SUDAN (PAGE 1 of 4)

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Sudan's 1994, 1996 and 1999 Coinage Issues

    Most of the Sudanese circulation coins of the 1980’s and 1990’s are uncommon, some are scarce in better grades. Recent years have been troubled times for Sudan so there are very few people visiting the country and returning with coins. Besides - how much of a tourist industry has Sudan ever had ?

    As from the 1st of August 1999 all banking deals in Sudan have been made in their new currency which is the Dinar. At that time a new coin of 20 Dinars was introduced to circulation. (A collector friend of mine in India managed to get one of these new coins a week or two into September 1999 - I took a little longer...). This new type joined coins of 1, 2, 5 and 10 Dinars that had already been in circulation for a few years. For a time old and new currency units (i.e. Pounds and Dinars) were in general use, with a fixed rate of 1 Dinar per 10 Sudanese Pounds.

    One of the government’s motives for introducing the 20 Dinars coin was their worry that well used notes were able to spread disease. A report of 15th December 1999 from the Panafrican News Agency, that I found on their website, gave some details of this. It explained how evidence the Sudanese government had, regarding the ability of well-used notes to spread disease, had caused the Central Bank to order all banks in Sudan to “stop paying banknotes of the denominations 25, 10 and 5 Dinars as of 1 January [2000]". The banks were also asked to send in all notes of these denominations to the head office of the Central Bank.

    It would seem rather likely that being as banks have used only the Dinar since 1st August 1999 and since the highest value circulation coin before the Dinar denominated coins was a 1 Pound, (equivalent to one-tenth of a Dinar or about 0.03 U.S. cents) the only coins in use in Sudan in 1999 must have been the 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 Dinars coins. These five coins are all of the 1990’s (with only one date for each type as yet) and the Standard Catalog of World Coins (Krause Publications) still (even at SCWC2004) does not have full and precise details of these pieces - so I will say something about them here.

They are:-

    a) 1 Dinar 1994/1415, plain edge, Brass, not too sharply struck (strike similar to “e”).
    b) 2 Dinars 1994/1415, milled edge, Brass-plated-Steel, better made.
    c) 5 Dinars 1996/1417, plain edge, Brass, quite crudely made (e.g. edge a bit rough).
    d) 10 Dinars 1996/1417, plain edge, Brass, slightly crudely made. (Exist with thick and thin legends below the building.)

Sudan 10 Dinars thin and thick reverse legend varieties
Sudan's central bank building appears on all 5 pieces in this series and always has below it the legend "Bank of Sudan" in Arabic script.
There are two varieties of the 10 Dinars, those with "Bank of Sudan" in thinner Arabic script and those with it in thicker/bolder script.
The first pieces I saw had the thin legend and some time later I saw the thick legend variety.

    e) 20 Dinars 1999/1419, plain edge, Copper-Nickel, not too sharply struck (strike similar to “a”). See image below.

Sudan 20 Dinars AH1419
Sudan's 20 Dinars coin.

     I got hold of a second variety of 20 Dinars 1999/1419 in September 2003, as far as I know this variety was not known before 2003 and so likely all were made sometime after the pieces of the first variety.

Sudan 20 Dinars varieties
Illustration showing the two varieties of Sudan's 20 Dinars coin - with border bead count.
The first variety (the first I saw) has 72 border beads
The second variety has 64 border beads and smaller bank builing image.

     All 20 Dinars coins with dating 1999/1419 are identical on the dated/denominated side - but on the other side the image of the central bank building is smaller, the Arabic script is written slightly differently and the number of border beads is different (64 as compared to 72). This is quite a significant variation in border bead count. The fact that both counts are a multiple of eight (8*8 = 64 and 9*8 = 72) is a clue as to how the the mint applies the beading (marking out etc..). To see a couple of other examples like this - see Colombia 20 Pesos KM-282.1 and KM-282.2 and 50 Pesos KM-283.1 and KM-283.2. (These Columbian pieces also exhibit other slight design details changes). Usually border bead count varieties are only of interest to those collecting a particular country thoroughly. They more often occur on coins with around one-hundred or more border beads and a count difference of just several beads - such examples exist with borders around the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. These smaller differences evidently do not come about for quite the same reasons as the the varieties seen on the Sudan 20 Dinars.

   Sudan’s capital Khartoum has a mint, an educated guess might be that the cruder coins of those above were made by the mint in Khartoum, though they may have had the blanks made elsewhere e.g. if the mint in Khartoum had made all of the blanks then there wouldn’t be an odd one out that had a milled edge and was magnetic - two features that none of the other pieces have. A report I came across on the South African site called “Business Day” gave details of a large contract the South African Mint had won in early 2001 for the supply of blanks for Euro coins. In this article a member of the mint’s management did state that the mint is (or was recently) involved in supplying coins to Sudan. That must surely include at least one of the five types denominated in Dinars.


    Further to the information above, I have now information on the two varieties to be found for the 2 Dinars 1994/1415.

Sudan 2 Dinars finely and widely shaded numeral varieties
The two varieties of the Arabic “2” in the denomination on the 2 Dinars 1994/1415 - this Arabic “2” can
be either with “finely spaced” shading or with “widely spaced” shading. Scale is 600dpi.

    These two varieties are detailed neither in Standard Catalog of World Coins (Krause Publications, 32nd edition, 2005) nor in Weltmünzkatalog (G. Schön, 33nd edition, 2005). However SCWC shows the type as KM-113 and the Arabic “2” on the coin illustrated for this type has “finely spaced” shading where as Weltmünzkatalog shows the type as S-91 and the Arabic “2” on the coin illustrated for this type has “widely spaced” shading. The “widely spaced” shading is spaced about twice as far apart as that on the pieces with “finely spaced” shading. There are no other obvious differences between the coins of these two varieties.

See more at... Sudan Page 2 of 4 and Sudan Page 3 of 4 and Sudan Page 4 of 4

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NOTE : The background image for this page is the camel etc.. design as seen on the reverses of Sudanese coins of the types
introduced for circulation in 1956 - some of those types are amongst the easiest Sudanese coins to find.

This page updated March 2003.
This page update again (second 20 Dinar variety) at February 2004.
This page updated again (2 Dinar varieties) update at May 2005.