|Coin||Silver Ounce 2020 Lunar Ounce - Year of the Rat|
The Rwandan Franc was introduced as the currency of Rwanda in 1964. Apart from its regular circulating coinage, the country has also authorised some foreign mints to issue coins under its jurisdiction, which come in a variety of sizes - including in the internationally popular silver ounce (1 oz silver) format, denominated usually as 50 Francs. Like any bullion coin though, their actual value is unrelated to the face value, and is based primarily on the metal content and the spot price of that metal on the commodities markets.
This coin is part of the Rwandan Lunar Ounce series dedicated to the Chinese Zodiac, and marks the 2020 Year of the Rat (25 January 2020 - 11 February 2021).
The Rat or Mouse (鼠) is the first of the repeating 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac, constituting part of the Chinese calendar system (with similar systems in use elsewhere). The Year of the Rat in standard Chinese is Chinese: 鼠年; pinyin: shǔnián. The rat is associated with the first branch of the Earthly Branch symbol 子 (zǐ), which starts a repeating cycle of twelve years. The Chinese word shǔ (鼠) refers to various small rodents (Muroidea), such as rats and mice. The term "zodiac" ultimately derives from an Ancient Greek term referring to a "circle of little animals". There are also a yearly month of the rat and a daily hour of the rat (Chinese double hour, midnight, 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.). Years of the rat are cyclically differentiated by correlation to the Heavenly Stems cycle, resulting in a repeating cycle of five years of the rat (over a sixty-year period), each rat year also being associated with one of the Chinese wu xing, also known as the "five elements", or "phases": the "Five Phases" being Fire (火 huǒ), Water (水 shuǐ), Wood (木 mù), Metal (金 jīn), and Earth (土 tǔ).
|Mint||B. H. Mayer
||Mint Mark||No mint mark
Within a plain rim, the obverse of the coin features the Coat of Arms of Rwanda. At its centre is a traditional basket, surrounded by the central tribal devices: a stem of sorghum on the left, and a branch of a coffee tree on the right, surmounted on a cog wheel with the sun with its rays above. These are protected by two typical Rwandan shields, one on the right and one on the left. The design is encircled by a rope, tied below in a square knot.
On a ribbon above, REPUBULIKA Y'U RWANDA (Republic of Rwanda); on a ribbon below, the motto UBUMWE · UMURIMO · GUKUNDA IGIHUGU (Unity, Work, Patriotism in Kinyarwanda - the official Rwandan language).
Around above, the name of the issuing authority: BANKI NKURU Y'U RWANDA (National Bank of Rwanda; in French: Banque Nationale du Rwanda; abbreviated as BNR).
Around below, the face value AMAFARANGA 50 MIRONGO ITANU (50 FRW - fifty Rwandan Francs).
The reverse design depicts a rat, in a "stained glass" mosaic style common to all coins in the series.
Inscribed within an octagon above, the Chinese character for rat: 鼠. Below the rat and on the left, YEAR OF THE RAT.
Around left, the name of the coin series: LUNAR OUNCE.
Around above right, the date of issue 2020. Around below right, facing outward, the precious metal content: 1 oz FINE SILVER 999 (one troy ounce of 99.9% silver).
||鼠 YEAR OF THE RAT LUNAR OUNCE 2020 1 oz FINE SILVER 999
Finish: bullion (Brilliant Uncirculated).
Packaging: sealed in plastic foil branded for BNR (National Bank of Rwanda); multiples of 10 come in sheets of unbroken foils.
Coins in the Rwandan Lunar Ounce series include:
- 1 oz Gold, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Rooster, 2017
- 1 oz Silver, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Rooster, 2017
- 1 oz Gold, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Dog, 2018
- 1 oz Silver, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Dog, 2018
- 1 oz Gold, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Pig, 2019
- 1 oz Silver, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Pig, 2019
- 1 oz Gold, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Rat, 2020
- 1 oz Silver, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Rat, 2020
- 1 oz Platinum, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Ox, 2021
- 1 oz Gold, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Ox, 2021
- 1 oz Silver, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Ox, 2021
- 1 oz Platinum, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Tiger, 2022
- 1 oz Gold, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Tiger, 2022
- 1 oz Silver, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Tiger, 2022
- 1 oz Platinum, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Rabbit, 2023
- 1 oz Gold, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Rabbit, 2023
- 1 oz Silver, Lunar Ounce - Year of the Rabbit, 2023