World Coins

Egypt issues coins for Suez Canal expansion

Two new circulating commemorative coins from Egypt honor the 2015 expansion of the Suez Canal.

Coin World photography by Ray Wilder.

On Aug. 6, 2015, Egypt officially opened a major expansion of the Suez Canal. The event was celebrated with a national holiday and the release of two circulating commemorative coins, denominated 50 piastres and 1 pound.

The expansion adds a second shipping lane, allowing ships to travel in opposite directions at the same time. Nearly doubling the canal’s capacity decreases the waiting time for ships wishing to use the canal. The expansion was completed less than a year after construction began, a notably fast time for such a major project. 

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The coins share common reverse designs showing the logo of the Suez Canal Authority, which depicts two passing ships. The obverse sides include the denomination in both Arabic and English and the AH and AD date in Arabic. 

The coins are in huge demand in Egypt due to the canal’s economic and historical importance, according to world coin dealer Joel Anderson, who offers the coins to U.S. collectors.

The 50-piastre coin is priced at $3 and the ringed-bimetallic 1-pound coin costs $4.50. A pair of one of each is available from Anderson for $6.

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Shipping to United States or Canada is $4. 

To order, visit Anderson’s website.

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