Aksumite: Ethiopians Minted Coins in over 1500 Years Ago


Aksum was a self-powerful kingdom in the current known as Eritrea and northern Ethiopia. Ethiopians created their coin known as Aksumite. King Endubis distributed the mintage from 270 AD. The process continued, but when the seventh century came, the use of currency started diminishing.


Sultan of Mogadishu issued his currency that dominated for a long time. It was the most dominant in the horn of Africa until the medieval period. Archeologists have found that the coin got its way to the European countries. It was made of gold with some bronze. The Sultan also borrowed some knowledge from other kingdoms to make his coin valuable. The King inspired many other African kingdoms to use currency as a method to exchange goods and services.


The Aksumite currency got used for displaying the Kingdom’s wealth. Furthermore, the Aksum people used the coin to support their state religions. They were polytheistic before transforming to make Oriental Christianity their main church. The trade between them and European countries along the red Sea was accelerated by using the currency.


The Aksumite kings got chronological credibility through the currency. It gave accessibility to major explored regions, AT first. Metal coins were the most employed. Over time, they transform into mintage ones. However, it took long before they issued the mintage coins.


The Kingdom imported brass from the neighboring kingdoms to decorate and cut the money. They were creating a special metal coin to hand to the foreigners. The early morning had realized the importance f using similar coins while trading with the European countries. So they decided to look for all the means to create exactly corresponding currency to feel uniform. The currency made them popular among other African Kingdoms. It raised both international and domestic trade.


The production and designs were very ingenious. Romans were their first influential people who made the Aksum kingdom employ the use of coins. At that time, The Persian and Kushana were also ahead in making the currency.


Researchers have found less information about the Kushana, Roman, and Himyarite coins in Aksum. This means the Aksumite did not have much foreign money as compared to their own. Most of their trade involved exchange money for items and less in reversal. Also, their trading partner, like South Arabian, started manufacturing coins.

The South Arabian kingdoms were inspired at the time when they participated in GDRT. However, they were the odd one out as Aksum had their currency. They employed gold, electrum, and bronze in their first coin.


The Red sea was a hotcake when it meant international trade. Coins simplified trade across the country. They made everything prosper within a short period. But the Europeans had only a minor influence on the design of mintage.


Endybis is the famous first thing ever to produce his coins. His passport-sized photo was on one side. His chest and neck were full of the necklace. He had a helmet with multiple jewels, symbolizing wealth. He would decide to wear a regnal head coat only and appear on the coin at some point. The traditional artist was very creative. They made sure the coin profile picture looked exactly like King Endybis.

Even after his death, the successors did not temper with the coin. But the surname used to change depending on the King. But as time went by, some coins were produced without the bisi name. Some citizens thought that the name was tribalistic and the coin would be okay with it.


On some coins, he allocated the symbol of the crescent and a pre-Christian disk. By doing that, they advertised their religion. The agricultural produce was also praised as barley and wheat got their space around Endybis. For sure, the Aksum people reared domestic animals as well as wild ones. They planted crops, specifically barley, which they exchanged with the Europeans. Other trading goods like ivory, kola were gotten from taming wild animals. Their land was also full of gold. Such rings made them superior in Africa. They were regarded as the richest Kingdom because of trade.

The Aksumite influenced the Egyptian people. They also made them begin making their currency. In most times, the Egyptians were their trade neighbors. The two communities imposed the use of the same currency. Although they accepted, they could not manufacture their coins in the same place. It was the Egyptians who borrowed most of the Aksum knowledge to upgrade their coins.


It was either two ears of wheat or barley. They lack inscription evidence but represented the state of the Kingdom.

King Endybis adopted some euro knowledge from the Romans to make it look powerful. They made a golden coin that weighs 2.7 grams. The Aksumite added some gold to make it more valuable and unique. If the currency were purely gold, the weight would double. So they decided to use various minerals, then little gold to make it portable.



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