Afghanistan (1501-24)-Herat 1/3 shahi

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Steve Album sale 16, lot 688

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.

The specimen shown was lot 688 in Steve Album sale 16 (Santa Rosa, CA, May 2013), where it sold for US$70. The catalog description reads[1]:
"SAFAVID: Isma'il I, 1501-1524, AR 1/3 shahi, Herat, ND, no evidence of clipping around the edge, possibly rare denomination, VF."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver, this specimen 3.01 g.

Catalog reference: A-2578 variety.


  • Album, Stephen. Checklist of Islamic Coins. Santa Rosa, 1998. Stephen Album.
  • [1]Album, Stephen. Stephen Album Rare Coins - Auction 16. Santa Rosa, 2013. Stephen Album Rare Coins.
  • Mitchiner, Michael. Oriental Coins and their Values - The World of Islam. London, 2000. Hawkins Publications.

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