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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
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 http://www.cbos.gov.sd/en/node/461
which summarise as follows…
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
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
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 http://www.dgmarket.com
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
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
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
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
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.
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NOTE : The background image for this page is the
etc.. design as seen on the reverses of Sudanese coins of the types
introduced for circulation in 1956 - some of those
are amongst the easiest Sudanese coins to find.
Page started with "Sudan's 2006 dated coins" at May-2013.