1891 German East African 1 Rupie Silver Coin

This coin is a neat piece of history, from the German colony of East Africa (modern day Tanzania). That short lived bit of colonialism got knocked out early on in the first world war (the last coins were minted in 1916). I’d grade this one in Fine (F12) to Very-Fine (VF20) condition.

German East Africa - 1 Rupee 1891 Obverse

German East Africa – 1 Rupee 1891 Obverse

The obverse shows the German Kaiser Willhelm the second in military garb, from the chest up, facing to the left. He has a rather odd eagle on his helmet (where a spike would normally be in Prussian uniform). The legend reads “Guilelmus II Imperator” from 8:00 to 4:00.

German East African - Eine Rupia 1891 Reverse

German East African – Eine Rupia 1891 Reverse

On the reverse, there’s an odd crest in the center, with a tropical tree supplanted by a lion striding to the left (with it’s right paw raised) all inside of a scrolling, scalloped shape that defies easy description. The date is at the bottom of the crest. There’s a ring outside the crest, with the legend written outside that. It reads “Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft” from 8:00 to 4:00. The denomination is written in that same area from 7:00 to 4:00 ‘ “Eine Rupie”.

Identification code: GermanEastAfrica KM-2 (1890-1902)

Date: 1891

Mint Mark: n/a (Berlin)

Mintage: 126,000

Country of origin: Germany (for use in modern day Tanzania)

Composition: 91.7% silver (8.3% copper, presumably)

Size: 30mm

Weight: 11.6 grams

Other details: After 1902, the pattern on the Rupiah’s reverse changed pretty drastically. Instead of the shield pattern, the imagery was removed and replaced with “1 Rupie” + the date within a wreath.

Estimated Value: $20-30 with silver at ~$20/oz (these have a premium above their silver content)

German East African Rupee 1891 Obverse

German East African Rupee 1891 Obverse

Coin - German East Africa - 1 Rupia 1891 02

Coin – German East Africa – 1 Rupia 1891 02

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