CENTRAL AFRICAN STATES
We all know from the SCWC that the Bank of the Central African
as the issuing authority for five extraordinarily poor nations within
"Community." The Community is a post-colonial construction whereby
some "special" economic and political relationships with the African
countries. France is
a rich country, and progress, both political and economic, has been
slow in the African
members of the Community. You can draw your own conclusions about
(and about my political views).
The several member nations of the CAS Bank issue coins and banknotes
own name from time to time. The national coins have been in denominations
francs or higher. The bank has issued minor coins in its own
name for circulation
throughout the five nations. None are known in numismatic circles
dated later than
1985, but I would not state categorically that they do not exist, or
that they will not be
issued again in the future.
Collectors attempting to assemble a complete date set of these
low face value
coins will find themselves occupied for years. Theoretically
they should be available.
Most or all were struck in quantities of several millions. None
have been available
through wholesalers that I'm aware of.
EQUATORIAL AFRICAN STATES
The 5, 10, and 25 franc coins will show up as singles from time
to time in Unc.
1962 and '72 are the most likely dates for these. The double-thick
100 francs are pretty
scarce, much more so than the similar types of Cameroun. I've
handled ten specimens of
this type in the last eight years. Nine came from a French contact,
two of each date, all
F-VF. The other was an Unc 1968 from an USA dealer's lot.
The 50 franc coins are
quite scarce. So are the aluminum 1 francs. There are a
lot of very scarce modern
aluminum coins. No one has any respect for them, so they aren't
saved and are
undervalued in the catalogs. I have never seen the 1 franc coins
in circulated condition.
CENTRAL AFRICAN STATES
Once again the 1 franc coins are scarce. With a face value
of three to the USA
cent they can't circulate much. I believe the CAS aluminum type
is actually a bit more
common than the EAS coins. The aluminum-bronze 5 and 10 francs
are the easiest types
to find. '70s dates are more likely to be found than '80s.
The 25 francs are a bit scarcer
in Unc, but with a face value of roughly 8 USA cents they actually
circulate, and that's
how I usually find them. Again, '70s dates are more common than
Now we get to the hard part. The 50 and 500 franc coins
are very tough. I have
not been able to find them all, and most pieces that I've come across
have been AU. As
far as letters go, my experience is that "B," "D," and "E" (for Central
Gabon, and Cameroun) are more available than "A" and "C" (Chad and
respectively). Actually I've never encountered the latter except
as essaies. I've only had
seven total of the 50 franc coins as circulation strikes. They
were 1977-B (3 pieces),
1978-A (3 pieces), and 1978-D (1 piece). I've had five circulation
strikes of the 500
francs. They were 1977-B (2 pieces), 1977-D (2 pieces), and 1977-E
(1 piece). I've also
had three of the 1977-C as essaies. I had to pay premium prices
for all these. It was
years ago. They have not become more common since then.
All of these coins exist as essaies, most also as piedforts.
These special strikes
are sold from Paris to the French. I imagine all can be acquired
from French dealers if
you're willing to cough up the dough.