1974 Cambodia (Kambuchea) 50,000 Riels, (KM#64, .11941
oz, .900 Fine Gold) Raw. While the mintage of these
fascinating gold coins is usually considered to be
3,250 pieces, it appears to be even lower. Some sources
list a mintage of 2,300 pieces. Judging by the overall
availability and scarcity of appearances it appears
that many of these coins remained unsold, were lost
or simply melted for their gold content. As such,
it appears that the 2,300 number would be correct
or at least close to the real number.
Struck in Proof format, all original papers and packaging
come with purchase. One side of the coin shows three
female Khmer dancers with the French legend REPUBLIQUE
KHMERE. The reverse has the arms of the Khmer Republic
with the Cambodian legend for the country's name at
the top, the denomination 50.000 RIELS in Arabic and
Cambodian numerals. The date in Khmer and Arabic characters
is at the bottom.
Issued in a turbulent time of Cambodian history, these
were issued by the short-lived Khmer Republic, which
existed from 1970 to 1975. It was the right-wing regime
led by Lon Nol and Sisowath Sirik Matak and fought
against communist forces in the Cambodian civil war.
As for the involvement of the United States in the
conflict, which had long been present in the area
in Vietnam, it is usually believed that there was
at least some involvement of United States forces.
Up to this point, however, this has never been confirmed.
The packaging that comes with this coin sheds some
further light on this issue, with all text in French.
These pieces were authorized by the Ministry of Finance,
Planning and Economy, and were struck in both gold
and silver. They were announced in July 1974 and sold
in a limited edition during the latter part of the
year. There does not seem to have been a true reason
for the issuing of these pieces, and it seems logical
that the proceeds would be further invested in the
young, and later short-lived, republic. These gold
coins have become increasingly popular during the
last few years and are destined to rise further in
value during the next few years. Whether you are buying
or selling, contact us as we are always interested
in these fascinating and scarce gold pieces.
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