SUDAN (PAGE 4 of 4)

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Sudan's 2006 dated coins

In early 2007 Sudan reformed its currency. This new currency was the Sudanese Pound which comprises 100 Piastres. The Sudanese Pound is equal to 100 Sudanese Dinars (the currency introduced in 1992) and 1000 old Sudanese Pounds (the currency of prior to 1992).

Around mid-2007 a new series of coins was introduced into Sudan. These new coins introduced something new for Sudan’s coinage – they are bilingual. The name of the issuing bank “Central Bank of Sudan” and denominations appear on these coins in both Arabic and English. This was the first general use of English on Sudanese circulation coins and was all to do with the coins being specifically intended for use as much in southern Sudan as in northern Sudan.

In 2004 I had read that peace negotiations had included an agreement to establish a dual banking system in Sudan, in which the north would have an Islamic system (generally - with zero interest) and the south would have a "Western" system. So the Arabic language to be found on these new bilingual coins was mainly for the benefit of the northern part of the country and the English language for those in the southern part. These are the first new coins for Sudan since that agreement. Another reason for making these coins more acceptable to those in the southern part of the country was that there had been continued use of the old Sudanese Pound system in that region. This situation was causing some complication.

The 2006 dated coins are all denominated in the Piastres of the new currency system. The website of the Central Bank of Sudan gives some details for these new coins at which summarise as follows…

 Sudan – 2006 dated coins

The “yellow” 1 and 5 Piastres are Brass; the “silver” 10 Piastres is Copper-Nickel and the “yellow” and “silver” of the bi-metallic 20 and 50 Piastres are Nickel-Brass and Copper-Nickel. (Source: Schön catalogue)

Sudan’s 20 Piastres 2006
Sudan’s 20 Piastres 2006 – the obverse features a zebu (scaled to about 250dpi)

The Sudan 20 Piastres 2006 as illustrated has the following legends:- “CENTRAL BANK OF SUDAN” in both English and Arabic to the obverse then “TWENTY PIASTRES” in those two languages plus the date “2006” in both western and Arabic numerals to the reverse and a large “20” in Arabic numerals centrally on the reverse. The designs on the other coins of this series are all rather similar to this, though there is a different central design element to the obverse for each denomination. These illustrations are as follows:- 1 Piastre – a clay pot; 5 Piastres – Sudan's coat of arms (featuring a Secretary Bird), within a wreath; 10 piastres – a Nubian pyramid; 20 Piastres – a zebu; 50 Piastres – a dove.

I have noticed what would seem to be slight strike doubling on a few coins from this coin set, but there is a more important variation you may notice in this series. I have coins of 10 Piastres in three varieties – those with PLAIN edges, others with FINELY REEDED edges and also some with COARSELY REEDED edges.

Sudan’s 10 Piastres 2006 – three edge varieties
Sudan’s 10 Piastres 2006 – three edge varieties

I thought it best to take a better look at these edge varieties, I also did the photograph above. These edges can now be described in further detail – from top down varieties a, b and c are as follows:-

(a) Almost a plain edge - the main traces of a reeded edge on this piece are on the section of the edge that I have included in the image.
(b) Fine reeding to edge - the edge reeding is complete right around the edge of this coin - this edge reeding does not seem to be quite so fine as that seen on variety (a) above.
(c) Coarse reeding to edge - there is a section of this edge that is plain (i.e. where there is no reeding visible)
One further detail about the edge varieties – I acquired all three pieces in the image around mid-2007 i.e. whilst they coins were still very new to circulation. So the explanation for these varieties is nothing to do with some being later strikes.

Much can be said of the visual aspect of a set of coins and the reasons for there issue. Another side of the story is of the production of the coins. Smaller mints, such as that in Sudan, often have to buy coin-blanks, particularly when large quantities are required. Equipment for manufacturing coin-blanks in high volumes is quite expensive. Invitations to tender for the supply of coin blank for Sudan’s new coins were published, no doubt as a means of attracting as many bids as possible. The website advertises government tenders and contracts relating to the developing world. It was there in May 2007 that I found some further details about the 2006 dated series of Sudanese coins. Not the usual sort of information I come across.

On pages of this advertising site I found details of the official notices for both the “Invitations for Bids” and the “Contracts Awarded” for both the coin blanks and the banknote paper for the first coin and banknote issues of the new Sudanese monetary system.

Regarding the notices on the subject of coin blanks – the details of invitations for sealed bids…


had been published on 26-July-2006 and the details of the contracts awarded…


had been published on 11-February-2007. These documents named all of the bidders, the amounts of each bid, the time frame for the delivery for each denomination and the number of tons of each denomination required.

The contract was divided between two suppliers as follows:-

The part of the contract to produce the required 12 Tons of coin blanks for the 1 Piastre and the 158 Tons of coin blanks for the 5 Piastres was awarded to the Consolidated Coin Company of India.

The part of the contract to produce the required 325 Tons of coin blanks for the 10 Piastres, the 308 Tons of coin blanks for the 20 Piastres and the 193 Tons of coin blanks for the 50 Piastres was awarded to the Daewoo International Corporation of South Korea.

As stated in the official documents, this is 996 Tons of coins blanks. From these figures and the coin specifications on the bank’s website it can be determined that nearly 250 million coin blanks were ordered and these would amount to over 41 million Sudanese Pounds worth of Sudanese coins. This may not seem to have been a particularly large quantity compared to a population of around 40 million people but the use of coins in African countries is somewhat different to the rate of usage in most European countries. The breakdown of the approximate number of pieces per denomination for the coin blanks contract is…5.4, 56.5, 89.2, 62.6 and 33.7 million for the 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Piastres respectively.

The unsuccessful bidders were stated as being the Royal Mint (Great Britain), Verres S.p.A. (Italy), Saxonia Eurocoin GmbH (Germany) and Austrian Mint Corporation (Austria). It was 2008 before I had got the whole set of these new coins, but collectors with very good contacts seemed to be able to get all of these types by July 2007.

The company inviting those sealed bids was Sudan’s mint; it is called Sudan Mint Company Ltd. They are to be found on Ahmed Khair Street in Khartoum and have a website at… .
They mint not only coins for Sudan but apparently also coins for some neighbouring countries. The mint’s website indicates that the mint continues to produce coins of the 2006 dated series (still dated 2006) and as well as the newer 2011 dated 1 Pound coins. It would seem likely that the 2006 coins presently being minted will be being made from coin blanks purchased through subsequent contracts for the supply of coin blanks.

Another recent development for Sudan is that the civil war peace negotiations between the north and the south eventually led to the country becoming two separate countries on 9th July 2011. The southern part of Sudan became a new country “Republic of South Sudan”; the northern part, which includes Khartoum remained as “Republic of Sudan”. Initially South Sudan planned to have their own coins, however that plan was changed. In South Sudan they have introduced their own papermoney, but have now decided to continue using the “2006” coins. The two different “Pounds” (the two currencies) are set at equal value.

See more at... Sudan Page 1 of 4 and Sudan Page 2 of 4 and Sudan Page 3 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.

Page started with "Sudan's 2006 dated coins" at May-2013.