EGYPT, Abdul Hamid I, 1773-89, 1 para, 1187 AH no regnal year


EGYPT, Abdul Hamid I, 1773-89, 1 para, 1187 AH no regnal year (1187 = 1773 AD), Obverse: toughra,Reverse: date and mint, silver, 14.5mm, 0.16g, KM121, crude VF

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Usually this coin has heavy clashing, with the design of each side interfering with the other. This one clearly shows that there is no regnal year.

Egypt is, famously, where one of the three oldest literate cultures emerged. The other two places are Iraq and China. Coins go back to the last Pharao, just before the arrival of Alexander the Great. There is a continuous tradition of coinage from then until now. For purposes of this website, modern Egypt starts with the Ottoman conquest of the 16th century.

Middle East is a funny kind of phrase. It “should” mean the “middle,” say, Egypt to Iran. But in common usuage it means everything from Morocco in far northwest Africa all the way to Afghanistan. Right? I mean, if I talk about “the Levant,” or Jazira, you have to know something about geography. But if I say “Middle East” you’re going to have a picture in your head. Maybe Cairo, maybe Kabul, but you’ll have the reference.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.