Kuwait AH 1407 (1987) 50 fils

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Stack's Bowers Baltimore sale, part of lot 39307
photo courtesy Stack's Bowers LLC

Kuwait, a sheikhdom on the Persian Gulf, was long under the domination of the Ottoman Turks. As the Turkish grip relaxed in the late nineteenth century, Kuwait fell under the "protection" of Great Britain, which used it as a base until 1961, when British troops evacuated and Kuwait was granted independence. The modern coinage dates from that time, wherein 1000 fils = 1 dinar. The boat pictured on the obverse is a dhow, the wooden sailing ship common in the Gulf. This specimen was part of lot 39307 in Stack's Bowers Winter sale (Baltimore, November 2015), which sold for $2,820. The catalog description[1] noted, "KUWAIT. Six Piece Gold Proof Set, 1987. GEM BRILLIANT PROOF. KM-PS4. Unlisted mintage but assuredly very low as the set is seldom seen or offered. All 6 coins are essentially as struck and in superb gem condition. Issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait and housed inside exceptionally nice packaging." This type was struck without change since 1962. In 1987, proof sets were issued in silver and gold.

Recorded mintage: 2,000,000 plus proof sets.

Specification: 4.5 g, copper-nickel, 23 mm diameter (KM 13); 8.52 g, .917 fine gold, .250 troy oz AGW (KM 13b).

Catalog reference: KM 13, KM 13a (silver), KM 13b (gold), KM-PS4 (proof set).


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 47th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, and Todd McKenna, The November 2015 Baltimore Auction, World Coins and Paper Money, featuring the Ray Czabor Collection and selections from the Strong Museum, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2015.

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