ETHIOPIA silver 50 cents 1936 EE (1944 AD)


ETHIOPIA, Haile Selassie I, 1930-74, 50 cents, 1936 EE (1944 AD), Philadelphia mint, silver, KM37/37a, (see below) Unc

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This type was struck in the USA in two different finenesses. The fineness can be determined by doing a specific gravity test. I’ve never done that for any coin. Or x-ray spectrometry. Too expensive.

Ethiopia is apparently where all us humans came from. Ethiopia did business with ancient Egypt, Greek Egypt, and Roman Egypt. In later Roman times the rulers of Axum made coins and carved temples out of solid rock. Christianity came, then Islam. An Amhara dynasty established in the 13th century endured until the death of Haile Selassie in 1978. He was overthrown by a leftist military coup. There were wars of various kinds. There was a period of peace and prosperity recently, then more war. There are a lot of ethnic groups. Some of them don’t get along with others.

It has been habitual, on the collecting side of numismatics, for “Africa” to exclude the Mediterranean coastal states, which are typically lumped in with the other Arab states in the category “Middle East.” Generally speaking, there was a colonial period and an independent period.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.