Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hornbill Coin - CC 059

CC 059
'Toko Bird' Coin
Origin: Botswana
Unit: 5 thebe
Details: bronze

Well I haven't posted up any coins in awhile so I decided to pick another with a random blind pick, and the winner is this interesting Botswana coin. For those that don't know, Botswana is a fairly large country in Africa situated above South Africa; and I have just learned that the currency there is one of the strongest in Africa. This particular coin is from 1991, struck in bronze, and is worth 5 thebe. The currency of Botswana is the pula and is broken into 100 thebe (similar to the American system). On a side note, the word pula means rain alluding to the fact that Botswana gets so little rain that it is prized when it comes. Thebe, on the other hand, means shield.

What is particularly interesting about this coin is the bird that they have on the reverse - a Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill, which the actual bird reminds me a lot of the bird from The Lion King. These birds are a common sight in Botswana so it makes sense that they might have some pride in them. I also found this very cool website that's a Coin Zoo, where the author has lots of coins with animals on them (I have lots more to come as well). And it's interesting to note that on that site the author mentions how the bird is often referred to as the 'Toko' bird as a mis-attribution to its genus Tockus by other coin collectors, as when I received the coin it had 'Toko bird' written on the original holder. The coin's obverse features an interesting seal, with the word 'PULA' written on the banner.

1 comment:

  1. Also, as it turns out the bird from the Lion King, Zazu, is a Red-Billed Hornbill. It's the same genus so it still fits the description.