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Darfur, 5 Piastres

Started by andyg, August 21, 2019, 10:10:06 PM

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This is an interesting object - Krause has a note (next to KM#5)

QuoteCopied from Ottoman Mejidiye coinage; about 800 are reported having been put into circulation; further striking was discontinued as the coin was unpopular due to low silver content.  Specimens dated 8231 are contemporary forgeries.

This has a date 8231, so is one of the aforementioned contemporary forgeries - but it's rather well made, so I wonder who did make them.  There is a picture of a genuine KM#5 on zeno here - but I cannot find another picture of these forgeries.

Silver washed - 5.8g - 22mm - Crude milled edge.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....


A lovely piece, contemporary forgery or not: I'm most envious as it would go well with my Sudanese (Mahdi and Khalifa) and a fairly tatty Ali Dinar piece.



That's the sort of coin that pushes the bounderies. Well made imitation, well preserved. A great talking piece, more interesting than the real thing. :)

Cyprus was a dumping ground for bad, fake and unpopular Turkish coins. Chalmers* notes that the Beshlik circulated on Cyprus. Changing Turkish and British money in the course of a transaction was a nice source of income for the local merchants. Even after Cyprus coins, based on £, but denominated in Turkish piasters were introduced, those in Limassol and Papho (...) still cling to their old money of account ... Thus in Limassol all transactions are concluded in piastres of the nominal value of 132 to the £1 sterling, at Papho in piastres of 120 to £1. This obviously gives an opening for a considerable amount of juggling with values in which the smarter calculators get the better of the English people and their servants. Chalmers gives an amusing example.

Mr. Taylor (Receiver General on Cyprus) recollects a villager coming into the bazaar at Papho to buy an oke of nails. The first man he went to asked 4½ (copper) piastres ; his rival next door heard it and said he would let him have the same nails for 3 piastres (meaning silver). There was no time to explain the trick to the villager, who bought the nails at 3 piastrees, but, of course, gained nothing. The copper piasters in the story were either British are Turkish, while your coin would have counted as 5 silver piasters. The shopkeeper may or may not have known that it is a fake and would not have cared when given in change.


* A History of the Currency in the British Colonies by Robert Chalmers, London 1893 (rep. 1972)
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Seeing this post just now for the first time. Great piece! Congratulations! I have no other picture of this coin.