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Anyone Have Any Information On This Coin? Biafra 1969 1 Pound

 
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 Posted 03/07/2021  3:20 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add newguy22 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message


I am curious if any of you have any facts or information regarding this particular coin and the history behind it. Thanks in advance!
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United States
19160 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2021  4:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@new, there is a bit of info on the numista website here:

https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces32563.html

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United States
67 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2021  5:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add captainmandrake1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I was interested in acquiring this coin at some point so I followed its prices on ebay. I read up a little on it as well, but couldn't find much except the theory that it was created by some organization called the Istituto Numismatico Europeo out of Italy. On ebay I'm seeing sold auctions starting at about 150 USD, but have regularly seen sellers ask about 300-400 dollars for this coin. Here's another rare example of Biafra coinage that sold for a pretty penny.
https://www.icollector.com/BIAFRA-R...58_i30944964
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Australia
18429 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2021  5:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For this post, I am relying entirely on my memory on news reports, and the comments of a coin dealer from more than 50 years ago.

Biafra set itself up as a breakaway independent province from Nigeria. A civil war broke out and the population in Biafra suffered terribly, and thousands died from starvation, at the hands of the Nigerian military.

Coins and notes were issued in the name of Biafra they were made outside Nigeria to be sold on the international collectors market to raise money to buy weapons.
Notes at the time were reasonably common low denomination coins in aluminum are now scarce and silver crown sized coins as pictured very scarce.
I have seen Biafran aluminum coins and notes, and I knew the silver crowns existed, but never seen one in hand.
The minting quality of the silver crown pictured is better that the aluminum coins.
As I understand it, they were all NCLT.
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 Posted 03/07/2021  5:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add newguy22 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@sel what do you mean by NCLT?

It's really interesting to know that these coins could have been made as a fundraiser for buying weapons. I've been looking all over but mintage numbers for this crown but no records seem to be available. How did you hear about this coin 50 years ago if I may ask?
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Australia
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 Posted 03/07/2021  9:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
NCLT = Non Circulating Legal Tender (coins marketed to collectors and not intended for circulation) sometimes known as 'NIFC'.
They were sold to collectors to fund weapons purchases.

Not all is fair in love and war.
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 Posted 03/08/2021  02:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add captainmandrake1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think the aluminum coins were for circulation. These were made in Portugal for Biafra. The leopard 2 & 1/2 shillings one is really cool. The silver/gold coins were for collectors and minted in Switzerland. Some new fantasy coins were minted in 2012, but those are just fantasies that reuse some of the original designs.
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Australia
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 Posted 03/08/2021  05:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Joel Anderson Coins sometimes has coins of Biafra, but I do not know if they are fantasy restrikes or not.
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 Posted 03/08/2021  07:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Numister to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Think there was also an earlier post about this coin that went nowhere.
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 Posted 03/08/2021  07:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting discussion, including @sel's recounting of the political history.

As this coin is listed in Krause as KM#5, and the coin linked by @captainmandake (with a short discussion of the coin provided by the ausction house) is listed as KM#6, would these not be official issues?
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 Posted 03/08/2021  8:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
As this coin is listed in Krause as KM#5, and the coin linked by @captainmandake (with a short discussion of the coin provided by the ausction house) is listed as KM#6, would these not be official issues?

Yes, these are "official coins", authorized by the Biafran government. They are only "unofficial" in the sense that the Biafran government itself was unrecognized - only five other countries recognized its independence. All the foreign powers which supported Biafra as a proxy war (notably France and Israel) never recognized Biafra's independence.

The unwillingness of any of the foreign powers, on either side of the war, to intervene and help prevent the starvation of millions in Biafra due to the Nigerian blockade, saw the rise of many of the NGO charities from relatively obscure organizations to the global mainstream they are today: Medecins Sans Frontieres, Oxfam, Save the Children, UNICEF, and others.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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