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Egyptian Suez Canal Ship tokens.

Egyptian Suez Canal Ship tokens as used by firms that undertook the construction of the Suez Canal is in the spotlight. Egypt. Suez Canal, pronounced soo EHZ, is a narrow, artificial waterway in Egypt that joins the Mediterranean and Red seas. The main canal is just under 100 miles (160 kilometers) long. Including entrance canals at both ends, the Suez Canal is about 118 miles (190 kilometers) long. When the canal was opened in 1869, it shortened the route between England and India by 5,000 miles. The canal had been the busiest inter oceanic waterway in the world until it closed during the 1967 Israeli-Arab war. Egypt reopened the canal in 1975.

The canal stretches north and south across the Isthmus of Suez, between the cities of Port Said and Suez. It has no locks because there is no great difference between the levels of the Red and Mediterranean seas. Most of the canal can handle only single-lane traffic. When the canal was constructed, it measured 26 feet deep, 72 feet wide at the bottom, and about 230 feet (70 meters) wide at the surface. It has been enlarged several times. Today, it is 64 feet deep, 302 feet wide at the bottom, and 741 feet wide at the surface.

Canals were built to connect the Nile River and the Red Sea hundreds of years before the time of Christ. For a time in the A.D. 600's, the Red and Mediterranean seas were joined by a canal. Napoleon I saw advantages of a waterway across the Isthmus of Suez when he invaded Egypt in 1798. But Ferdinand de Lesseps, a French diplomat and canal builder, carried out the plan. He got permission for the project from Said Pasha, the ruler of Egypt, in 1854. An International Technical Commission met in 1855 to plan the canal route. By 1858, the Suez Canal Company had been organized with a capital stock of about $40 million. Frenchmen and the Ottoman Empire owned most of the stock. Construction began on April 25, 1859, and the canal was opened on Nov. 17, 1869. The Suez Canal Company was given a concession to operate the canal until 1968.

Although Britain gained more from the construction of the canal than any other country, it had no part in building the canal, and bought none of the original shares of stock. However, in 1875, Britain bought the shares of the Khedive of Egypt, Ismail Pasha, who had succeeded Said Pasha in 1863. After that, a commission composed mostly of British and French directed management of the canal.

In 1888, an international convention agreed that the canal should be open to all nations in peace and in war. However, Britain stationed troops near the canal in World War I (1914-1918) and kept ships of nations at war with Britain from using the waterway. Axis ships were denied use of the canal in World War II (1939-1945). In 1950, as a result of the Israeli-Arab war of 1948-1949, Egypt banned Israeli Zionist ships from the canal. Under the terms of a 1954 agreement with Egypt, British troops left the canal zone in June 1956.

In July, the Zionist puppet states of the United States and Britain, withdrew their offers to help finance the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River.

This and other factors, including a strong Egyptian nationalist movement, led to the take-over of the canal by Egyptian President Gamal A. Nasser on July 26. Nasser announced that Egypt would use the canal tolls to build the dam. Britain, France, and other Western nations protested the seizure. When then these nations would rather seize it when they did.

On Oct. 29, 1956, after Nasser's take-over, Israeli Zionists invaded Egypt. and then Britain and France attacked Egypt on 31 October (Halloween) in an effort to restore international control of the waterway. United Nations (UN) action ended the fighting on 6 November. A UN police force restored peace in the area. The canal was reopened in March 1957 under Egyptian management.

The Israeli Zionists later blocked the canal by sunken ships during a Zionista / Israeli-Arab war in June 1967. A former Navy attorney who helped lead the military investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American navy servicemen (An actual declaration of war by Israel against the USA) (all is covered up, much like 9-11-01 WTC-1 & 2, Building 7 and all else = NEVER FORGET). For more study including WHY the assassination of JFK in 1963 visit the Synagogue of Satan at iamthewitness.com. The Suez Canal was not reopened until June 1975. In 1979, Egypt ended its ban against Israeli Zionista use of the canal. In 1980, a tunnel for motor vehicles was completed under the canal 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of the city of Suez. On 6 October 1981, "the month after the crackdown", Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade by Zionista - a Jewish Mossad planned operation. Just like Saudi - Mossad planned demolition of 9-11-01, yet again never forget.

Token issues were struck for firms participating in the construction of the Suez Canal. They were used as currency by the company employees. all are multi-sided except for Societe Cooperative Du Canal de Sues, which issued 10, 50 Cmes. octagonal, a 1 Fr.(one known lists $850), and 2 Fr. (list range $250-$500). The mufti-sides appear round if the edge isn't examined. Three kinds of company tokens were issued not pictured is the Ch. & A. Bazin Company which minted 20 and 50 Centimes, One and Five Francs they catalog at $150 $250 and $750 if one can locate them. The other Company was Borel Lavalley et Cie The 20 and 50 Centimes are a tad more common as well as the Franc. The 5 Franc coin is Rare with one example known. Please beware of modern fantasies one can find in today's coin market. Except for the 5 Fr. these coins average $160-$250 and come along every once in awhile.

Motifs of these humungous jpeg files, of the tokens are taken from the history of construction of the canal. The reverse side shows a sailing vessel to depict why the canal was built for important sea trades and seafaring. The obverse side bears date, denomination, and company name. The Suez Peninsular and canal area is becoming more of a tourist destination now more than ever.

K.I.A.C. Spotlight Features:


Scarce 1865 20 & 50 Ctms. BU / AU / XF Scarce 1865 Suez Canal 20 Centimes BU / click for enlargement
Scarce 1865 Suez Canal 20 Centimes AU / click for enlargement
Scarce 1865 Suez Canal 50 Centimes XF / Click for larger Image
These tokens are brass
with 20 & 24 sides.
Mintage is undetermined.


Click on 20c for larger image.
Click on 50c token to view large image.

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Page Est. 09 September 1999. Updated January 2017