Ethiopia EE1923 werk

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Courtesy Heritage Auctions
Courtesy Heritage Auctions

The coin shown is a one werk gold coin, dated 1923 (Ethiopian Era). On the obverse is a portrait of King Haile Selassie. The date is along the base and is written in a format particular to Ethiopia, with an extra digit denoting magnitude. The reverse has a scene of St. George slaying the dragon.

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.

This specimen was sold as lot 51440 on Sept 15, 2006, at the 2006 September Long Beach, CA Signature World Coin Auction #419 by Heritage Auctions. It brought $1610. The catalog description reads: "Haile Selassie I gold Werk EE1923 (1931), lustrous AU-UNC with reflective surfaces, some minor scratches in the exposed fields. Very scarce type, particularly in undamaged condition."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specifications: 7.0g, 0.900 fine gold, 0.2025 AGW, this specimen 6.59 grams.

Catalog reference: KM 21.


  • 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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