Guinea is a small country located in West Africa. It was part of many former African empires and it was also part of the slave trade. The country eventually fell under colonial rule and was dominated by the French and as a result, their official language is French. They eventually gained independence from France in 1958. The currency in use today is the Guinea Franc. It was introduced in 1959. Before the Guinea Franc the CFA Franc was the official currency. The CFA Franc was created for use in French colonies at the time.
An early Franc, long before the Guinea Franc was introduced is the 1 Franc, 1917. This has the feeling of like a coupon more than actual banknote. The only real imagery is that of a tree branch and also an image of a woman who is supposed to symbolize liberty. The back only has plain text.
The First Guinea Franc
The first Guinean Franc still had a little bit of French influence but, it also incorporated a modern design. The front features Ahmed Sékou Touré who was the first president of Ghana. The reverse features an image of a man as well as various fishing boats. The banknotes in the first series ranged from 50 Francs all the way to 10,000 Francs. The design didn’t change that much up until 1971 when the Franc was replaced by the new Sylis banknote. The new Sylis banknotes features an image of Congolese politician and freedom fighter, Patrice Lumumba.
In 1985 the Guinean Franc was reintroduced. The new banknotes featured a more African themed design. Also, they feature images of people people; old and young from various walks of life. On the back there are images of the various industries present in Guinea, like mining, farming and even hydro electric dams. The banknotes have evolved very well over time to accommodate new security features to combat counterfeits.