AQ QOYUNLU, Yaqub, 1478-1490 AD, tanka, Sari


AQ QOYUNLU, Yaqub, 1478-1490 AD, tanka, no date, Sari mint, Obverse: Kalima in square, Reverse: mint in square, silver, 17.5-19mm, 4.04g, A2520, crude, XF

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Aq Qoyunlu means “white sheep” in Turkish. They started out in eastern Anatolia as clients of the Timurids, and expanded into Iraq and western Persia. Opponents of the Ottomans, they held out against them until the rise of the Safavids of Persia, who defeated them and drove them back into their home town, Diyarbekir. The Ottomans took them out at the end of the 15th century.

The term “Islamic coins” refers to coins made by Muslim governments from the time of the first caliphs to an end point in time that varies with the particular country being considered, but is generally some time from the 17th to 19th century. There is a geographic exclusion: India and points east are generally considered separately. The main reference used here is “Checklist of Islamic Coins,” by Stephen Album.