Coins of the Protectorate: 1 Cent (East Africa, 1955)-Article

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

This coin is an East African 1 Cent, dated 1955. The 1 cent coin represents the lowest denomination of the East African Schilling. A form of universal currency, that was used throughout British East Africa and British South Arabia. This particular variant circulated from 1954-1962, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.


The East African 1 Cent entered circulation in 1922 and was last minted in 1962. It was succeeded by 5 and 10 cent (post-colonial) equivalents, minted in 1964. The coin is a plain-edged design made of bronze (95.5% copper/3% tin/1.5% zinc) and weighs 2g. The coin's diameter is 20mm, with a large hole at its center.


Observe

The observe is designed around the central hole, it features the text “ONE CENT”. Immediately above is a pair of curved floral designs, with the Imperial State Crown at its top. This is wreathed by the text, "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND". There is serrations along coin's edge, on both sides.


Reverse

The reverse is relatively sparse, with a wreath of 4 ivory tusks along the central hole. Above is a number 1, identifying the coin's denomination. A thin ridge is used to separate the coin's text. It reads “EAST AFRICA” on the top and “1955” (mint date) on the bottom. A pair of mint marks are present between the text.


Size Comparison

A 1 Cent coin with a US Penny for comparison.
A 1 Cent coin with a US Penny for comparison.

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