Italian Somaliland 1910-R rupia

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Steve Album sale 13, lot 1619
Courtesy Steve Album

The region of Somalia became of strategic importance for the European powers after the construction of the Suez Canal in 1869. The British were the first to occupy the region in force, followed by the Italians in 1895 who purchased the coastline south of British Somaliland from the sultan of Zanzibar. The British took control of the region during WWII, and eventually the British and Italian possessions were unified as an independent republic (1960). Somalia has proved to be virtually ungovernable as a nation, with the former British Somaliland breaking away again in 1991 and incessant civil conflict engulfing the remainder.

This specimen was Lot 1619 in Steve Album auction 13 on May 18-19, 2012, but did not sell. The lot description reads: "ITALIAN SOMALILAND: AR rupia, 1910, small reverse rim bump, Extremely Fine." This type was struck 1910-15, 1919-21 (1920, 1921 are rare). It had a face value of 1.66 lire.

Recorded mintage: 300,000.

Specification: 11.663 g, 0.917 silver, 0.3439 oz ASW, 30 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: KM 6, Mont-440.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • Gigante, Fabio, Gigante 2016: Catalogo Nazionale delle Monete Italiano Dal '700 All'Euro, 24a ed. Varese, Italy, 2015.
  • Montenegro, Eupremio, Montenegro 2015: Manuale del Collezionista di Monete Italiane, 30 ed., Torino, Italy: Montenegro s.a.s., 2014.

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