ZIMBABWE, SOUTHERN RHODESIA, 1 penny, 1954, bronze, KM29, some red oxide crust like its an ancient coin, VF

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Cecil Rhodes: long story. Wanted to take over South Africa but couldn’t quite get that done. So he went north and carved out a personal principality that worked as a kind of contract colony of the British Empire. The British government eventually took it over and administered it as the separate colonies of Rhodesia-Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia. The former became Zambia, the latter, Zimbabwe.

Medieval Zimbabwe mined gold and did business with India and China. The people there did not advance their war technology and thus were pushovers when confronted with the guns of the Europeans. A long war between a racist white settler government and a coalition of indigenous armies resulted in an independence agreement. Then there was some ethnic civil war, then decades of mismanagement.

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.