EGYPT (2 of 2)

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More recent coins of Egypt

“Re-coinage” for Egypt – First the new 50 Piastres and 1 Pound types.

Sometimes a new coin type or series can take years to eventually appear, particularly when one or more new coin denominations are to be involved. Tourists seldom return from Egypt with more than just 2 or 3 coins. Egyptians seem to be very happy to use banknotes for what would seem to be rather small denominations. Perhaps that is one main reason why Egypt’s took so long to getting around to issuing the first of their latest series of coins for general circulation. Some bi-metallic news from “World Money Fair 2002”, reported in WBCC Newsmail 287 of 9-Feb-2002, was that Egypt would issue a bi-metallic coin of 50 Piastres sometime in 2002. It was at the end of March 2006 when I first saw pictures of any new coin types. These were a 50 Piastres and a 1 Pound, the latter only being a bi-metallic type. These two types were issued on 1st of June 2006. I got an example of each of these new types in November 2006. Both pieces are dated 2005-1426.

Egypt 50 Piastres 2005-1426
Egypt 50 Piastres 2005-1426

The 50 Piastres has a mass of 6.5 grams and a diameter of 25.0mm, it is made from Brass. The obverse includes denomination and country name/title. On the reverse you can find portrait of Queen Cleopatra VII and the dating 2005-1426, the edge is reeded. The portrait on this coin would rather seem to be a match for that on an Egyptian collector coin, a silver 5 Pounds of 1994-1413, type KM-735.

Egypt 1 Pound 2005-1426
Egypt 1 Pound 2005-1426

The 1 Pound has a mass of 8.5grams and a diameter of 25.0mm. The ring part of this bi-metallic type is made from Copper-Nickel and the core from Brass. The obverse includes denomination and country name/title and the dating 2005-1426. On the reverse you can find Tutankhamen’s gold mask on the core part of the coin and a decorative border to the ring part. The edge of these coins is reeded. The portrait on this coin would rather seem to be a match for that on an Egyptian collector coin, a silver 5 Pounds of 1994-1413, type KM-793. I have as yet been unable to confirm if there was any British Royal Mint involvement with the coinage of 2005-1426. Note – one Egyptian government source suggests that the “Brass” in these two circulation types is actually Aluminium-Bronze.



“Re-coinage” for Egypt – Secondly the new 5, 10, 25, 50 Piastres and 1 Pound types in plated Steels.

The 2005/1426 dated coins of 50 Piastres and 1 Pound, between them contain quite an amount of Nickel and Copper relative to the face value of the coins themselves. On the Egypt’s Ministry of Finance website http://www.mof.gov.eg/english , use of the search function there with the word “coins” (or similar) finds that in January 2007 the ministry had realised that the coinage alloys, as used in the coins of 50 Piastres and of 1 Pound, needed to be changed due to “soaring metal prices”.

In early 2008 a new date for each of the above types came to my attention. These, each turned out to be a new sub-type. The 2007-1428 dated 50 Piastres is of reduced diameter (23mm) and is attracted to a magnet, therefore determined to be Brass-plated-Steel. Both parts (core and ring) of the 2007-1428 dated 1 Pound are attracted to a magnet. From that fact and from the colouring this is determined to have a Nickel-plated-Steel ring and Brass-plated-Steel core. The coins of these new sub-types have a mass either the same or at least very similar to each of their predecessors i.e. the 2005-1426 dated types. The annual report of the British Royal Mint for 2007/2008 (the year ending 31/March/2008), see http://www.royalmint.com/web/reports/ar2007-08.pdf as published mid-2008 includes an image of the 2007-1428 dated Egyptian 1 Pound coin. There have since been 2008-1429 dated pieces issued of these two types.

The Duke of York's speech at the Egyptian-British Business Council lunch, on the 14th January 2008 (see http://www.thedukeofyork.org/Home/Speeches/speech_4.aspx ) made brief mention of Egyptian coins. One small point in the speech being "The Royal Mint has signed a three year contract with the Egyptian Mint to supply coins to Egypt.". This was clarified in..

http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=9359

a report from September 2007 that mentions ... "British Royal Mint will provide Egypt with 250-300 million coins as part of a contract to develop and upgrade Egyptian coin production"

The annual report of the British Royal Mint for 2007/2008 (the year ending 31/March/2008), see http://www.royalmint.com/web/reports/ar2007-08.pdf as published mid-2008 includes an image of the 2007-1428 dated 1 Egyptian Pound coin. This report mentions the Egypt order as being a “major” one. Further the report details how the work for Egypt included not only the supply of coins and coin-blanks but also the upgrade of the Egyptian government’s minting facilty.

The annual report of the British Royal Mint for 2008/2009 (the year ending 31/March/2009), see http://www.royalmint.com/web/reports/ar2008-2009.pdf as published mid-2009 includes just one point relevant to Egypt:- “continuing to supply the Egyptian Mint with coins and blanks for the nation’s recoinage”. This continued work must have included (else since included) the following three new Egyptian coins dated 2008-1429.

Egypt 5 Piastres 2008-1429
Egypt 5 Piastres 2008-1429

The 2008-1429 dated 5 Piastres has a diameter of 18mm. It is made from Copper-plated-Steel and has a plain edge. The design of this type is very similar to that of the 5 Piastres of 2004-1425 (KM-941), but has an Arabic letter next to each date to denote which era each date relates to. More precisely these are the Arabic letter “mim” before the Arabic “2008” and the Arabic letter “ha” before the Arabic “1429”.

Egypt 10 Piastres 2008-1429
Egypt 10 Piastres 2008-1429


The 2008-1429 dated 10 Piastres has a diameter of 19mm. It is made from Nickel-plated-Steel and has a plain edge. The design of this type is very similar to that of the 10 Piastres of 1992-1413 (KM-732), but has an Arabic letter next to each date to denote which era each date relates to.

Egypt 25 Piastres 2008-1429
Egypt 25 Piastres 2008-1429


The 2008-1429 dated 25 Piastres has a diameter of 21mm. It is made from Nickel-plated-Steel and has a coarsely reeded edge. The design of this type bears some resemblance to the 25 Piastres 1993-1413 (KM-734).

NOTE: All images on this page of whole coins scaled at approximately 250dpi.


Further Developments

Since those first dates of the 5 new coins of Egypt’s recent “re-coinage” and the first date for each of the 50 Piastres and 1 Pound in new materials - there have been 25 Piastres dated 2010/1431 issued as well as both 50 Piastres and 1 Pound coins with each of the dates 2008/1429 and 2010/1431. (There may just be something else out there by now – who knows!) That could have been the end of this story for now – however I have come across a few notable design changes amongst the various date of the 50 Piastres.

Varieties of recent Egypt 50 Piastres


The changes to material and diameter after the 2005/1426 dated issue have already been mentioned. It is no surprise to see a few other differences for these larger coins. Of particular note is that for the 2007/1428 issue there are two clear varieties – date size (both dates) and border teeth count (both sides) are the main distinguishing features for these. Here are images to illustrate the two date sizes – looking just at one of the two dates concerned.

H 1428 - showing small date numerals
Image of dating for H 1428 - showing small date numerals, centre line of Arabic "8" over gap in border teeth and large Arabic letter "ha" next to the Arabic "1"

H 1428 - showing large date numerals
Image of dating for H 1428 - showing large date numerals, centre line of Arabic "8" coinciding with a border tooth and small Arabic letter "ha" next to the Arabic "1"

As seen in the table there are a number of changes amongst these 50 Piastres regarding the Arabic letter “mim”. There are also less obvious changes with the Arabic letter “ha” but not without a change to the letter “mim”.

The final point of note regarding the details in the table is that for one of the two main varieties of the 2007/1428 dated 50 Piastres I have come across three different slight varieties regarding “die filling” with the Arabic letter “mim” next to the Arabic “20” in the date. These slight varieties are as illustrated below:-

"empty"
Partial image of dating for M 2007 - showing Arabic letter "mim" next to the Arabic "20" - where loop of "mim" is "empty"



"filled flat"
Partial image of dating for M 2007 - showing Arabic letter "mim" next to the Arabic "20" - where loop of "mim" is "filled flat"


"filled and with a lump on top"
Partial image of dating for M 2007 - showing Arabic letter "mim" next to the Arabic "20" - where loop of "mim" is "filled and with a lump on top"


With these “die filling” varieties the high grade of the coins is an obvious advantage.

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