Egypt AH 1293(10) 1/20 qirsh

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from the Ma’adi Collection
from the Ma’adi Collection

The coin shown is a copper 1/20 qirsh from the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. It was struck at the Berlin Mint, though no markings on the coin indicate the origin. The obverse bears the toughra, or signature, of the sultan, with the year of issue written below (as in year during the reign of the sultan, in this case year 10). A flower design is to the right of the toughra. The reverse carries the text 'minted in Misr'. Below this is the denomination 1/20 qirsh in written form, nisf 'ushr qirsh. Below this is the ascension year of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, AH 1293. The date of the coin translates to 1884 AD. Uslu[1] lists this issue as common.

This denomination represents a member of a coinage reform started in 1884 AD. The coin pictured here is from the first year of that reform. Previous to that date, with a value less than one qirsh were given in the unit 'para'. All fractional qirshes after 1884 were given values directly proportional to one qirsh, eg. 1/40 qirsh, 1/20 qirsh, 1/10 qirsh, etc. This suite of denominations was continued until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and subsequent loss of influence in Egypt, in 1914 AD.

Recorded mintage: 4,105,000

Specifications: 3.3 g, copper, 20 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: KM 288.

Sources:

  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • Valentine, W.H., Modern Copper Coins of the Muhammadan States, London: Spink and Sons, 1911.
  • [1]Uslu, Kaan, Beyazit, M. Fatih, and Kara, Tuncay, Ottoman Empire Coins, Istanbul: Mas Matbaacilik A.S., 2007.

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