20 Ouguiya – Tricolor Circulating Coin

Project Owner: Central Bank of Mauritania /La Monnaie de Paris

Describe the project nominated

The large denomination 20 Ouguiya coin is the world’s only circulating tricolour coin.
The coin consists of a central pill in solid alloy, an inner ring in stainless steel and an outer ring in solid alloy. It features the Mauritania arms and two camels.
The coin is a perfect circulating design, both practical for use and representative in nature.

Innovation of the design

The whole process of development and production of coins took place at La Monnaie de Paris.
The Central Bank recommended us only the basic ideas that should have been embodied in design – these are symbols of the country and modern society: musical instruments, fishing, agriculture, and so on.


Its uniqueness lies in the fact that today it is the only three-metal ans tricolour circulating coin in the world.
Of course, there are commemorative coins of three metals or tricolour coins in the coin market, but there haven’t been such coins in circulation yet.

In France, 20 years ago, there were tricolor coins of 10 francs, but after the introduction of the euro, their production was stopped. So La Monnaie de Paris had a similar experience in the past. However, the modern process of production of coins from three metals was developed by us through research, experiments and numerous checks.

Historical or Local Content

The central bank wanted to report on these coins from the multiple components of Mauritanian culture and requested La Monnaie de Paris for original and authentic design proposals.

For the 20 Ouguiya highest denomination, the choice was made for the camel.
the camel is the animal that is part of the life of a majority of the citizens. It is associated with desert life and the richness of nomadic culture.
The army even has camel-mounted squadrons deployed at the borders to fight terrorist infiltration and trafficking.

the choice of materials for the coin, consisting of massive alloys and stainless steel, was also adapted to Mauritania’s extreme climate, the high heat throughout the country, combined with the high humidity and salinity of the Atlantic coast, where more than three-quarters of the population lives.

The issue was also important from an economic point of view, given the rebasing decision taken.

Denomination Differentiation and Integration of Security Features with Graphic Design

The security is provided by it being a tricolour coin.
In addition to the aesthetic benefits, the tricolour composition enables better authentification and differenciation by the public. And it also has a strong electromagnetic signal for added security.

Aesthetic Appeal

For creation of sketches of tricolor coins the Central Bank sent us a photo of a camel, because a special kind of these animals – white camel – lives in this country.
We developed a lot of sketches, conducted many tests, and after that, representatives of the Central Bank were able to choose what they liked most.

Feedback from Stakeholders, Including the General Public

the coin was issued in 2018, at the same time as the rest of the new coin series, following a rebasing by the central bank.
This coin has replaced a banknote and it was therefore important that it be accepted by the population and circulate efficiently in the market.
This issue was a great success and resulted in new production in 2019 to meet increased market demand.

Awards | Coin Awards 2019


Best New Circulating Coin or Coin Series


Finalist | Winner