The Loti is the official currency of the Kingdom of Lesotho, and its name derived from the Sesotho language “loti”, which means mountain. It circulates alongside the South African rand through the Common Monetary Zone, and both are accepted as legal tender in Lesotho. The first issue of the Loti was made in 1966, although it was not considered a circulating currency until 1980 when the first loti coins were issued to replace the rand. Even so, the South African rand remains legal tender in the kingdom. The kingdom introduced the first coin series in denominations of 1 sente, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 lisente and 1 loti in 1979, followed by 2 and 5 maloti in 1996 and 20 lisente in 1998.
The 5 Lesotho lisente coin front design features the National Coat of Arms (consist of a crocodile on a Basotho shield (symbol of Lesotho’s largest ethnic dynasty); behind the shield, there are two crossed arms, an assegai (spear) and a knobkierie (club), two Basotho horses support the shield on each side. At the base, there is a ribbon with the national motto: “Khotso, Pula, Nala” (Peace, Rain, Prosperity) and the issue date. The reverse coin design illustrates traditional Basotho huts on an African landscape and the denomination. This coin is part of the 1998 – 2006 series, its rim is fluted, and its color is gold.
Text: Kingdom of Lesotho, Khotso, Pula, Nala, 1998, 5 lisente