Ethiopia EE1923 50 matonas

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ETH 1923EE 50matonas-obv.JPG
ETH 1923EE 50matonas-rev.JPG

The coin shown is a fifty matonas nickel coin, dated 1923 (Ethiopian Era). On the obverse is a portrait of King Haile Selassie. The date is along the left side and is written in a format particular to Ethiopia, with and extra digit denoting magnitude. The reverse has the crowned lion of Judah with Amharic script in exergue, denomination at base. Struck in Addis Ababa (no mint mark).

King Haile Selassie took the throne upon the death of his cousin, Empress Zewditu, in 1923EE (1930 AD). His reign extended to 1974, with an interuption during WWII when Italian forces invaded. During this time the king lived in exile, returning when patriotic Ethiopian forces, with the help of British troops, ousted the Italian army. Ethiopia dates its coins using the Julian calendar, which is backdated approximately 7 years from the Gregorian calendar.

Recorded mintage: 1,621,000.

Specifications: nickel.

Catalog reference: KM 31.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 47th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • Gill, Dennis, Coinage of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Italian Somalia, New York: Printing Mart of Long Island, Inc, 1991.

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