French Colony copper-nickel-zinc Specimen Essai 20 Centimes 1887 SP64 PCGS, KM-E2, Lec-35. An outstanding example of this French colonial test strike, featuring a fully reflective flan drenched in peach iridescence and a few, dappled toning spots that cover both sides. The design illustrations are essentially as-struck, and present a light frost that contrasts nicely with the surrounding shimmer. While other Specimens exist at this lofty level of certification, the eye appeal on this present offering will be extremely difficult to beat.
This coin is not from the country we call "Guyana" today, nor from the territory of French Guiana. Some history might put this in perspective.
The "Republic of Independent Guiana" was a short-lived unrecognized state to the south-east of what is now French Guiana, in the Brazilian state of Amapa. In 1862, Brazil and France declared this disputed border region a neutral zone, neither side wishing to go to war over what both sides considered to be a patch of worthless hostile jungle. But in 1886, French settlers arrived and proclaimed a republic. Both Brazil and France refused to recognize the new nation and the surviving colonists had all left by 1891. Gold was discovered in 1894, making the place no longer worthless, but the region remained an official neutral zone until 1897 when Switzerland was asked by both France and Brazil to arbitrate between them, with the Swiss awarding most of the territory to Brazil.
I had not heard of it until I looked it up after this article was posted. They never made any actual circulating coins, but were obviously in the process of arranging for the Paris mint to strike some before diplomatic recognition was denied.
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