YEMEN 1/80 riyal 1378 AH (1958 AD)


YEMEN, Ahmad, 1948-62, 1/80 riyal, 1378 AH (1958 AD), copper, Y11.1, BU

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Last series of coins made with hand cut dies anywhere in the world.

Ahmad Al-Mutawakkil was the King of Yemen until the coup of 1962. Came to power when his father was assassinated and had to put down a rebellion. He ruled as an bigoted and self-serving conniver who did nothing to prepare his country for the future. He was popular with the people, though. He set up a process for the orderly immigration of any Yemeni Jews who wanted to leave, and most of them did. He died, and his son ruled for about a week before the Republican coup.

Yemen is most of the southern part of the Arabian peninsula. In ancient times it contained the Sabaean Kingdom, followed by the Himyarities. Several Islamic dynasties rose and fell. In the 19th century it was nominally Ottoman, with the British starting to think that a base there to protect the India shipping lanes was a good idea. After World War I the British set up the Mutawakkilite Kingdom in most of the region and kept Aden for themselves. The King was overthrown in 1962 and a Republic established. The British zone became independent, then joined the Republic to make a single country.

Middle East is, generally spealing, Morocco east to Afghanistan, Sudan in the south to Turkey in the north.

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.