ETHIOPIA (Page 3 of 3)

See more at... Ethiopia - Page 1 of 3 and Ethiopia - Page 2 of 3

Further Coinage Developments in Ethiopia


Two years on from my first page for Ethiopia entitled “Recent Coinage Developments in Ethiopia”, here is an update. There are two mains bits of news. Previously I mentioned a new variety for all five denominations 1 Cents thru 50 Cents and briefly a further new variety of the 1 Cent - I can now say more about the 1 Cent varieties. Previously I said how all types of the current series exist with just date EE1969 - there are now EE1996 (= 2004) dated pieces of the 5, 10, 25 and 50 Cents.

Varieties of the 1 Cent EE1969

Until recently I had only seen about 6 pieces of the EE1969 1 Cent. For some of the three varieties I had only seen one or two examples. So I was unable to conclude much about these varieties - for all I knew there could be others.

A few months ago I temporarily got 103 pieces of the 1 Cent that had only recently been taken from circulation in Ethiopia, most were with much original lustre.

None of the 103 pieces were the original variety, i.e. the “first” variety - per the 1 Cent (and obverses of 5, 10, 25 and 50 Cents) I have had since the early 1990’s. These “first” variety pieces have an allover dull/matte finish and on the obverse two whiskers end over the central date character.

Seventy-seven of the 103 pieces (74.8 %) were with an obverse as seen on the 5, 10, 25 and 50 Cents of the “new” variety - as previously detailed. These 1 Cent pieces have a brilliant finish (though by no means mirror-like), on the obverse one whisker ends over the central date character and on the reverse the design extends lower down towards the rim.

Ethiopia 1 Cent EE1969 date close-ups
1 Cent EE1969 date close-ups for (top to bottom) KM-43.1, KM-43.2 and possible future KM-43.4.
All are dated EE1969.  (Scale 400dpi, negative for better contrast )

Twenty-six of the 103 pieces (25.2 %) were very similar to the original variety pieces but with the whiskers pointing differently around last digit of the date - something not yet seen for any of the other denominations. These 1 Cent pieces have brilliant fields and dull/matte features (though they are by no means proof-like). The average grade of these 26 pieces was not quite so high as the 77 pieces that comprised the balance of the lot.

The SCWC listings for 1 Cent would be best amended to the following.

1 Cent

KM-43.1, Composition Aluminium
Obv. Small lion head, with 2 whiskers over central date character
Date - EE1969

KM-43.2, Composition Aluminium
Obv. Small lion head, modified design, includes 1 whisker over central date character
Rev. Modified design, base of design closer to rim
Date - EE1969

KM-43.3, Composition Aluminium
Obv. Larger lion head, with 2 whiskers over central date character
Rev. similar to KM-43.1
Minted by Franklin Mint.
Date - EE1969 FM

KM-43.4 - new sub-type, Composition Aluminium
Obv. similar to KM-43.1 except whiskers point differently around last date digit.
Rev. similar to KM-43.1
Date - EE1969

I do not entirely agree with the minter attributions in SCWC for these coins. The date image they have in SCWC relating to KM-43.1 / KM-43.2 thru KM-47.1 / KM-47.2 is from this site but my info should not conclude that these are British Royal Mint and Berlin Mint. The Royal Canadian Mint likely comes into this somewhere and with the further complication of the new sub-type above puts too much uncertainty on 1 Cent minter attribution - except for the Franklin Mint pieces - KM-43.3.
 

The EE1996 Dated Coinage

I first heard of a further change to Ethiopia’s coinage when I came across reports of problems being experienced with new coins being used in Ethiopia’s payphones. These problems were due to thickness changes with the 5 Cent coins. Within a couple of months I had info from two sources that new 5, 10, 25 and 50 Cent coins were issued and they were dated EE1996 (2004). I also found out that the new pieces have some slight design changes and were now of compositions attracted to a magnet.

Ethiopia EE1969 first variety 10 Cents (left) and the EE1996 10 Cents (right)
The EE1969 first variety 10 Cents (left) and the EE1996 10 Cents (right). Both have the same arrangment
of whiskers around the date, the newer variety has larger designs on both sides. (Scale 400dpi).

New date pieces of all four denominations are new sub-types. However where as the 5 Cents and 10 Cents follow the respective original sub-types (KM-44.1 and KM-45.1), the 25 Cents and 50 Cents follow the respective newer sub-types (KM-46.2 and KM-47.2).

Ethiopia - The date on the EE1969 second variety 50 Cents (top) and the date on the EE1996 50 Cents (bottom)
The date on the EE1969 second variety 50 Cents (top) and the date on the EE1996 50 Cents (bottom).
Both have the same arrangment of whiskers around the date. (Scale 400dpi, negative for better contrast ).

Furthermore on the EE1996 dated 5 Cent and 10 Cent pieces, the obverse design has been increased in size by approximately 5 per cent and that on the reverse has been increased in size increased by approximately 4 per cent. There no design size changes between EE1969 dated KM-46.2 and KM-47.2 pieces and the EE1996 dated 25 Cents and 50 Cents.

The SCWC listings for 5, 10, 25 and 50 Cents would now be best amended to the following.

For 5 Cents (10 Cents follows the same pattern)

KM-44.1, Composition Nickel-Brass
Obv. Small lion head, with 2 whiskers over central date character
Date - EE1969

KM-44.2, Composition Nickel-Brass
Obv. Small lion head, modified design, includes 1 whisker over central date character
Rev. Modified design
Date - EE1969

KM-44.3, Composition Nickel-Brass
Obv. Larger lion head, with 2 whiskers over central date character
Rev. similar to KM-44.1
Minted by Franklin Mint.
Date - EE1969 FM

KM-44a (?) - new sub-type, Composition Brass-plated-Steel
Obv. Larger lion head, with 2 whiskers over central date character
Rev. as KM-44.1 but larger design
Date - EE1996

For 25 Cents (50 Cents follows the same pattern)

KM-46.1, Composition Copper-Nickel
Obv. Small lion head, with 2 whiskers over central date character
Date - EE1969

KM-46.2, Composition Copper-Nickel
Obv. Small lion head, modified design, includes 1 whisker over central date character
Rev. Modified design
Dates - EE1969

KM-46.3, Composition Copper-Nickel
Obv. Larger lion head, with 2 whiskers over central date character
Rev. similar to KM-46.1
Minted by Franklin Mint.
Date - EE1969 FM

KM-46.2a (?) - new sub-type, Composition Nickel-plated-Steel
Obv. as KM-46.2
Rev. as KM-46.2
Dates - EE1996

(For each of the four general types above, I am not precisely sure how the fourth of the sub-types be numbered by the KP Books’ cataloguers.)

Further to my last comment in discussion of the three 1 Cent varieties - whichever mint made which sub-types of the 5, 10, 25 and 50 Cents denomination - something interesting can be deduced from observations of the various specimens. It would seem very likely that the EE1996 5 Cents and 10 Cents were made by a different mint than the EE1996 25 Cents and 50 Cents. It would seem that the Brass-plated-Steel coins have been made by the British Royal Mint and the Nickel-plated-Steel coins by the Royal Canadian Mint.
 

Ethiopia’s First Bi-metallic Coin - 1 Birr EE2003

Ethiopia 1 Birr EE2003
The Ethiopia 1 Birr, dated EE2003 (scaled to about 250dpi)


These coins were introduced on 11th September 2010 which was the first day of the year 2003 in the Ethiopian calendar.

The contract against which the National Bank of Ethiopia received 411.6 million 1 Birr coins was with the Royal Canadian Mint. The coins are made using multi-ply plated steels which are one of the mint’s key products. The core part of each coin is Brass multi-ply plated-Steel and the ring is Nickel multi-ply plated-Steel. The whole idea of these materials is that they make the coins cheap to produce (as compared to alloys based on Nickel and/or Copper) and hard wearing (therefore longer lasting – reducing replacement costs in the long term). Multi-ply blanks have also been used by the Royal Canadian Mint for circulation coinage of countries such as Ghana and Uganda. One of the mint’s main competitor’s is the British Royal Mint – they too have the technology to produce coins in plated-Steels with built-in improved wear resistance provided by what they describe as a “superior” plating process. The British method though is not “multi-ply”.


See more at... Ethiopia - Page 1 of 3 and Ethiopia - Page 2 of 3

Tokens of Ethiopia

Also see... Lauri Palmu's site:- Ethiopian coins and medals

Back to AFRICA main page.

Started page with whole new article "Recent Coinage Developments in Ethiopia" at August 2005.
Added "Ethiopia’s First Bi-metallic Coin" at December 2013.