Ethiopia EE1970 600 birr

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Courtesy Heritage Auctions
Courtesy Heritage Auctions

The coin shown is a 600 birr gold coin, dated 1970 (Ethiopian Era). On the obverse is a portrait of a Walia Ibex. The reverse has the coat of arms of the People's Republic.

Ethiopia underwent a revolution in 1974, with a military council (the Derg) deposing King Haile Selassie. He died the following year. The country was reformed as the People's Democratic Republic with Major Mengistu Haile Mariam as leader. The Soviet Union and Cuba replaced the western powers as Ethiopia's primary allies. The country underwent years of insurrection and famine until the collapse of the Mengistu regime in 1991 to counter-revolutionary forces. Despite radical changes in government structure, Ethiopia continued with currency denominated in cents and birr.

This specimen was lot 12840 on Sept 22, 2005, at the 2005 September (HWCA) Long Beach Signature Auction #387 by Heritage Auctions. It brought $1265. The catalog description reads: "Republic gold 600 Birr EE1970 (1978), choice Proof, only 160 minted in Proof. Conservation series featuring the Walia Ibex."

Recorded mintage: 547.

Specification: 33.437 g, 0.900 fine gold, 0.9676 AGW.

Catalog reference: KM 63.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 47th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.

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