ANGOLA (Page 1 of 2)

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Angola's Most Recent Circulation Coins.

According to a report the following day by the Panafrican News Agency, Monday the 6th March 2000 saw the release of new Angolan coins by Angola’s central bank.

These coins are :-
    A 10 Centimos of 1.5 grams of Copper* and with a diameter of 15mm.
    A 50 Centimos of 3.0 grams of Copper* and with a diameter of 18mm.
    A 1 Kwanza coin of 4.5 grams of Nickel* and with a diameter of 21mm.
    A 2 Kwanza coin of 5.0 grams of Nickel* and with a diameter of 22mm.
    A 5 Kwanza coin of 7.0 grams of Nickel* and with a diameter of 26mm.

      (* - see below for true compositions)

A new 100 Kwanza note was introduced on the same day.

A BBC report in relation to the currency reform in Angola that brought about these new coin and note issues also gave details that the new Kwanza in which the coins and notes are denominated was equal to one million of the previous Angolan currency unit, the Kwanza Readjusto.

It was at the end of October that I first heard of someone in the “numismatic community” with some of these new coins. A friend of mine in China had got some of these coins. It was only then that I found out the date on these pieces - it is 1999. On behalf of my friend I passed the information on to Krause Publications and this was the first they knew of the definite existence of these coins. So little has been seen of these coins still due to the troubled times that Angola is still going through.

Angola's 1999 dated coins
Angola's latest circulation coins. These are types KM-95 thru' KM-99. (Image from Liu Jian)

On receiving my set of these five types I noticed an error or two in the press reports. The Copper-coloured pieces, I noticed, are magnetic and therefore quite likely to be Copper-plated-Steel (Copper on its own is never magnetic). A few months later, I happened to put these two Copper-coloured pieces next to a pair of South African coins, a 1 Cent coin and a 2 Cent coin. I had previously noticed that these four coins did have a few similarities e.g. material, approximate sizes and rims. My comparisons found the coins to be very similar in terms of flan sizes and colour, this led me to check out the dimensions (weights and diameters) of the two Copper-plated-Steel South African coins from official details.

So now I know that both 10 Centimos and 1 Cent are 1.5 grams and 15mm diameter and both 50 Centimos and 2 Cents are 3.0 grams and 18mm diameter. Further comparison of official dimensions found that South Africa's 5 Cents is 4.5 grams and 21mm just as the 1 Kwanza; the 50 Cents is 5 grams and 22mm just as the 2 Kwanzas; the 5 Rand is 7 grams and 26mm just as the 5 Kwanzas. The 5 Cent and 50 Cent coins are both plated-Steel causing me to suspect that all three of the Kwanza denominated coins will be made from Nickel-plated-Steel (the plated-Steel that matches their colour). Finally, of course, this all made me suspect that the South African Mint Co. had made these coins, with costs reduced by the use of flans sizes and materials common to those used in huge quanties for the circulation coinage of South African. With these finding I asked the South African Mint Co. about the 1999 coins of Angola and they confirmed that they did make this series and that the materials used were Copper-plated-Steel (10 and 50 Centimos) and Nickel-plated-Steel (1, 2 and 5 Kwanwas).

As at June 2003 - there is no sign of any further Angolan circulation coins - neither new dates nor new types.

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Last updated June 2003 - very slight changes the * note and the mention of there currently being nothing new.