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Emperor Menelik II on Obverse of Ethiopia 1 Birr
Emperor Menelik II on Obverse of Ethiopia 1 Birr

Lion of Judah on Reverse of Ethiopia 1 Birr
Lion of Judah on Reverse of Ethiopia 1 Birr

Close Up Of Date
Close Up Of Date
One of the earliest civilisations was that at Axum or Aksum in the north of modern day Ethiopia, previously known as Abyssinia. It was supposedly founded by Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and Queen sheba in the tenth century BC, although its modern history starts only with Menelik II under whom it emerged from its medieval state. This civilisation continued unconquered until 1936 when Italy successfully occupied it until 1941. In 1974 Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by a military coup, which in turn fell to rebels, the EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front) in 1991. The capital is Addis Ababa.

We do not often get Ethiopian coins, although they do now issue modern collectors commemoratives, but we do occasionally see some of the older coins, such as the silver 1 Birr piece which we show in our photograph.

Further Information
For more information on Ethiopian history and coinage please see our history page.

Reading the dates of Ethiopian coins is a slight challenge. The five components of the date which we have shown enlarged represent respectively the figures 10, 8, 100, 90, and 5. This is read by adding, multiplying and adding (10+8 =18, multiplying by 100 = 1800, then adding 90+5, making 1895). This is in the Ethiopian calendar which started 7 years and 8 months after our AD calendar. Our coin then was issued between September 1902 and August 1903.

DenominationDiameterWeightAlloySilver Content
1 Birr3428.0750.835.7537

Denomination = Face Value
Diameter = Diameter in millimetres
Weight = Weight in Grams
Alloy = Fineness of Silver (.835 = 83.5%)
Silver Content = Actual pure silver content in troy ounces.

Prices & Availability
All prices on our websites are subject to fluctuation and availability. Please check before ordering.
DateDenominationDescriptionMintageGradeStockPrice £Price $
18951 Birr 459,000gFine£25$40

Postage & Packing:
UK: At buyer's Risk £3.50 or
Fully Insured £9 (Usually by Royal Mail Special Delivery)
USA: Airmail at buyer's risk $10 or
Fully Insured $20
For further details, please see our Postage & Packing page.

Order Form - UK
Order Form - USA
Order Form - EU
Order Form - Rest of World

Ethiopian Gold Coins
For Ethiopian coins in gold, please look at the Ethiopian Coins page of our Tax Free Gold website. the Official Issue Prices

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