African designs, £9.99
Weight: 11.110 g
Coins and Medals
Copper cent token
Republic of Liberia, West Africa, AD 1833
A symbol of liberation from slavery
Liberia was established in 1821-22 as a settlement for slaves who had been freed from the United States of America. The colony gained independence in 1847 and became the first republic on the continent of Africa. The country expanded with the aim of abolishing the slave trade on the west coast of Africa.
Initially the coins circulating in Liberia were American dollars and cents. However, in 1833 the American Colonization Society began to produce low-value copper tokens especially for use in Liberia. The coins were valued as cent pieces.
One side of this copper cent identifies the American Colonization Society as the issuer and gives the denomination. The other side shows a figure planting a palm tree with a ship in the background, and has the inscription LIBERIA and the year of issue, 1833.
In 1896 Liberia began to issue its own official currency, continuing the use of the cent, and adding silver 10, 25 and 50 cent pieces. To this day, Liberian currency is based on the US dollar.
J. Cribb, B. Cook and I. Carradice, The coin atlas (London and Sydney, Macdonald Illustrated, 1990)