Choice Uncirculated 1961 Katanga (belgian Congo) Gold 5 Francs
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Choice Uncirculated 1961 Katanga (belgian Congo) Gold 5 Francs:
A CHOICE UNCIRCULATED 1961 Gold 5 Francs issued by the Belgian Government to pay mercenaries fighting in the Belgian Congo province of Katanga.
Katanga was a breakaway state proclaimed on 11 July 1960 separating itself from the newly independent Democratic Republic of the Congo. In revolt against the new government of Patrice Lumumba in July, Katanga declared independence under Moise Tshombe, leader of the local CONAKAT party. The new Katangan government did not enjoy full support throughout the province, especially in the northern Baluba areas. The state is now Katanga Province, part of Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The declaration of independence was made with the support of Belgian business interests and over 6,000 Belgian troops. Tshombe was known to be close to the Belgian industrial companies which mined the rich resources of copper, gold and uranium. Katanga was one of the richest and most developed areas of the Congo. Without Katanga, Congo would lose a large part of its mineral assets and consequently government income. The view of the Congolese central government and a large section of international opinion was that this was an attempt to create a Belgian-controlled puppet-state run for the benefit of the mining interests. Not even Belgium officially recognised the new state despite providing it with military assistance. A military force designated the Katanga Gendarmerie, raised by the Tshombe government, was initially organised and trained by regular Belgian officers and subsequently by European mercenaries from various nations.
Gold is currently $1,422 per ounce giving this coin (.3857 FTO) a bullion value alone of $548. This coin is the same diameter as a French 40 Francs yet is slightly heavier.