The first currency in this country (then known as germany East Africa) was the rupie, which was introduced by Germans in 1890. It was it was subdivided into 64 Pesa. The swahili word “pesa” is a result of this fraction of a rupie. The fisrt money was all in coins at denominations of 1 Pesa copper coin and 1 Rupie silver coin.
1 Pesa Copper Coin
1 Rupie Silver Coin
The silver quarter and half Rupie coins were introduced in 1891, and in 1893 the silver 2 Rupien coins were introduced.
Quarter rupie silver coins
Half Rupie silver coins
2 Rupien silver coins
These coins continued in circulation untill 1904 when the rupie was decimalized into 100 Hellers per one Rupie. The swahili word “hela” has its origin in this unit of a Rupie. At that time bronze half heller and one Heller coins were introduced.
half heller bronze coin
one heller bronze coin
New designs of the quarter rupie, half rupie and one rupie coins were released.
More coins were minted in 1908 introducing the bronze and 5 Heller and the holed cupro-nickel 10 Heller coin.5 heller holed broze coin
10 heller holde cupro-nickel coin
In 1913, the brass 5 heller coin was replaced by the holed cupro-nickel holed coin
During the world war in 1916, crude shaped, brass 5 and 20 Heller coins were issued, together with the gold 15 Rupien (also known as the Tabora Pound). The 15 Rupien is said to have been minted with excessive gold compared to the face value of the coin; these are the most favored collectrors coins to date selling as high as.
crude shaped 5 heller brass coins
crude shaped 20 heller coins
15 Rupien gold coins
After the war, Germany lost this country to the British Empire. Although the German coins continued in circulation for about two years, it was replaced by britsh currency, to be discussed in the next issue.