Two topics...........

Botswana 5 Thebe KM-4 and subtypes there of.
Bi-metallic coinage reaches Botswana

Botswana 5 Thebe KM-4 and subtypes there of.

Botswana 5 Thebe 1991
The 1991 5 Thebe of Botswana.

Already listed in the SCWC are the following....

KM-4 (1976-1989, not every year) bronze, milled edge
KM-4a 1991 only, this is as per KM-4 but Bronze-clad-Steel (could be Copper-plated-Steel ?) and plain edge.

I have a new date piece similar to a KM-4, it is dated 1996. However it would rather seem that this 1996 piece should be listed as a new sub-type.

Botswana 5 Thebe 1996
The 1996 5 Thebe differs in a number of ways to the previous dates.

This KM-4newsubtype of 1996 is as per KM-4a but has a milled edge and most importantly a modified design on both sides. The design modification is such that on the obverse, the coat of arms has the circles on the three gears filled in, the date is larger than usual and the other legends and devices are a little different. On the reverse of these 1996 coins the "leaf" on the branch is further from the bird's tail than previously and the legends are thicker/larger.

It could well be that a different mint has made the 1996 pieces than made the earlier dates - that is of course not yet proven. I know of no other 1996 dated circulation coins for Botswana except these 5 Thebe coins and I have seen several pieces. Furthermore, 1998 saw the introduction of 5 and 25 Thebe coins in reduced sizes and with seven round sides plus 10 and 50 Thebe coins in reduced sizes. So very likely the 1996 dated 5 Thebe coin will be a bit of an odd one out. (The 1 Thebe has been demonetised.). A 1999 date of the 25 Thebe (type of 1998) is now known - so there could easily be 1999 dated pieces of a few other types - namely 5, 10 and 50 Thebe.

Bi-metallic coinage reaches Botswana

A recent press release from The Bank of Botswana revealed that they now have bi-metallic coins for circulation. The press release read as follows.



The Bank of Botswana wishes to inform the public that, with effect from November 1, 2000, a new P5.00 (five Pula) coin will be issued for circulation. The purpose of this release is to explain the new features of the coin for the information of the public.

The coin depicts the following features:-

(a) Obverse
The new coin bears the National Coat of Arms and the words "Botswana Ipelegeng" and the year 2000.

(b) Reverse
The new coin bears an image of a "Mophane Worm" feeding on a Mophane Leaf and the denomination '5 PULA' written on top.

(c) The new coin has a round shape and a milled edge with a thickness of 2.00 mm. Unlike the other coins currently in circulation, it is bimetallic; that is, it has an outer ring made of aluminium-bronze alloy, and a centre piece of copper-nickel.

(d) It has a diameter of 23.50mm and weighs 6 grams.

Posters showing enlargements of the new coin as well as giving specifications thereof will be displayed shortly in various public places.


Botswana 5 Pula 2000
The 2000 5 Pula of Botswana - perhaps the first numismatic appearance of a caterpillar.

By around March 2001 I had managed to get on of these coins. As you see the worm on the leaf is more a caterpillar ! It is the larval stage of the moth Gonimbrasia Belina, some people in Botswana consider these caterpillars as a (nutritional) delicacy.

Tokens of Botswana

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The info above on 5 Thebe sub-types was published in the March 2002 edition of the Numismatics International Bulletin (page 94, pages numbered through the year). I had outlined these varieties to Krause publications some time before then - their SCWC now has a much improved listing for these coins.