Murad III Sultani - Need help with Mint

Started by iindica, December 25, 2020, 07:05:17 AM

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Pls. help id the mint. Thank you.


Dear iindica, your coin:
Ottoman, Sultan Murad III ibn Salim II, AH 982 (1574 AD), Gold Sultani, Cezayir (Jaza'ir/Algiers) mint (AH 982-1003 /1574-1595 AD)
Obverse (Right photo):
ضارب النضر صاحب العز و النصر فی البر و البحر
Dharib al-Nadhr Sahib al-'Azzi wa al-Nasr fi al-bar wa al-bahr
"Striker of the glittering Master of might and victorious of land and sea"
Reverse (Left photo):
سلطان مراد ابن سليم خان عز نصره ضرب في جزاير سنه ٩٨٢

Sultan Murad ibn / Selim khan 'Azza / Nasrahu duriba fi / Cezayir (Jaza'ir) sanah / 982
"Sultan Murad ibn Selim Khan, May his victory be glorious struck in Algiers Year 982".

Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".


An interesting piece of history. At this point in time, Algiers' economy depended completely an slave trading, piracy and blackmail. Algerian pirates operated in the Western basin of the Mediterranean and even in the Atlantic. Their traditional enemies were the kings of Spain and France. Their pashas had no allies, but they nominally recognised the sultans of the Ottoman empire.

So what was a piece of gold doing in an outlaw state? First of all, the slave trade was quite profitable, as Algiers was on the border between islamic and christian states. The majority of slaves were christians, captured with seaborne raids. In 1551, Algerians took the whole population of the island of Gozo into slavery. However, there were also slaves from the outer parts of the Ottoman empire, most famous among them Safiye Sultan, from Albania, favourite consort of sultan Murad III.

Algiers received gold for large scale sales of slaves. These pieces bore Christian symbols and portraits, so they were not proper for circulation. They were remelted and used to strike Algerian gold pieces. The Algerians were willing to sell slaves individually or in groups to people who wanted to set them free. French admiral Duquesne bombarded Algiers in order to set them free. That worked, but cost the life of the French consul, who was fired off a canon. Buying slaves back was more than an act of mercy, since slaves without needed qualifications were worked to death in miserable circumstances. Even those working in the houses of the rich would routinely get no food, left to steal it and be hanged if caught.

The gold was used for bribes and ship repairs. Monaco was infamous for receiving Algerian ships, but it wanted to be paid well for its hospitality. Algiers did not participate in the military escapades of the Ottomans, preferring a financial contribution instead.

Truly a piece of history.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.