TURKEY, Ahmed III, gold zeri Istanbul, 1115 AH (1703 AD)


TURKEY, Ahmed III, 1703-30, zeri Istanbul, 1115 AH (1703 AD), Kustantiniye mint, gold, 17mm, 3.44g, KM-mark xvi – nun, KM173, small flaw, nice XF

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In the late 17th century the Ottoman government decided it needed its own denominational currency to decrease the country’s dependence on foreign coins, which had to be bought, rather than made.

Middle East is a funny kind of phrase. It “should” mean the “middle,” say, Egypt to Iran. But in common usage 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.