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1916 Tabora Gold Pond NGC Graded AU55
A Rare Siege Coin
Estimate Value: R35000-00 - R50000-00
Struck Under Similar Circumstances as The Veldpond
Ultra Rare This NICE - Long Curl Variety
The "Tabora Pound", a gold coin valued at 15 Rupees, was designed by mining industry expert Friedrich Schumacher at Tabora and weighs 6.8 gram (gold). It was minted in a temporary siege-mint by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank in an adapted train carriage at Tabora in 1916 following the fall of Germany's major port, Dar-es-Salaam, to the Allies during World War One. Tabora (thus the letter "T" under the date) was the centre of the Arab slave trade in the 1800s.
The gold coins were needed to pay the native troops, for, as in South Africa they, wisely, did not trust paper bank notes. Vorbeck's goal was to give one of these gold coins to each member of this 15,000 native askari army. The minting was possible because of a small gold mine in operation not very far away from Tabora from which the gold used in the coins was mined.
The coin features the king of the beasts, a triumphant elephant, trumpeting with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background and the date “1916 T” below, a Singhalese gold worker from Zanzibar made the dies after a model prepared by R. Vogt. The reverse features the German imperial eagle with the legend “Deutsch Ost Afrika” and the denomination of 15 Rupien. There are two varieties which can best be distinguished by the arabesque extending from the right wing of the German eagle. In the slightly rarer first variety, "type A", it ends under the “A” in “Afrika” (mintage 6,395), and in the second variety "type B", it ends under the “T” in “Ost” (mintage about 9,035). Due to the primitive nature of the conditions under which the coins were struck, the gold was a reddish gold, containing copper and silver, since these metals could not be refined out of the gold.
Soon after their minting Tabora was occupied by allies' Belgian troops. Indian traders asked 200 rupies each for these coins. They were rare from that time.
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