Ethiopia EE1889 1/100 birr
The coin shown is a 1/100 birr copper coin, dated 1889 (Ethiopian Era). On the obverse is a portrait of King Menelik II. The reverse has script in Amharic with the mintmark A (and privy marks) for the Paris mint at the base of the beaded circle. The date is along the base and is written in a format particular to Ethiopia, with and extra digit denoting magnitude.
Menelik II brought the Ethiopian Empire into the modern world. Previous to his reign, transactions were by barter, salt, or by imported coins such as the Maria Teresa Thaler. He instituted a state coinage and successfully defended the empire against the attempted colonization by Italy in 1896. Ethiopia dates its coins using the Julian calendar, which is backdated approximately 7 years from the Gregorian calendar.
Recorded mintage: 500,000.
Catalog reference: KM 9.
- Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
- Gill, Dennis, Coinage of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Italian Somalia, New York: Printing Mart of Long Island, Inc, 1991.