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Egyptian Ottoman coin AH 1255 year 22 archaeologist question

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 Posted 07/27/2010  10:37 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add BVT to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Dear list,

during an excavation in Egypt this year we found a coin (see images) that I think was coined in AH 1255 year 22 (Sultan Abdul Mejid), being 1861 AD. I am hoping some list members could help me out with extra information on value or name of currency of this coin. Our local workmen said the coin also mentioned "Made in Constatini", which I guess must be modern Istanbul.



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 Posted 07/27/2010  11:05 am  Show Profile Check alganbagerap's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add alganbagerap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is a Turkish (Ottoman) 40 Para coin.
Mintage 1,450,000
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 Posted 07/28/2010  09:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BVT to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

thanks for info.
Do you have a reference I can put in my report?
Would 40 para be valued in 1861 as what we would call pocket change or could one purchase more significant objects with this? We found the coin in an ancient bedouin camp while working on a pharaonic site.


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 Posted 07/28/2010  12:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bart to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Bart,

A well known reference is the one from the Standard Catalog of World Coins: your coin is in the SCWC (also known as Krause for its publisher: Krause Publications) as Turkey 40 para 1255/22 KM#670
KM# is the catalog system established by Krause and Mishler and used in the SCWC.
The mintage for your coin (1255/22) is 4,140,000 instead of the above mentioned 1,450,000 which is the mintage for this coin with date 1255/17
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 Posted 07/28/2010  3:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BVT to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
thanks for the info
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 Posted 07/28/2010  10:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In the Ottoman monetary system of the time, there were 40 para to the qirsh (or piastre), 100 qirsh to the lira. Thus your coin is equivalent to 1 qirsh. It says "40 para" rather than "1 qirsh" because the word "qirsh" was only being used on silver coins.

As for contemporary buying power, consider this: in 1878, the British Empire annexed Cyprus from the Ottomans and gave it its own colonial monetary system, which was a hybrid of British Imperial and Ottoman monetary units: there were 9 piastres to a shilling, instead of the usual 12 pennies.

So I would conclude that a 40 para coin had slightly more buying power than a British penny of the same time period. As would befit it's size. "Small change" in the sense that it was one of the smallest denominations issued, but still quite powerful compared to modern coinage. In an agricultural society like Ottoman Egypt, it probably could have bought enough food to feed a family for a day.
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 Posted 07/29/2010  10:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add willieboyd2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have one of these but two years older:

Turkey 40 Paras AH 1255 (AD 1839) Year 20 (AD 1858)


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