History and at last a few coins
There are no circulation coins directly attributable to Burkina Faso nor to Upper Volta as this country was known until 4th August 1984.
The country was for some time part of French West Africa and as with many other such countries the currency now used in Burkina Faso is a common currency. This currency is the “CFA Franc (West)” and is common to Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. These eight countries form the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), whose common central bank is the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). The coins circulating in these countries are issued by BCEAO are are inscribed in French “BANQUE CENTRALE DES ETATS DE L’AFRIQUE DE L’OUEST”. The catologues list these coins under “West African States” for which there is a separate section here too.
Most collectors will perhaps make do with a normal circulation coin of the West African States to represent Burkina Faso in their collections. A little more suited would be one of the silver coins of the West African States i.e. the 500 Francs KM-7 of 1972 or the 5000 Francs KM-11 of 1982. These celebrated the 10th anniversary and 20th anniversary of the BCEAO respsectively. Each named the member countries, hence each included the name "HAUTE VOLTA". The KM-7 type actually also included the state embles of each of the 7 member countries - a stronger link to those countries than just the mention of their names.
The emblem of "Haute Volta" as it appears on West African States 500 Francs KM-7 of 1972.
But now, since November 2002, a few (commemorative) coin types have been available specifically in the name of Burkina Faso - as part of a multi-national series also including Ivory Coast, Senegal and Togo. The 6000 CFA of Burkina Faso (see image below) is one type from this series. The piece has a face value equivalent to approximatly 9 U.S. Dollars and, as can be seen in the image below, it is a ringed bi-metallic piece.
The new 6000 CFA bi-metallic coin of Burkina Faso. (Image from Joel Anderson)
The French legends on this coin are similar to those on the other pieces in this series but quite different to those on the coins of the West African States.
The main legend on the first side is....
EMISSION MONETAIRE DE INSTITUT DE DEVELOPPEMENT DE L'AFRIQUE DE L'OUEST IDAO
This translates as....
Monetary Issue of Institute for Development of West Africa IDAO
and IDAO relates to....
INSTITUT DE DEVELOPPEMENT DE L'AFRIQUE DE L'OUEST
The main legend on the second side is....
AFRIQUE DE L'OUEST 2003 6000 CFA EMISSION BURKINABE
This translates as....
West Africa 2003 6000 CFA
Issue of Burkina Faso
WEST AFRICAN STATES
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