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The Strange Coinage of Liberia

Al Kowsky

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The west African country of Liberia was founded in 1813 by free & emancipated people of color with the purpose of resettling them back to Africa, & was funded by the American Colonization Society (ACS). The mortality rate of the emigrants arriving in Liberia was high, with more than half of them perishing between the years 1820-1843. In 1846 the first black governor, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, declared independence for the colony, but did maintain contacts with the ACS. The ACS along with several northern state governments continued funding the colony until 1870, but the U.S. government refused to make Liberia an American colony as requested by the ACS. President Taft made financial support to Liberia part of his foreign policy. Exploitation of natural resources was driving the countries' economy, especially the rubber industry. The Firestone Company was a big player in the Liberian rubber industry. The 19th century coinage of Liberia looks strangely American in appearance 😏. I sold the coin pictured below in CNG 483, it's a pattern 2 cent piece in neo-classical style with Liberty wearing a Phrygian hat on the obverse, & a striped shield on the reverse with the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST".


Members of NVMIS FORVMS are welcome to post any coinage or paper money of Liberia ☺️.

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48 minutes ago, ChrisB said:

I've managed to acquire a few over the years. I just realized these all need to be re-photographed. 



and these 2 that fit in my space-themed set.







Chris, Thanks for posting these Liberian coins ☺️. I struggle photographing old bronze coins too 😖...

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6 hours ago, Rosa Potatos said:

The love of liberty brought them there. I love their symbol with the ship, beach, plough, palm and dove.

Rosa, So true, the love of Liberty & equality were the driving forces of the returning immigrants 😉. Despite being emancipated from their slave owners, the African-Americans of the 19th century still encountered racism & virtually no opportunities in America, so the idea of returning to Africa must have been enticing. Unfortunately not many of those returning immigrants could adapt to the continent of Africa.

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7 minutes ago, Kazuma78 said:

I have a couple pieces from Liberia, one from the famed @lordmarcovancollection:


And one I bought so I had the 2 Cent larger version in MS to pair with it:


Kazuma, Those coins are beauties 😲, thanks for posting ☺️. I'm guessing the slabbed 2 cent piece came from L.M. 😏.

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1 hour ago, Al Kowsky said:

Kazuma, Those coins are beauties 😲, thanks for posting ☺️. I'm guessing the slabbed 2 cent piece came from L.M. 😏.

I actually got the proof 1 Cent from him back in 2018 or 2019 (I can't remember when). It's gorgeous in hand. After that I felt compelled to also find the 2 cent version, which is when I bought the MS64 two cent.

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