Coins From Addis Ababa’s Pocket


At this time in Addis Ababa, we use five types of coins for our everyday business transaction, coins which pass though many historical and interesting coinage transitions of Ethiopia.  King Endybis (c.270-300 AD) struck the first coins.

Emperor Menelik established Ethiopia’s modern coinage in 1893 and the coins that are in use right now are the ones that replaced Emperor Haile Selassie’s coins in 1977 except the recently added one-birr coin.


These coins have five denominations that are five, ten, twenty-five, fifty cents, and one-birr coin. The coins struck in various base metal alloys.  One thing they all have got in common and which I like is all of the coins portray a graceful lion’s head on one side. The Amharic word inscribed on it reads as Ethiopia and of course Ethiopia’s very won numeric sign that commemorate the year of 2004 and 2000 in Ethiopian calendar.


Of course, the coins consist of a variety of themes on the reverse. Start with the little coin of five- cent.


Here is my favorite ten-cent piece that portrays Ethiopia’s rare Antelope.




And the new one-birr coin


Well, travelers when you come to Addis Ababa, these are one of the eloquent pieces of Ethiopia that you are going to get close too because you are going to carry them in your pocket and then again, these are the coins,  which you are going to flip to decide on something while you are in Addis Ababa or Ethiopia.


Welcome To Ethiopia!

About Sara Genene

I am a traveler... on an endless journey of self-discovery!
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