Afghanistan (1501-24)-Balkh shahi

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Steve Album sale 30, lot 626
Iran SA30-626r.jpg

The Safavid Dynasty is considered the beginning of modern Persian history. They were one of the only ‘indigenous’ groups to take control of the region, and were responsible for the Shi’a Islamic character visible today. Along with the Ottomans and Mughals, they were a ‘gunpowder’ empire, and took a number of steps to reform and streamline government to create a more efficient state. In addition to Iran, their influence extended to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, Afghanistan, and portions of several other modern states. This specimen was lot 626 in Stephen Album sale 30 (Santa Rosa, CA, January 2018), where it sold for $188. The catalog description[1] noted, "SAFAVID: Isma'il I, 1501-1524, AR shahi, Balkh, ND, rare mint, only briefly occupied by the Safavids, nice strike, VF, RR." Balkh is today in the heart of Afghanistan, not Iran, and was only briefly ruled by the Safavids.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver, this specimen 9.41 g.

Catalog reference: A-2576.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 5th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2010.
  • [1]Album, Stephen, Joseph Lang, Paul Montz, Michael Barry and Norman Douglas Nicol, Auction 30, featuring the George Anderson Collection of Tibetan Coins, the Dr. John W. Lund Collection of Swedish Coins and the Mike Edwards Collection, Santa Rosa, CA: Stephen Album Rare Coins, Inc., 2018.

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