ETHIOPIA

Two things....

A Medal of Significance to all of Africa
A Military Token


A Medal of Significance to all of Africa

Medal for the Conference of Heads of African States 1963 - first sideMedal for the Conference of Heads of African States 1963 - second side
Medal for the Conference of Heads of African States of May 1963. (Image thanks to Lauri Palmu, scaled at 100dpi.)

   This medallic piece commemorates and is inscribed "CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF AFRICAN STATES ADDIS ABABA MAY 1963". In 1963 quite a number of African nations were newly independent, many others were aiming to become independent. Perhaps if this piece had been made after the conference (which I would, rightly or wrongly, assume not to be the case) then it would have made mention of the great achievement of this conference - the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25th May 1963.

   In 2002 the OAU was replaced/superceded by the "African Union" , but Africa, very almost as a whole, continues to mark the anniversary of the establishment of the OAU with “Africa Day” on the 25th of May every year.

   This medal is of Silver and is 65mm in diameter. A few more bits of information on the piece can be found in the “Medals” section of Lauri Palmu's site:- Ethiopian coins and medals 


A Military Token

A military club token
A Token for a U.S. Military Club in Ethiopia (scaled to 200dpi)

    This is the only Ethiopia token I have. The obverse shows, centrally, the right facing Ethiopian lion, all encircled, with “L’AMERICAN CLUB” arched below and the same legend, but in Amharic, arched above. The reverse shows only the denomination, centrally, as "5¢". The piece is Brass, has a plain edge, a diameter of just over 0.835 inches and a mass of 4.85 grams. The “L’American Club”  tokens were used in the club's slot machines in lieu of normal U.S. coins, the stated diameter of the 5 Cent coin is 0.835 inches (21.21mm) and their mass 5.00 grams.

    This piece is listed in two references – firstly Gill (1) and secondly Cunningham (2). For Ethiopia, Gill catalogues not only coinage but also a number of imperial medallic pieces and various earlier tokens including those with French legends that are listed in the “Standard Catalog of World Coins” as KM-Tn1 to KM-Tn5. The Gill reference for this club token is Gill-Tk7. Cunningham catalogues mess and various other club tokens produced for use by the U.S. military outside of the U.S.A. The tokens are from most parts of the world, many being for bases in the Far East, even a few for England, U.K. For Africa the book lists tokens from not only Ethiopia but also Algeria, Libya and Morocco.

    Unfortunately I have neither of these references but I found plenty of information about “L’American Club” on the page http://www.ethi-usmappingmission.com/217661/index.html . This military club was that of the “Ethiopia - United States Mapping Mission” in Addis Ababa. This page is part of a website dedicated to all those who served in this mission. The page includes, in full colour, the club logo as seen on the obverse of the 5 Cent token. The club logo is evidently a development of the mission’s badge. The “Ethiopia - United States Mapping Mission”, existed from 1963 to 1970, the club was first built in January 1966. So 1966 is the earliest time that the token would have been issued.

(1) Gill, Dennis: The Coinage of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Italian Somalia. New York. Published by Dennis Gill., 1991.
(2) Cunningham, Paul A., Military Tokens of the United States: Volume 2 (Overseas Issues). Tecumseh, Michigan: Michigan Exonomia Publishers, 1998.

  Ethiopia Coins Page

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This page started with "A Medal of Significance to all of Africa" at February 2004.
Added "A Military Token" at July 2008.