Kenya recently released its new generation of coins in denominations Sh1, Sh5, Sh10 and Sh20, at a launch event in Nairobi, attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The old-generation coins featured portraits of former presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi while the new coins will be celebrating Kenya’s rich wildlife. They also have features that enable visually impaired people to identify denominations.
The reverse side of each coin depicts a different animal and the coin’s denomination in words in English as well as Swahili. The Sh1 features an image of a giraffe, the Sh5 shows an image of a rhino, Sh10 depicts an image of a lion and the Sh20 features an elephant’s image. The common obverse design features the country’s coat of arms along with the texts “REPUBLIC OF KENYA” and “JAMHURI YA KENYA”. Senior officials stated that coinage can be used to pass on knowledge, preserve Kenyan culture and promote the country’s identity.
The Central Bank of Kenya had asked the public to suggest coin designs and elements that they would like to see on coins. After considering every suggestion, the best elements were chosen, keeping in mind the technical requirements. A campaign would be initiated to create more awareness about the new coins.
The 5.5g Sh1 coin and 3.75g Sh5 coin are silver in colour and have a diameter of 19.5mm. The 5 grams Sh10 coin has a diameter of 23mm. It has a yellow coloured outer ring and a silver coloured inner core. The 9 grams Sh20 coin has a diameter of 26mm. It has a silver coloured outer ring and a yellow coloured inner core. The provisions of the 2010 Constitution had banned the use of presidential portraits on Kenyan currency. The new designs are based on this new rule. The old-generation coins will be rolled back slowly and will be circulated along with the new issues.
Image Courtesy: Central Bank of Kenya