Zambia 5 Shillings: 1965 First Year Independence


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1965
Composition: Copper, Nickel
Diameter Type: 38.80 mm
Weight: 28.2 grams (approximate)
Total Series Mintage: 10,000 (circulation), 20,000 (proof)
Obverse Design: Coat of Arms
Reverse Design: Bust Design
Unique Features: Lettered Edge


In 1964 Zambia received independence Great Britain to become a Common Wealth Nation.

The planned monetary policy was planned to be based on a decimal system but to maintain stability Sterling coinage (pence, shillings, and pounds) was used from 1964 to 1967.

During that time period, coins were issued in the denominations of penny, 6 pence, shilling, 2 shillings, and 5 shillings. The 5 shillings coin (along with the penny) was only a one year issue coin and was physically the largest coin ever issued for circulation. Additionally, the 5 shillings coin was issued in 1965 as a celebration for completing their first year of independence making it the very first circulating commemorate coin.

These three factors plus the added note of an incredibly low mintage make the 5 shillings a unique coin in Zambia’s short numismatic history and make it an interesting addition to a world coin collection.


Designed by Norman Stillman, the obverse design features Zambia’s national arms and on the outer periphery is the denomination “5 SHILLINGS” and country name “ZAMBIA”.

The reverse design features a bust image of President Kenneth David Kuanda facing right and on the outer periphery is the independence anniversary date of “24 OCTOBER” and year if issuance “1965”.

Another design feature of the coin is a lettered edge that has the phrase “ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION * 24.10.1964 * “.

Obverse Reverse
Coin Edge

Market Notes

With no precious metal and very little numismatic demand for Zambia coins, prices are incredibly affordable (even in high grades of uncirculated) despite its low mintages.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.