GHANA (1 of 2)

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Ghana's recent coins - a success for the Royal Canadian Mint

   The very latest coins of Ghana are all made by the Royal Canadian Mint. A representative of the RCM first visited Ghana to make contact with the Bank of Ghana in 1983. This must have been at a time when the tender was out for the 1984 coinage of 50 Pesewas, 1 Cedi and 5 Cedis.

   What was apparently the RCM's first contract (or at least their first one of significance) with the Bank of Ghana was signed in April 1996. The contract was of a value 3.1 million Canadian Dollars, it was for coins of two denominations and delivery was expected to commence from RCM's Winnipeg plant in the second week of October 1996. The two denominations must have been 200 and 500 as these are the two denominations known with dates 1996 and this fits with what was said about the January 1999 BoG/RCM contract.

   Ghana's 1997 coins were of denominations 50 and 100 Cedis, pieces of 20 Cedis could well exist too being as the January 1999 BoG/RCM contract included 20 Cedis coins indicating that this is still a useful denomination in Ghana. The contract for the 1997 coins did not go to RCM.

1996 and 1998 versions of the Ghana 200 Cedis
The two version of 200 Cedis, the 1998 pieces having a finish that the RCM seems to have started using on some coins.

   Ghana's 1998 coins are 200 Cedis and 500 Cedis. It would rather seem that these were the result of a 9 million Canadian Dollar contract won by the RCM in 1997. Of interest about the 200 Cedis is that the fields are a little frosted and the raised devices brilliant. This is quite a distinct feature and has also been used on the United Arab Emirates 1 Dirham coins of 1998/1419 as made by the RCM and no doubt a few other types. I have recently seen 1998 dated 500 Cedis coins, they too have this special finish (frosted fields....) but it does not have quite as marked an affect as on the 200 Cedis coins. (Note - this is not a finish solely to keep collectors impressed but more a way that RCM leaves its mark on yet another series of coins it has made for a foreign government.)

   The only coin of Ghana I have with a date after 1998, is a 50 Cedis of 1999. This coins has the distinctive finsih as seen on the 200 and 500 Cedis coins of 1998, a tell-tale sign of the coin having being made by the RCM. This coin no doubt came about from the most recent BoG/RCM contract of which I am aware. This contract was signed in January 1999 and was worth 13.5 million Canadian Dollars to the RCM. This contract is not only the biggest BoG/RCM contract to date but when signed it became the RCM's biggest ever contract with an African government. This contract is for the supply of coins of 20, 50 and 100 Cedis. The fullfilment of this contract will mean that RCM will be supplying all of Ghana's coins. Contract related details for the above were found on the "Canada export on-line" site at

   Another coin mentioned there was a one-ounce Gold coin made in 1997 for Ghana, it was to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ghana's independence. This independence had been attained 6th March 1957. I have seen no sign of this coin in the numismatic market or press as yet.

   Ghana is mentioned by Westaim Corporation (of Canada) as being a country for whose coinage they have supplied materials i.e. blanks.

    Finally something not to do with RCM made coins for Ghana - but something by way of a correction on the information currently in the Standard Catalog of World Coins. The 50 Cedis 1991 coins are not magnetic and therefore (also considering colour) are rather likely made of Copper-Nickel. Pieces of the three other dates i.e. 1995, 1997 and 1999 are magnetic and so are quite possibly Nickel-plated-Steel.


   The "expected" 100 Cedis with date 1999 first appeared on the collector market (as far as I know) in June 2003. I now have one...

Ghana 100 Cedis 1999 - with RCM appearance
The 1999 dated 100 Cedis. This does have the same "finish features" as found on the other Ghanian coins made by the RCM.

   The Gold coin mentioned in the original article (above) is pictured on the Bank of Ghana site - see page...

   The "coin" can be seen to be without denomination

   The Bank of Ghana's relevant press release (dated 24th February 1999) about this Gold coin - see page...

   gives details that these pieces originally went on sale at 1 million Cedis each and contained very very close to 1 Troy Ounce of pure Gold. The notice gives no denomination details, however if the Ghanian authorities have declared the piece to have a face value of (for example) 1 million Cedis then the piece is a coin of that face value. Without a documented legal tender value nor a denomination within the coin design the piece is purely a medallic item.

   Westaim Corporation (of Canada) have now ceased their coinage related activities.

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The original article (less the "update") above was published in the August 2002 edition of the Numismatics International Bulletin (pages 247-248, pages numbered through the year).

"Update" info added at June 2003 and updated with image of 100 Cedis 1999 at February 2004.