‘Uthmanid or Ottoman State

Silver Pattern Majidiya/20 Qurush (machine struck)

Obverse

In tughra: Khan ‘Abd al-Majid bin Mahmud al-muzaffar da‘ima “Khan ‘Abd al-Majid son of Mahmud, the ever victorious”

Below: the regnal year (numeral) 5 with sana (“year”) below. To right a rose sprig; above five five-pointed stars

Below: two crossed quivers each filled with five arrows, below which is a bow with ends facing upwards to which two crescent-shaped branches of bay are bound with a ribbon tied in a bow

Reverse

At 12:00 a single five-pointed star, around: two long crescent-shaped branches of bay bound together at 6:00 by a ribbon tied in bow

In centre: ‘azza nasrahu/duriba fi/Qustantiniyya/1255 “may his victory be glorious, struck in Constantinople/1255”

Border: fine beads, raised edge

During the reign of Mahmud II continuing wars and economic crises forced the devaluation of the Ottoman coinage on several occasions. This caused great hardship to public and private commerce and trade, added to which both internal and external counterfeiting became a very profitable activity. As part of the Tanzimat reforms, under Mahmud’s son and successor ‘Abd al-Majid, it was determined that the Constantinople government would follow the lead established in Algiers and Egypt to strike a coinage on the European model of a standard weight and reliable alloy. This ruled out the government’s expedient of devaluing the currency’s weight and alloy to finance government expenses, but left the way open to finance the deficits through foreign loans. As part of the process of introducing the new coinage, patterns, such as this one, were struck in silver for the new crown or dollar size twenty qurush majidiye. The work was initially carried out by European employees on mint machinery purchased from London. This trial silver coin was not adopted because its design was very close to the projected gold coinage which could have caused yet more counterfeiting and confusion. These trial strikes are of the highest rarity with fewer than five examples known.

‘Uthmanid or Ottoman State

MaterialSilver
TypePattern Majidiya/20 Qurush (machine struck)
Ruler‘Abd al-Majid bin Mahmud II
MintQustantiniyya (Constantinople)
Date1255 H regnal year 5 (1843 CE)
Weight24.01g
Diameter36.5mm