Tag Archives: Odd Shape

Belgian Congo 5 Centimes 1908 Coin

This coin is in about F-12 condition.

It is donut shaped (the hole is original to the mint). The obverse shows a radiant 5-sided star around the hole, with the legend “5 C.” split between the 12:00 point of the star. The date is at 6:00, and a cluster of three 5-sided stars is at 4:00 and 8:00.

On the reverse, the 5 centime shows another 5-pointed star formed by the monogram of King Leopald (a reversed L and a forward facing L topped with a crown). There’s a crenalated ring around the star. In the outer register formed by the crenelations, the legend reads “Belgisch-Congo * Congo Belge”.

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1908 Obverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1908 Obverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1908 Reverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1908 Reverse

Identification code: Congo Republic KM-9

Date: 1908

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 180,000

Country of origin: Belgium

Composition: Copper-Nickel

Size: 19 mm

Weight: unknown

Other details: This coin comes from a very dark chapter of history. The King of Belgium ran the Congo as his personal fiefdom from 1878 to 1910. He set things up so that he owned both a country and a business that occupied the country so that he could do whatever he wanted.

Joseph Conrad’s novel (“Heart of Darkness”) did a lot to expose the abuses, and so did Conan Arthur Doyle’s “The Crime In The Congo”. Yet today, very few people know the story of what went on well-into the 20th century. The Belgian Free State was anything but; it was ruled by extreme cruelty.

Natives of the Congo were robbed, enslaved, and pushed into forced labor. Those who failed to work hard enough had their hands and feet amputated. This was slavery that wouldn’t have been accepted in the 17th century, and it was made worse by the “enlightened” propaganda that the King used to cloak his actions. While Belgian do-gooders raised money to help ‘develop’ the Congo, the King funneled the money into a reign of terror.

The Belgian colony was 75 times larger than Belgium itself. It is mind boggling that such a small group of people were able to control the vast area for almost a century. Strangest of all, Belgium tried to hang onto the most lucrative parts of the country after granting independence. But, that story is for another day (when I upload pictures of my coins from Katanga).

Estimated Value: $4-$8

1919 Belgian Congo 5 Centime

This coin is in F-12 to F-16. In other words, I’d grade it ‘Fine”.

It is donut shaped (the hole is original to the mint). The obverse shows a radiant 5-sided star around the hole, with the legend “5 C.” split between the 12:00 point of the star. The date is at 6:00, and a cluster of three 5-sided stars is at 4:00 and 8:00.

On the reverse, the 5 centime shows another 5-pointed star formed by the letters “A” topped with a crown. There’s a crenalated ring around the star. In the outer register formed by the crenelations, the legend reads “Belgisch-Congo * Congo Belge”.

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1919 Obverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1919 Obverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1919 Reverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1919 Reverse

Identification code: Congo Republic KM-17

Date: 1919

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 6,850,000

Country of origin: Belgium

Composition: Copper-Nickel

Size: 19 mm

Weight: unknown

Other details: This coin comes from a very dark chapter of history. The King of Belgium ran the Congo as his personal fiefdom from 1878 to 1910. He set things up so that he owned both a country and a business that occupied the country so that he could do whatever he wanted.

Joseph Conrad’s novel (“Heart of Darkness”) did a lot to expose the abuses, and so did Conan Arthur Doyle’s “The Crime In The Congo”. Yet today, very few people know the story of what went on well-into the 20th century. The Belgian Free State was anything but; it was ruled by extreme cruelty.

Natives of the Congo were robbed, enslaved, and pushed into forced labor. Those who failed to work hard enough had their hands and feet amputated. This was slavery that wouldn’t have been accepted in the 17th century, and it was made worse by the “enlightened” propaganda that the King used to cloak his actions. While Belgian do-gooders raised money to help ‘develop’ the Congo, the King funneled the money into a reign of terror.

The Belgian colony was 75 times larger than Belgium itself. It is mind boggling that such a small group of people were able to control the vast area for almost a century. Strangest of all, Belgium tried to hang onto the most lucrative parts of the country after granting independence. But, that story is for another day (when I upload pictures of my coins from Katanga).

Estimated Value: $0.50-$1

1921 Belgian Congo 5 Centime

This coin is in F12 to VF20 shape. I’d give it a conservative F16.

It is donut shaped (the hole is original to the mint). The obverse shows a radiant 5-sided star around the hole, with the legend “5 C.” split between the 12:00 point of the star. The date is at 6:00, and a cluster of three 5-sided stars is at 4:00 and 8:00.

On the reverse, the 5 centime shows another 5-pointed star formed by the letters “A” topped with a crown. There’s a crenalated ring around the star. In the outer register formed by the crenelations, the legend reads “Belgisch-Congo * Congo Belge”.

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1921 Obverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1921 Obverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1921 Reverse

Belgian Congo 5 Centime 1921 Reverse

Identification code: Congo Republic KM-17

Date: 1921

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 17,260,000

Country of origin: Belgium

Composition: Copper-Nickel

Size: 19 mm

Weight: unknown

Other details: This coin comes from a very dark chapter of history. The King of Belgium ran the Congo as his personal fiefdom from 1878 to 1910. He set things up so that he owned both a country and a business that occupied the country so that he could do whatever he wanted.

Joseph Conrad’s novel (“Heart of Darkness”) did a lot to expose the abuses, and so did Conan Arthur Doyle’s “The Crime In The Congo”. Yet today, very few people know the story of what went on well-into the 20th century. The Belgian Free State was anything but; it was ruled by extreme cruelty.

Natives of the Congo were robbed, enslaved, and pushed into forced labor. Those who failed to work hard enough had their hands and feet amputated. This was slavery that wouldn’t have been accepted in the 17th century, and it was made worse by the “enlightened” propaganda that the King used to cloak his actions. While Belgian do-gooders raised money to help ‘develop’ the Congo, the King funneled the money into a reign of terror.

The Belgian colony was 75 times larger than Belgium itself. It is mind boggling that such a small group of people were able to control the vast area for almost a century. Strangest of all, Belgium tried to hang onto the most lucrative parts of the country after granting independence. But, that story is for another day (when I upload pictures of my coins from Katanga).

Estimated Value: $0.25-0.75

1913 Belgium 5 Centime coin with Belgique Legend (French)

IMO, this Belgian coin is in F16 to VF20. The donut hole is original to the coin: it is not post-mint damage.

On the obverse, the legend wraps around the coin from 8:00 to 4:00. It reads “Royaume de Belgique**”. There are pillars of some kind forming a letter “A” around the hole in the center of the coin and supporting a crown at 12:00.

On the reverse, an olive branch curves from 5:00 to 12:00, and the legend reads “5 Ces.

1913 Belgium 5 Centime coin with Belgique Obverse

1913 Belgium 5 Centime coin with Belgique Obverse

1913 Belgium 5 Centime coin with Belgique Reverse

1913 Belgium 5 Centime coin with Belgique Reverse

Identification code: Belgium KM-66 (minted 1910-1932)

Date: 1913

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 5,005,000

Country of origin: Belgium

Composition: Copper Nickel

Size: 18 mm

Weight: unknown

Other details: There is a 1913/0 error for this coin: I don’t know how to identify it, so this may be an example of that common error.

This coin was minted with the French legend – there are also similar 5 cent pieces with the Dutch legend “KONINKRIJK BELGIE” but none were minted in 1913; they are worth about the same.

Estimated Value: $0.75-$1.50 in VF30. Here is a good resource for evaluating similar 5 centimes coins from Belgium.

Barbados 1989 $1 Coin

This $1 coin is in great shape – I’d grade it EF40 or better.

The obverse shows the coat of arms of Barbados. It shows a helmet topped with the fist of a Barbadian holding two sugar canes that are angled to resemble St. Andrew’s Cross, and the shield beneath that is supported by a dolphin fish and a pelican. On the shield are a pair flowers (the national flower, which is named the Pride of Barbados), and a single bearded fig tree. At the bottom is Barbados’ national motto (“Pride and Industry”) on a scroll. The date is written to either side of the COA, on top of tridents. The legend “Barbados” is written at the bottom, and a row of dots encircles the pattern.

On the reverse, the coin shows a flying fish jumping out of the water over the denomination “One Dollar”. It is also encircled by a row of dots.

Barbados 1989 $1 coin Obverse

Barbados 1989 $1 coin Obverse

Barbados 1989 $1 coin Reverse

Barbados 1989 $1 coin Reverse

Identification code: Barbados KM-41.2

Date: 1989

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: unknown (but 1988 was 3,154,000)

Country of origin: Barbados

Composition: Copper Nickel

Size: 25.5 mm

Weight: unknown

Other details: This coin is minted on a 7 sided planchet. This heptagon shape is very unusual for coins, but it makes identifying the value of the coin easy for the blind.

Estimated Value: $1.50 or so

1965 Argentina 5 Pesos

This coin is in great shape – I’d grade it VF30 to EF40. The reverse has some staining at around 7:00.

It’s also an unusual 12-sided shape; a dodecagon.

On the obverse, the coin shows a sailing ship – the ARA Presidente Sarmiento. It is a 19th century 3 masted barque (with coal burners for backup) shown from 1/4 off to starboard of the prow. The legend reads “Republica Argentina”.

On the reverse, the 5 peso coin shows an expanded number 5 inside of 2 olive branches, above the denomination and date.

1965 Argentina 5 Pesos Obverse

1965 Argentina 5 Pesos Obverse

1965 Argentina 5 Pesos Reverse

1965 Argentina 5 Pesos Reverse

Identification code: Argentina KM-34 (Minted from 1961-1968)

Date: 1965

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 19,450,000

Country of origin: Argentina

Composition: Nickel Clad Steel

Size: 21 mm

Weight: unknown

Other details: The sailing ship shown on the Obverse is the Presidente Sarmiento, a military vessel named for the 7th president of Argentina (Domingo Guastino Sarmiento). The ARA Presidente Sarmiento was made in 1898 and used as a training ship in the Argentine Navy. It made annual training cruises for 37 years, including six circumnavigations of the globe. The ship’s last training cruse occurred in 1938, but it was used as a stationary training ship until 1961. She was restored to her original condition and is a floating museum near the center of downtown Buenos Aires.

The ARA Presidente Sarmiento is a very large vessel for it’s class – it is 275 feet long and has a displacement of 2750 tons.

Estimated Value: $0.50-$1