What is this coin and who is the dour man in the funny hat?
June 29, 2010 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Help me identify this coin which has what appears to be Arabic script on it and probably dates to the first half of the 20th century.

My wife's aunt, who was born in the 1920s and lived her entire life in Munich, passed last year. Among her things was a small box of old coins, mostly European and mostly dating from between 1920 and 1940. None are of particular value, but I find them fascinating.

This coin was among them, but is markedly different from the rest for both its level of wear and its apparent Arabic provenance. It is the only coin in the bunch that I have been unable to identify. Help satisfy my numismatic curiousity, hive mind.
posted by 256 to Society & Culture (13 answers total)
Just to help you narrow down your search: since he's wearing a fez, I'd bet it's from the Ottoman Empire.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:43 AM on June 29, 2010

Based solely on millinery choice, I'd say it's Turkish, which, on preview, jives with oinopaponton.
posted by The Michael The at 7:45 AM on June 29, 2010

I'd bet it's from the Ottoman Empire.

It's from 1923, but dang if most of the writing has worn off. Will look at it a bit more later if no one else has come in to identify.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 AM on June 29, 2010

Egypt. Compare some of the scans from this dealer's page. Some of these coins have the denomination in the center reverse area that's smooshed out on your coin, which makes it a bit difficult to nail it down exactly.
posted by gimonca at 7:51 AM on June 29, 2010

I'm pretty sure that's King Fuad or King Farouk and the coin is Egyptian but I can't find the specific one.
posted by jessamyn at 7:52 AM on June 29, 2010

Meaning, the guy in the portrait. That's not the exact coin.
posted by gimonca at 7:53 AM on June 29, 2010

Yes, Egypt. The last word on the face side is "Misr" (مصر). That is King Fuad.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 AM on June 29, 2010

(and the numbering is actually 1341 which corresponds to 1923 in the Christian calendar)
posted by Burhanistan at 7:55 AM on June 29, 2010

I've got an actual coin guide here and it looks like either a 2, 5 or 10 Millieme which would have been minted in 1924. I think it's this one, yes? If it has what looks like a zero on the back in the center, that stands for "five"
posted by jessamyn at 8:03 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

You guys are amazing. If anyone can recognize the denomination I would love to know, but "Egypt 1923" answers my primary question. Now to go read the wikipedia article on King Fuad.
posted by 256 at 8:03 AM on June 29, 2010

(oops, I misread that last digit as one when it is clearly two, sorry: 1342)
posted by Burhanistan at 8:05 AM on June 29, 2010

Jessamyn: That's the coin. I wasn't sure if that was a zero or a six or an eye or something in the center obverse, but now that I can compare to that image while holding the actual coin, that's definitely it.

Case closed.
posted by 256 at 8:06 AM on June 29, 2010

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