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  • 250 Francs 1994, KM# 36, Djibouti, The Portuguese Discovery of Djibouti
  • 250 Francs 1994, KM# 36, Djibouti, The Portuguese Discovery of Djibouti

In the early 16th century, amid their expansive maritime endeavors, the Portuguese turned their attention to the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden waters. Referring to the stretch of land from Cape Guardafui to Massawa as the "costa do Abexi" or "costa do Preste," (encompassing Puntland, Somaliland, Djibouti, and Eritrea), they mistakenly believed it to be dominated by the Christian Ethiopian ruler associated with the legendary figure of Prester John. Portuguese armadas regularly visited this region, seeking valuable pilots, provisions, and ship repair facilities. In 1507, Tristão da Cunha led an expedition to Suq fortress on Socotra, later abandoned. Simultaneously, Afonso de Albuquerque dispatched envoys to Zayla to establish ties with the Ethiopian ruler Lebna Dengel. Portuguese sources, including Afonso de Albuquerque's "Commentarios," document their military and geographic endeavors along the Horn of Africa. Their observations contributed to mapping the region, notably depicted in the Cantino planisphere of 1502. These explorations indirectly influenced the later arrival of European powers such as the Dutch and British East India Companies.


Depicts the national arms within the wreath, country name in French above and date below.

Djibouti adopted its national emblem upon gaining independence from France on June 27, 1977. The emblem features laurel branches on the sides and encloses a vertical spear with a shield in front. Below the shield, two hands holding large machetes represent the nation's main ethnic groups, the Afar and the Issa. At the top of the spear is a red star, symbolizing unity between the Issa and Afar peoples.



Depicts the famous Portuguese carrack Flor de la Mar, with inscription in French "History of Navigation" above and denomination below.

Flor do Mar, also known as Flor de la Mar (meaning "Flower of the Sea," spelled Frol de la Mar in 16th-century Portuguese chronicles), was a Portuguese carrack (nau) weighing 400 tons. Over a span of nine years, it played a pivotal role in significant events in the Indian Ocean until its sinking in November 1511. Nobleman Afonso de Albuquerque, returning from the conquest of Malacca, was aboard with a substantial treasure trove destined for the Portuguese king when the vessel was lost off the coast of Sumatra. A replica of the Flor do Mar is currently housed in the Maritime Museum in Malacca, Malaysia.

· 250 DJF ·

Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Gold
Fineness 0.999
Weight 1.244 g
Diameter 13.95 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Coin

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The Portuguese Discovery of Djibouti

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