 mm

The 20 francs coin weighed 4 g and had a diameter of 23.5 mm

The aluminium-brass 20 francs coin of 1952 had been lighter at 3.7 g but had the same diameter.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2020, 02:40:37 AM »
In 1958, on the eve of neighboring Somalia's independence in 1960, a referendum was held in French Somaliland to decide whether to join the Somali Republic or to remain with France. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France. This was partly due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans. There were however allegations of widespread vote rigging. The majority of those who had voted no were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia

In 1966 France rejected the United Nations' recommendation that it should grant French Somaliland independence. In August of the same year, an official visit to the territory by then French President, General Charles de Gaulle, met with demonstrations and rioting. In response to the protests, de Gaulle ordered another referendum.

On 19 March 1967 a second plebiscite was held to determine the fate of the territory. Initial results supported a continued but looser relationship with France. Voting was also divided along ethnic lines, with the resident Somalis generally voting for independence, with the goal of eventual reunion with Somalia, and the Afars largely opting to remain associated with France. However, the referendum was again marred by reports of vote rigging on the part of the French authorities.

In 1967, shortly after the referendum was held, the former Côte française des Somalis (French Somaliland) was renamed to Territoire français des Afars et des Issas (French Afars and Issas). This was both in acknowledgement of the large Afar constituency and in order to downplay the significance of the Somali composition (the Issa being a Somali sub-clan).
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2020, 02:45:57 AM »



From 1968 onwards, new coins were issued with the territory's new name.

The existing denominations were issued with the same designs but a new legend on the reverse.

Above you see an image of the reverse of the 1 franc coin with the new legend.
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Re: Coinage of French Somaliland / French Afars and Issas / Djibouti
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2020, 02:46:42 AM »



The reverse of the 20 francs coin with the new legend.
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