World Coins

Kenya has four new circulating coins

Kenya’s new circulating coins now celebrate the diversity of wildlife in the African nation. New coins were released late in 2018 and are now entering the market.

Images courtesy of the Central Bank of Kenya.

Kenya has replaced images of past presidents on its circulating coins with images of its native wildlife.

Four new coins were launched Dec. 11, 2018, and have begun trickling into the marketplace, including through online auction sellers, in early January. 

1794 Flowing Hair dollarInside Coin World: Collecting silver dollars by type: The February monthly edition of Coin World features the nation’s legacy of silver dollars, stretching from 1794, when a small number of Flowing Hair dollars were struck, to today’s American Eagle silver dollar, produced by the millions every year.

The 1-shilling coin depicts a giraffe while the 5-shilling coin bears the image of a rhino. A lion appears on the 10-shilling coin, and the 20-shilling coin shows an elephant.   

These new coins ensure that the coins adhere to the nation’s 2010 constitution banning images of individuals on Kenyan currency. 

The common side among the denominations (the bank does not identify obverse and reverse) depicts the coat of arms of Kenya, along with inscriptions and the year date. 

Initially the Central Bank of Kenya limited the issuance of new coins, but lifted those restrictions on Dec. 20, the bank said on Jan. 8. 

These coins will circulate alongside the coins previously issued, which will not be withdrawn. 

The 1-shilling coin weighs 5.5 grams and measures 23.9 millimeters in diameter. The 5-shilling coin weighs 3.75 grams and is 19.5 millimeters in diameter. The 10-shilling coin weighs 5 grams and is 23 millimeters in diameter. The 20-shilling coin weighs 9 grams and measures 26 millimeters in diameter. 

The 5-, 10- and 20-shilling coins are ringed-bimetallic pieces. 

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