Diversion of the Nile River to allow creation of the Aswan High Dam
in Egypt was more than a mere technological marvel.
The effort to build the dam was also, in a way, a milestone in the
Cold War, as the Soviet Union and the United States of America sought
to project power and exert influence around the globe.
Soon after potentates and dignitaries pressed a button to unleash a
torrent of water diverting the river, Egypt released multiple coin issues,
including four silver coins in various denominations.
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A gold 5-pound coin is one of two gold coins also marking the occasion.
An example of this coin, graded About Uncirculated 58 by Numismatic
Guaranty Corp., is being offered in Éditions V. Gadoury’s online
auction ending April 18. This is the second online auction of world
gold slabbed coins from the Monaco-based firm, and the Egyptian coin
is among 120 lots in the sale.
The coin depicts the Aswan Dam (or the portion that had been created
to that point, apparently) on the obverse, with a rising sun in the
background heralding a new dawn. The symbolism was intentional, as
Egypt’s President Gamal Abdul Nasser was counting on the dam project
to help spur economic renewal in Egypt.
The fight against the paper dollar has been
renewed: Inside Coin World:
Newly introduced legislation on Capitol Hill is not the first
attack on the paper dollar. Calls for its elimination have been
voiced since the 1970s.
When American support for the dam, by way of millions of dollars,
fell through, President Nasser convinced Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev
to back the project. The dam was financed and built with Russian help,
though American investments did help move a culturally significant
Nubian site, including the Abu Simbel temples, out of the floodplain.
The coin is cataloged as KM-408 in the Standard Catalog of World
Coins, 1901-2000, by Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler, which
lists its value at $1,250. The coin has an opening bid of $900.
To bid on the auction, visit the Gadoury website.