Egypt AH 1293(11-W) 20 qirsh

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Heritage sale 410, lot 12700
Courtesy Heritage Auctions

The coin shown is a silver twenty qirsh from the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The obverse bears the toughra, or signature, of the sultan, with the denomination written below. A flower design is to the right of the toughra. The mintmark W is at the base, and stands for designer Emil Weigand, Berlin Mint. The reverse carries the year of mintage (year 11 of reign) followed by the script minted in Misr (Egypt). The year of accession (1293) is written below, and all the foregoing is enclosed by a wreath. The date of the coin translates to 1885 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'. Though fractional qirshes were treated differently than previous years, qirshes and their multiples resembled pre-reform designs and compositions. The difference was the introduction of copper-nickel qirshes in certain years. This suite of denominations was continued until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and subsequent loss of influence in Egypt, in 1914 AD.

The coin shown was lot 12700 in Heritage auction 410 (Long Beach, June 2006) where it sold for $517.50. The catalog description reads: "Abdul Hamid II 20 Piastres 1293AH Year 11, choice lightly toned UNC, fully lustrous and a scarcer regnal year."

Recorded mintage: 126,000.

Specifications: 28.0 g, 0.833 fine silver.

Catalog reference: KM 296.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [1]Uslu, Kaan, Beyazit, M. Fatih, and Kara, Tuncay, Ottoman Empire Coins, Istanbul: Mas Matbaacilik A.S., 2007.

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