Are there any valuable aluminum world coins?

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Joe Campbell, Jun 20, 2022.

  1. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    Digging through bins of world coins I always associate aluminum coins, and generally zinc coins as well, as junk. Are there any valuable or especially interesting aluminum coins out there?

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  3. mrbadexample

    mrbadexample Well-Known Member

    I like zinc coins but they're hard to find in really good condition as they suffer from zinc pest all too easily.

    Apart from patterns I can't think of any particularly special aluminium coins either.
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  4. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Interesting is in the eyes of the beholder;)

    I do have one 100% zinc coin, 10 Reichspfennig, struck in Vienna 1944, which reflects the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

    That's why I find it interesting. Valuable? Not at all.

    From 1939 onwards, no precious metals like gold and silver were used to mint coins. Copper and nickel was needed for military purpose and silver had to pay the bills in Switzerland for imported goods. Because WW2 demanded not only financial but also natural resources even copper became an important material for the armament industries. That is why during the war coins were minted of zinc and aluminium.
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  5. derkerlegand

    derkerlegand Well-Known Member

    I guess this one's pretty good.

  6. mrweaseluv

    mrweaseluv Supporter! Supporter

    Well Not sure if this counts but there are some "so called dollars" made here in the US that were aluminum (and a bit pricy too)
    I've got all of... 1 hehe
    1893d.jpg 1893dr.jpg
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  7. derkerlegand

    derkerlegand Well-Known Member

    What the Krause book refers to as "a horseshoe design" appears to be a Manilla, a primitive African currency.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2022
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  8. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    Wow, that brings back memories. I was in grade school at the time and remember the humanitarian concern over the starvation and war in Biafra. I did not know they ever had their own coinage.
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  9. derkerlegand

    derkerlegand Well-Known Member

    Somewhere in all my stuff, I've got a £1 banknote similar to this:

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  10. Santinidollar

    Santinidollar Supporter! Supporter

  11. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    Yup that’s a great example.
  12. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    I have a pretty cool and valuable aluminum so-called-dollar as well. Lots of cool types there.
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  13. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Wow, aluminum was still fancy new stuff at that point!
  14. Hiddendragon

    Hiddendragon World coin collector

    If by valuable you mean big money then there are a few key dates for some series and these random special examples but most aluminum coins don't have big value. However, there are a lot of them that could sell for the $2 to $10 range, and some of my favorite designs are aluminum. If aluminum coins are uncirculated they can look really nice. Many French colonies had really attractive aluminum coins, for example. Here's some of my favorites.
    1948 french equatorial africa 2 francs.jpg 1948 italy 10 lire.jpg 1949 french oceana 50 centimes.jpg 1951 morocco 5 francs.jpg 1952 laos 20 cents05.jpg 1953 madagascar 5 francs.jpg 1953 vietnam 10 su.jpg 1953 vietnam 50 xu.jpg 1964 comoros 5 francs.jpg 1965 belgian congo 10 francs.jpg
  15. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Yes. The 1943 Chinese puppet regime Manchukuo and Federal Reserve Bank come to mind

    In particular the 1943 Federal Reserve 5 fen is probably underrated and rarely appear in the market. Last time I saw one was sold well over 4 figure. The second would be Manchukuo 1943 1 jiao.



    I'm suspicious about the authenticity of the 1 jiao.
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  16. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Think the pic didn't show up correctly...

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  17. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Been trying to get one of the 1969 Biafra 6 pence & not too many around at all, the couple I have seen have been handled & wiped, etc.

    The actual manilla depicted is of course not aluminum but rather of copper, bronze or brass by memory.
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  18. Stork

    Stork I deliver Supporter

    Going back to the French Union (4th Republic) coinage in the (IIRC) 1946-1957, along with all the fascinating aluminum pieces are the mules with the French Equitorial Africa obverse and Reunion reverse...generally referred to as the Reunion mules.

    I've only see a 1 franc in hand, but here are a couple Heritage auctions including the 2 franc. Not sure why the 2 franc is a specimen as those look like the circulation strikes.

    Here is the 1 franc alongside the standard coin so you can see the difference in the obverse sides.

    Japan has many aluminum trial strikes, but this one was an occupation piece:

    And if you count trial pieces:

    There's more. This was just a fairly quick scroll through the Heritage archives on my part (I was looking for the mule coins to link).

    The interesting thing about aluminum coins is they are often of 'common' varieties but they don't survive well environmentally speaking, so gem quality is hard to get.

    Many countries utilized the metal heavily near the end of WWII and in the post war period. It took me years to find some of the Japanese aluminum coins in anything approaching gem condition (and some still elude me as I've settled for 'near gem', or at least 'not crap'). The catalog values are low, but good luck finding them.

    Here's one in a PCGS 65 slab. 1946 post war 10 sen. The issuing authority is (still reading right to left this year) 府政本日 or "Nippon seifu" which translates to "Government of Japan" (moving from the post war era and before the formation of the new government).
    obv e3e3e3.jpeg rev e3e3e3.jpeg
  19. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    Very good question. I was wondering the same as I tried to save a couple of aluminum Belgium coins. As far as commonly circulated coins, I guess not, but if you want to talk about tokens, there are several "white metal" tokens that are valuable.
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  20. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

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  21. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    This is absolutely a contender for the best image of an ear of rice on a coin.
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