ETHIOPIA (Page 2 of 3)

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An Unlisted Silver Proof Type

   I do not collect silver proof coins, but for those who do, there are very many to be collected for Africa - even if you were to ignore the abundance of types produced near exclusively for the collectors in North American and Europe. So it seems only fair that this area of African numismatic material gets a mention somewhere on this site.

   This Ethiopian Silver proof coin is by no means a new issue but for some reason it remains unlisted in the "Standard Catalog of World Coins" (Krause Publications), even the 31st Edition (SCWC2004) is without it. Other Silver proof and Gold proof coins of Ethiopia all seem to all have at least a slightly international theme e.g. "World Football 1982" and "U.N. Decade for Women". Perhaps this unlisted piece has remained so for such a long time because of its theme having minimal appeal/significance to the western world.

Ethiopian 50 Birr 1984AD / EE1977 - obverseEthiopian 50 Birr 1984AD / EE1977 - reverse
Ethiopia Silver Proof 50 Birr marking the Founding Congress of W.P.E. & 10th Anniversary of the Revolution. (Image thanks to Lauri Palmu)

   This coin commemorates and is inscribed the "FOUNDING CONGRESS OF W.P.E. & 10TH ANIVERSARY OF THE REVOLUTION". This occasion was in the later part of 1984 A.D. which was early in EE1977. "W.P.E." here stands for "Workers' Party of Ethiopia" - this was Ethiopia's official single party during its time as "Socialist Ethiopia". The W.P.E. was founded exactly ten years after the revolution of September 12th 1974 that saw Emperor Haile Selassie deposed. So the two occasions marked by the coin were on the same day and both of particular significance to Ethiopia.

   Outside of Ethiopia, this piece is not instantly recognisable as a coin, a denomination is not immediately apparent. The denomination appears only in Amharic, it is located above the lion's head on the obverse and is written as "HAMSA BIR" meaning 50 Birr. The Ethiopian Era date in Ethiopian numerals appears below the lion's head. The coin is 38mm in diameter and has a milled edge.

   Images and information of other Ethiopian silver proof coin type are included in the “Silver commemoratives” section of Lauri Palmu's site:- Ethiopian coins and medals .

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Tokens of Ethiopia

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Started page with "An Unlisted Silver Proof Type" at February 2004.