American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Drachmas, Doubloons and Dollars: The History of Money

Coins of the World

The Middle East and Africa

Throughout the 20th century, particularly following World War II, the many Middle Eastern and African countries colonized by European powers in the 19th century became independent. These new states often expressed their identities on their coins by using traditional symbols. Coins of the West African States are used in the economic union of Benin, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo and Niger.

Israeli nickel-clad steel 100 prutah (1954) depicting a palm tree.


Jewish bronze coin from the Bar Kochba War (AD 132-135), model for the modern issue.


Egyptian aluminum-bronze 10 milliemes (1956).


Lebanese nickel livre (1975) depicting a cedar tree.


Katanga bronze franc (1961) depicting local African copper cross money.


African copper cross money (19th century) from Katanga.


West African States silver 500 francs (1972) depicting an African mask.