About the Cameroon coins

    There are older circulation coins for Cameroon from the 1920’s and the 1940’s - in all there are 9 types (14 type/date combinations in all) - some are hard to find. Four of the 1940’s coins are mint-marked “S.A.” for the South African Mint, which had until just a couple of years before been the Pretoria branch of Great Britain’s Royal Mint.
    From the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s there are a number of Equatorial African States coins with “CAMEROON” also appearing in the legends. These are classed as issues of the Equatorial African States being as the Central Bank of the Equatorial African States was the issuer of the pieces and their name is given greater prominence with in the legends of the coins than Cameroon’s.

Cameroon 50 Francs 1960
The Cameroon 50 Francs of 1960.

    The first coin issue of the Republic of Cameroon was the 50 Francs of 1960. This could well have been the reason why the 1961/1962 issue of 50 Francs by the Equatorial States actually names those states. A number of 100 Franc coins were made for Cameroon during 1966 to 1988 and 500 Franc coins in 1985, 1986 and 1988. There are no other circulation coins for Cameroon. Additionally there was a series of four 1970 dated gold commemorative coins celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Cameroon’s independence.
    In 1961 Cameroon joined with Central African Republic, Chad, Congo and Gabon in their loose alliance that had it roots in the area of French dependencies that was French Equatorial Africa. This alliance changed its name from Equatorial African States to Central African States in 1974. These five nations (plus Equatorial Guinea since 1985) form the Central Africa Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), whose common central bank is the Bank of Central African States (BEAC).
    The coins of this monetary union circulate in Cameroon. There are various denominations of 1 Franc to 500 Francs. Notably though the Central African States coinage only included a 100 Francs denominated coin from 1996 - this is the one denomination that most members for many years issued their own pieces of. Also the Central Aftrican States 500 Francs coins were issued for a number of years 1976 to 1984. The member nations each issued 500 Franc coins in 1985, two members did so in 1986 too, but only Cameroon issued a 500 Francs as late as 1988.
    Finally - the 1976-1991 dated 50 Francs and the 500 Francs 1976 to 1984 all had a letter A, B, C, D or E on them to show their intended country of first issue. The pieces with the letter “E” were the ones first issued in Cameroon.


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Last updated March 2003