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Sir Milton Margai & Bonga Shad 1/2 Cent Sierra Leone Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making (1964)

Sir Milton Margai & Bonga Shad 1/2 Cent Sierra Leone Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making (1964)

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Sir Milton Margai & Bonga Shad 1/2 Cent Sierra Leone Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making (1964)

Obverse: Value in number divides two fishes, around, the value in letters, name of the country and date. Ethmalosa Fimbriata, the Bonga shad, is an important fish resource in coastal lagoons.
Lettering: ·SIERRA LEONE·

Reverse: Portrait of Sir Milton Margai facing right.

Issuer Sierra Leone
Prime minister Milton Margai (1961-1964)
Type Standard circulation coin
Year 1964
Value ½ Cent (0.005 SLL)
Currency Leone (1964-2022)
Composition Bronze (97% Copper, 0.5% Tin, 2.5% Zinc)
Weight 2.85 g
Diameter 20.3 mm
Thickness 1.25 mm
Shape Round
Technique Milled
Orientation Medal alignment ↑↑
Demonetized Yes
Number N# 4134
References KM# 16

Sir Milton Augustus Strieby Margai PC (7 December 1895 – 28 April 1964) was a Sierra Leonean doctor and politician who served as the country's head of government from 1954 until his death in 1964. He was titled Chief Minister from 1954 to 1960, and then Prime Minister from 1961 onwards. Margai studied medicine in England, and upon returning to homeland became a prominent public health campaigner. He entered politics as the founder and inaugural leader of the Sierra Leone People's Party. Margai oversaw Sierra Leone's transition to independence, which occurred in 1961. He died in office aged 68, and was succeeded as prime minister by his brother Albert. Margai enjoyed the support of Sierra Leoneans across classes, who respected his moderate style, friendly demeanor, and political savvy.


Ethmalosa fimbriata, the bonga shad or just bonga, is a shad, a clupeid fish, that occurs along the coasts and in brackish water of coastal lagoons, rivers and lakes of western Africa from Dakhla in Western Sahara to Lobito in Angola. It is usually around 25 cm long but the maximum length is 45 cm. It is the only member of its genus.

Bonga is caught by inshore small-scale fisheries using seine fishing from a boat or by beach seine. It may also be caught by gill net.

Bonga is very important in West African coastal and lagoon fishing communities and it is an important food source in West and Central Africa. It is usually smoke-dried for 2 to 5 days, depending on size and on the market. Smoke-drying is done over a fire. The fish is placed on sticks, bars or wire mesh trays about 1 m from the floor. A fire is lit on the floor and the fish is first cooked over a high fire, then the fire is reduced to a smoldering fire which is kept going for as long as necessary. Smoking "ovens" can be open without walls or closed with walls either in the outside air or inside a smoke house. A hard-smoked bonga can be kept for several months in ambient conditions.

Smoke-drying of fish is essentially a drying process to preserve the product in the absence of refrigeration. It is different from fish smoking as it is known in Europe, USA, Canada, etc., where it is applied to impart taste, such as smoked salmon (cold smoked) or smoked eel (hot smoked) which must be stored under refrigeration.

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