Crown 1969, Coin from Biafra - detailed information

Crown 1969, Coin from Biafra (demonetised 1970)
CoinCrown 1969

The Biafran pound was the currency of the breakaway Republic of Biafra between 1968 and 1970. Coinage was only issued in 1969. The republic surrendered to Nigeria in January 1970 and the currency ceased to exist.

Apart from regular circulating coins, in 1969 a pair of commemorative silver coins were also issued: a crown (equal to five shillings) and a pound.

The coin features on its obverse the bust of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who served as chief of staff during Biafra’s brief independence. A coconut palm tree graces the reverse, which is inscribed INDEPENDENCE AND LIBERTY.

According to "Stephen Album Rare Coins", a company which has sold a handful of these rare coins:

“Little is known about this seldom encountered commemorative, probably intended for two years of independence. ... No specimen has appeared at auction or for sale in recent years, to the best of our recollection.”

The cataloger for Album suggests that the piece is often attributed to an Italian firm known as Istituto Numismatico Europeo, “but there is no evidence to confirm this assumption".

Uncertain letters, perhaps N.D.R., beneath the trunk of the palm tree and a possible letter C on the base of the palm may be a mint mark and designer’s initials. Regardless, the style and arrangement of the design are totally different from any of the other issues struck for Biafra during its ephemeral existence.

Mint Mintageunknown, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
Obverse
Biafra / Crown 1969 - obverse photo

Within a beaded circle, the bust of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (chief of staff during Biafra’s brief independence). Around above, REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA. Around below, the date 1969.

Obverse Inscription REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA 1969
Reverse
Biafra / Crown 1969 - reverse photo

Within a beaded circle, a coconut palm tree. Around above, INDEPENDENCE AND LIBERTY. Around below, the denomination ONE CROWN.

Reverse Inscription INDEPENDENCE AND LIBERTY ONE CROWN
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
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Crown 1969: Details
CountryBiafra
CurrencyBiafran Pound
Coin TypeCrown
Issued1969
Face Value5 (x Shilling)
Mintageunknown, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1970)
MaterialSilver
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size (mm)
Mass (g)28
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Crown 1969: Photos
ImageDetails
Biafra 1969 crown
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Source
Biafra 1969 crown
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Source
Crown 1969: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsBiafra KM# 5