MAURITANIA 20 ouguiya 1973


MAURITANIA, 20 ouguiya, 1973, copper-nickel, KM5, AU-Unc

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Mauritania is named after the ancient Mauretania, somewhat to the north. It claims by its name to be the home of the Moors. It was notable for being the last nation in the world to abolish slavery, and is still trying to figure out how to make the declaration a reality.

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.