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Afghanistan (meaning Land of the Afghan) is a mountainous land-locked country in Central Asia with a history and culture that goes back over 5000 years. Throughout its long, splendid, and sometimes chaotic history, this area of the world has been known by various names. In the ancient times, the land was called Aryana by its inhabitants. In the medieval era, it was called Khorasan. Afghanistan became under British influence in the 19th century. After 1919, it was totally independent as a kingdom. It became a republic in 1973.  In 1979, a communist government was instituted that remained in power until 1992.  Afghanistan has been ruled as an Islamic State since 1994 and was under the control of the Taliban until early 2002 when the coalition forces removed the Taliban in the pursuit of al-Queda terrorists.

Coinage was issued in what is now Afghanistan back to the earliest times.  In fact Alexander III had mints operating in the area as he pushed towards India. Many ancient coins were issued by Baktria which was partly in present-day Afghanistan and are readily available. Coinage was issued through medieval times by local authorities and Moslem invaders.  Modern coinage was instituted in 1896.

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 2 Tilla - 1298SH (1919 AD)

KM-879 - 9,2 g - 24 mm

The obverse has a medallic-like depiction of the throne room within a wreath, and the denomination 2 above the scene. The reverse has the ruler's legend (Amanullah) and date (1298 AH) in a wreath. 

There are more Afghan gold coins in this section if you are interested - Page Afghanistan 1


Albania is known as the Land of the Eagles. The south-central European area currently known as Albania was originally inhabited by the Illyrians. Illyrian culture is believed to have evolved from the Stone Age and to have manifested itself in the territory of Albania toward the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 2000 BC. Through recorded history, Albania came under the influence of Romans, Greeks, and finally the Ottoman Empire. Albania declared its independence on 28 November 1912. Ahmed Bey Zogu, a chieftain from the Mat region of north-central Albania, became president in 1925 and was declared King Zog I. Italy invaded Albania in 1939 and occupied it for much of World War II.  Communists seized control of the country on 29 November 1944. Enver Hoxha, a college instructor who had led the resistance struggle of communist forces, became the leader of Albania by virtue of his post as secretary-general of the party. Hoxha was a ruthless dictator who allied himself with the PRC and ruled Albania like a personal medieval fiefdom. He died in April 1985. The communist regime was overthrown on 20 February 1991. Albania is now regaining its stature as an independent State with close ties to the West.

Coinage from what is now Albania started with the Illyrians as early as 400 B.C. Albanian national coinage did not start until 1926.

20 Franga - 1927-V

KM-012 - 6,45 g - 21 mm

Mintage - 5.053

The obverse depicts a bust Albania's national hero Skanderbeg (Gjergj Kastrioti, 1405-1468) who fought off the Turks, facing right with the legend giving his name. Below the bust is the name of the designer G. ROMAGNON. The reverse has a winged lion with the country's name in Italian and Albanian with the denomination flanking the lion. The date 1927 is below the lion and the mintmark V for the Venice (Italy) mint is to the left of the date.

There are more Albanian gold coins in this section if you are interested - Page Albania 1


Andorra 1991.jpg (68097 bytes)

50 Dinar - 1991

KM-070 - 13,34 g - 27 mm

 Mintage - 3.000

Edge - Reeded

This NCLT "coin" was issuerd to commemorate the 1992 Olympic Games. The obverse has the arms and the co-ruler's name "JOAN D.M.BISBE D'URGELL I PRINCEP D'ANDORRA in Catalan withgthe denomination 50 D. and date 1991 below.The reverse portrays a gymnist on the rings with the Olympic torch in the background and the legend OLYMPIADA 1992 at the top and bottom respectively.


Argentina's original inhabitants were known as the Diaguita and the Guarani. They were both agrarian cultures both developing the cultivation of maize.  The first Spaniard to land in Argentina, Juan de Solis, was killed in 1516. Buenos Aires was founded in 1580 and became the capital of the new Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776.  After Napoleon invaded Spain, the Argentines set up an autonomous government on 25 May 1810.  By 1816,  relations between Argentina and Spain became strained and a party of separatists decided to declare the country's independence. One of the new patriots, Jose de San Martin, crossed the Andes and captured Lima. Along with Simon Bolivar, Martin is credited with breaking the shackle of Spanish rule in South America.  In 1824 a constitutional assembly passed a constitution. Conservative political forces for the rest of the 19th century dominated Argentina. During this period the country grew rapidly. In 1916 Radical forces took control of the government. They were ousted in 1935. In 1946 Juan Domingo Peron took control of the government. Peron was ousted in 1955 by the military. The military maintained power until 1973, when violence forced the military to allow the return of Peron. He died the next year and his third wife Isabella Peron took over. She was able to maintain power for only two years. The military regained power and held it until the conclusion of the unsuccessful occupation of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) in 1985. Civilian government was restored and stability continues through today.

There were no Spanish colonial mints located in current-day Argentine territory (coinage produced at the Potosi mint circulated)  Argentine coinage commenced in 1813 when the region was called Las Provincias del Rio de la Plata. Provincial coinage was issued by Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Entre Rios, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, Santiago del Estero, and Tucuman from the 1820s into the 1860s. Minor coinage in the name of the Argentine Confederation were issued in 1854.  Republican coinage started in 1881. 

Argentina 1885 5P.JPG (45856 bytes)

1 Argentino - 5 Pesos - 1885

KM-006 - 8,06 g - 23 mm

 Mintage - 0,204M


The obverse features a stylized head of LIBERTAD (Liberty) facing right. The inscription gives the denomination (5 PESOS and UN ARGENTINO, and the Fineness (9 Dos FINO) as well as the LIBERTAD legend. The designer's name OUDINE is to the lower right of the bust. The reverse has the national arms of the Republic, the country's name REPUBLICA ARGENTINA, and the date 1885.

There are more Argentine gold coins in this section if you are interested - Page Argentina 1


One of the world's oldest civilizations, Armenia once included Mount Ararat, which biblical tradition identifies as the mountain that Noah's ark rested on after the flood. It was the first country in the world to officially embrace Christianity as its religion (c. A.D. 300).

In the 6th century B.C., Armenians settled in the kingdom of Urartu (the Assyrian name for Ararat), which was in decline. Under Tigrane the Great (95-55 B.C.) the Armenian empire reached its height and became one of the most powerful in Asia, stretching from the Caspian to the Mediterranean seas. Throughout most of its long history, however, Armenia has been invaded by a succession of empires. Under constant threat of domination by foreign forces, Armenians became both cosmopolitan as well as fierce protectors of their culture and tradition.

Over the centuries Armenia was conquered by Greeks, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Mongols, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, and Russians. From the 16th century through World War I, major portions of Armenia were controlled by their most brutal invader, the Ottoman Turks, under whom the Armenians experienced discrimination, religious persecution, heavy taxation, and armed attacks. In response to Armenian nationalist stirrings, the Turks massacred thousands of Armenians in 1894 and 1896. The most horrific massacre took place in April 1915 during World War I, when the Turks ordered the deportation of the Armenian population to the deserts of Syria and Mesopotamia. According to the majority of historians, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were murdered or died of starvation. The Armenian massacre is considered the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that a genocide took place and claims that a much smaller number died in a civil war.

10.000 Drm - 2021

KM- - 7,78 g  - 20 mm

Edge - Reeded

Mintage - ???

The obverse has the  arms of Armenia. The reverse depicts Noah's Ark after the Great Flood. This NCLT was issued by the Bank of Armenia and was struck by Geiger Edelmetalle GmbH, Germany


Australia's original inhabitants, known as Australian Aborigines, have the longest continuous cultural history in the world, with origins dating back to the last Ice Age. Although mystery and debate shroud many aspects of Australian prehistory, it is generally accepted that the first ancestors of Australian Aborigines arrived there about 50.000 years ago. Europeans began to explore Australia in the 16th century. Portuguese navigators were followed by Dutch explorers and the enterprising English pirate William Dampier. Captain James Cook sailed the entire length of the eastern coast in 1770, stopping at Botany Bay on the way. After rounding Cape York, he claimed the continent for the British and named it New South Wales.  In 1779, Joseph Banks (a naturalist on Cook's voyage) suggested that Britain could solve overcrowding problems in its prisons by transporting convicts to Australia. In 1787, a fleet set sail for Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Philip, who was to become the colony's first governor. The fleet comprised 11 ships, 750 male and female convicts, four companies of marines and supplies for two years. Capt. Philip arrived in Botany Bay on 26 January 1788, but soon moved north to Sydney Cove, where there was better land and water. Free settlers began to be attracted to Australia over the next decades, but it was the discovery of gold in the 1850s that changed the face of the colony.  Australia became a nation when federation of the separate colonies took place on 1 January 1901 and it bacame known as the Commonwealth of Australia.  The nation remains a member of the British Commonwealth although there are increasing calls for severing relations with the Crown.

The earliest coinage issued under the name Australia were gold sovereigns and half sovereigns even though the region was made up of several individual colonies. The the early 1800s, New South Wales cut and punched Spanish silver real coinage for use in the colony. South Australia actually issued a limited gold coinage in 1852 from the Adelaide Assay Office and from Port Philip which are very rare today. The first coinage issued by the Commonwealth was in 1910.


1 Sovereign - 1870

KM-004 - 7,99 g  - 22 mm

Edge - Reeded

Mintage - 1,220M

The obverse has the young head of Queen Victoria (b1819-d1901) with a sprig of banksia and the Latin inscription VICTORIA D:G: BRITTANIAR: REG:D:F: (Victoria by grace of God, British Queen, Defender of the Faith). The date 1870 is below the bust.  The bust was designed by Leonard Charles Wyon. The reverse has a crown and the country's name with St. Edward's crown above circled by a wreath. At the top is a legend identifying the Sydney Mint and below is the denomination One Sovereign. This is the Type II version. Australian gold coins are more yellow as they were alloyed with silver whereas the London issues were redder and were alloyed with copper, making the Australian gold coins of higher intrinsic worth. In 1870, the decision was made to scrap the unique Australian design in favour of the standard British design. The Sydney Mint was opened as a branch of the London Royal Mint in 1855.

There are more Australian gold coins in this section if you are interested - Page Australia 1

 If you would like to see additional gold coins, please click here - Page 2

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