West Africa Study Circle       


Collecting Gold Coast / Ghana: Decimal Period


Victorian material

EVII, GV Keyplates

Pictorial definitives 1928-1952

QE2 and early independence

Decimal period

inverted new currency

In 1965 Ghana ceased to use shillings and pence and embraced a decimal currency —100 pesewas equalling 1 Cedi. The change was obviously planned as the Dutch printer Enschede was employed to produce a set marking the adoption of the decimal system. Yet strangely the definitive set was not replaced but overprinted locally by the Government printer in Accra. This was not very carefully achieved and there are many varieties including the most dramatic inverted examples (fig. 16). Only two years later the Cedi was devalued and another set of overprints, Np and NC, were made to bridge the gap until later in 1967 when an entirely new picture definitive set was issued. This in turn was overprinted two years later to acknowledge a "New Constitution".

A variety of printers shared the steady stream of five or six commemorative sets per year. It appears to have been common practice for a few sheets to be left without perforation, destined for the archives perhaps, but over the years these have been released and many sets are available in imperforate form. Although covers exist with imperforate stamps it is improbable that these circulated genuinely.

Military coups and political change did little to alter the regular issuance of Ghana stamps through the last quarter of the twentieth century. These include many beautiful thematic sets of interest to collectors of animals, birds, flowers etc. The country was also a regular participant in Commonwealth omnibus sets including Royal events such as Charles and Diana's wedding. There is certainly a great deal of interesting material available from Ghana for beginners and specialists alike.