Skip to product information
1 of 10


Dama Gazelle 25 CFA Francs & Akan Sawfish Goldweight West African States Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Crafts (Ashanti) Mhorr gazelle

Dama Gazelle 25 CFA Francs & Akan Sawfish Goldweight West African States Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Crafts (Ashanti) Mhorr gazelle

Regular price $21.24 USD
Regular price Sale price $21.24 USD
Sale Sold out
Taxes included. Shipping calculated at checkout.
I'm Cheaper by the Dozen

Dama Gazelle & Akan Sawfish Goldweight 25 CFA Francs West African States Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making (Ashanti) (Mhorr gazelle)

Reverse: Dama gazelle (Nanger dama) also known as the addra gazelle or mhorr gazelle. It lives in Africa, in the Sahara desert and the Sahel. A critically endangered species, it has disappeared from most of its former range due to overhunting and habitat loss.

Obverse: Denomination
Lettering: 25 FRANCS
Translation: Central Bank of [the] West African States

Edge: Reeded

Issuer Western African States
Period Central Bank of West African States (1958-date)
Type Circulating commemorative coin
Years 1980-2020
Value 25 Francs CFA
25 XOF = 0.045 USD
Currency CFA franc (1958-date)
Composition Aluminium-bronze
Weight 8 g
Diameter 27 mm
Thickness 2.2 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment ↑↓
Number N# 1800
References KM# 9, Schön# 19

The dama gazelle (Nanger dama) also known as the addra gazelle or mhorr gazelle, is a species of gazelle. It lives in Africa, in the Sahara desert and the Sahel. A critically endangered species, it has disappeared from most of its former range due to overhunting and habitat loss, and natural populations only remain in Chad, Mali, and Niger. Its habitat includes grassland, shrubland, semi-deserts, open savanna and mountain plateaus. Its diet includes grasses, leaves (especially Acacia leaves), shoots, and fruit.

Biological threats
The Dama gazelle does not need a lot of water, but it needs more than other desert animals. It is not as resistant and perishes from a lack of water during the drought season. The environment has become ill-suited for it. Habitat pressure from pastoral activity is another reason for decline, as are introduced diseases from livestock.

Human threats
Another reason for the decline of the dama gazelle is habitat destruction. Humans cut down the branches of the trees on which this gazelle feeds. As a result, the trees die and the gazelle cannot eat. Human threats are the most dangerous of threats to the dama gazelle. The main reason this species of gazelle is endangered is because of mechanized hunting; hunters using vehicles increase its decline. Civil unrest, for instance in Sudan, also negatively affects the life of the dama gazelle. Since the gazelle is already having a hard time surviving, these conditions have made its habitat unsuitable. A potential threat the dama gazelle faces is tourism. Tourists want to take pictures of this endangered species, and in doing so, may be perceived as a threat, especially during the hot season. Gazelles will run away from perceived danger, and in the hot season may overheat and die of stress.

In Niger, the dama gazelle has become a national symbol. Under the Hausa name meyna or ménas, the dama gazelle appears on the badge of the Niger national football team, who are popularly called the Ménas.


Sawfish, also known as carpenter sharks, are a family of rays characterized by a long, narrow, flattened rostrum, or nose extension, lined with sharp transverse teeth, arranged in a way that resembles a saw. They are among the largest fish with some species reaching lengths of about 7–7.6 m (23–25 ft). They are found worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions in coastal marine and brackish estuarine waters, as well as freshwater rivers and lakes.

.....The Akan people of Ghana see sawfish as an authority symbol. There are proverbs with sawfish in the African language Duala. In some other parts of coastal Africa, sawfish are considered extremely dangerous and supernatural, but their powers can be used by humans as their saw retains the powers against disease, bad luck and evil. Among most African groups consumption of meat from sawfish is entirely acceptable, but in a few (in West Africa the Fula, Serer and Wolof people) it is taboo. In the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria, the saws of sawfish (known as oki in Ijaw and neighbouring languages) are often used in masquerades.


Akan goldweights, (locally known as mrammou), are weights made of brass used as a measuring system by the Akan people of West Africa, particularly for wei and fair-trade arrangements with one another. The status of a man increased significantly if he owned a complete set of weights. Complete small sets of weights were gifts to newly wedded men. This insured that he would be able to enter the merchant trade respectably and successfully.

Beyond their practical application, the weights are miniature representations of West African culture items such as adinkra symbols, plants, animals and people.

Scholars use the weights, and the oral traditions behind the weights, to understand aspects of Akan culture that otherwise may have been lost. The weights represent stories, riddles, and code of conducts that helped guide Akan peoples in the ways they live their lives. Central to Akan culture is the concern for equality and justice; it is rich in oral histories on this subject. Many weights symbolize significant and well-known stories. The weights were part of the Akan's cultural reinforcement, expressing personal behaviour codes, beliefs, and values in a medium that was assembled by many people.

....The naming of the weights is incredibly complex, as a complete list of Akan weights had more than sixty values, and each set had a local name that varied regionally.

Collections of weights
Some estimate that there are 3 million goldweights in existence. ... Many of the largest museums of in the US and Europe have sizable collections of goldweights. The National Museum of Ghana, the Musée des Civilisations de Côte d'Ivoire in Abidjan, Derby Museum and smaller museums in Mali all have collections of weights with a range of dates.

Manufacture of the weights
In the past, each weight was meticulously carved, then cast using the ancient technique of lost wax. As the Akan culture moved away from using gold as the basis of their economy, the weights lost their cultural day-to-day use and some of their significance. Their popularity with tourists has created a market that the locals fill with mass-produced weights. These modern reproductions of the weights have become a tourist favorite. Rather than the simple but artistic facial features of the anthropomorphic weights or the clean, smooth lines of the geomorphic weights, modern weights are unrefined and mass-produced look. The strong oral tradition of the Akan is not included in the creation of the weights; however, this does not seem to lessen their popularity.

The skill involved in casting weights was enormous; as most weights were less than 2½ ounces and their exact mass was meticulously measured. They were a standard of measure to be used in trade, and had to be accurate. The goldsmith, or adwumfo, would make adjustments if the casting weighed too much or too little. Even the most beautiful, figurative weights had limbs and horns removed, or edges filed down until it met the closest weight equivalent. Weights that were not heavy enough would have small lead rings or glass beads attached to bring up the weight to the desired standard. There are far more weights without modifications than not, speaking to the talent of the goldsmiths. Most weights were within 3% of their theoretical value; this variance is similar to those of European nest weights from the same time.

Early weights display bold, but simple, artistic designs. Later weights developed into beautiful works of art with fine details. However, by the 1890s (Late Period) the quality of both design and material was very poor, and the abandonment of the weights quickly followed.


The West African CFA franc (French: franc CFA; Portuguese: franco CFA or simply franc, ISO 4217 code: XOF) is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. These eight countries had a combined population of 105.7 million people in 2014, and a combined GDP of US$128.6 billion (as of 2018).

The acronym CFA stands for Communauté Financière Africaine ("African Financial Community"). The currency is issued by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO; Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest), located in Dakar, Senegal, for the members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA; Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine). The franc is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes but no centime denominations have been issued.

The Central African CFA franc is of equal value to the West African CFA franc, and is in circulation in several central African states. They are both called the CFA franc.

View full details