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    German Colonial gold 15 Rupien 1916T, KM16.2, plain edge, AU53 NGC, a fine example of this crudely made gold coin, struck during the era of Wilhelm II, as an emergency specie coin, at a "mint" set up in a railroad car at Tabora during the heavy fighting of the Tanganyika or East African Campaign against the British-Belgian alliance of World War I. The mintmark "T" stands for Tabora, a populous town that once was the center of ivory and slave trading in East Africa; at another time it was a mission station visited by Stanley and Livingstone. But in 1916 it was the center of the German African war, and one can only imagine the hectic activity going on around the "mint" when this was made. Its metal was unusual for a colonial coin. Gold was first discovered in this region in 1894 but the first gold mine in the colony did not commence operations until 1909. Gold was indeed a seldom-seen metal in coins during the war in Africa, and this colonial issue was equal in gold value to 15 German marks. Its creation was certainly of an emergency nature, but it came too late for the German campaign: the Belgian general Charles Tombeur captured the city on September 19, 1916, after which it was occupied by British and Belgian troops. The elephant depicted before Mount Kilimanjaro may be intended to represent the legendary 150-year-old giant first seen in the 1870s by the most famous of all British hunters, who was killed trying to take it as a trophy. This coin is certainly a fine memento of its times!

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2011
    2nd-3rd Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 792

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