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AFGHANISTAN COINS & BANKNOTES

A numismatic review of a troubled land.

For coins of India, please visit Click Here2200 YEARS OF COINS OF INDIA
For coins of Iraq,  please visit Click Here1800 YEARS OF IRAQ COINS & CURRENCY
For coins of other countries of the Middle East, please visit our Click HereMIDDLE EAST COINS PAGE


COINS OF THE KIDARITES

Kidarite copper coins, circa 350-500ADThe Kidarites were nomadic Huns that conquered the Kushano-Sassanians sometime around 350AD.  They are sometime referred to as the “Red Huns”.  Very little is known about them.  They controlled an area that now is made up of parts of northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, as well as parts of TajikistanUzabkistan and Turkmenistan. . They ruled the region until about 500AD. The Kidarites appear to have been a confederacy of warlords, many of whom issued coins.  Not having had a tradition of coinage, they copied the basic designs and fabric of the coins they found in circulation without an apparent understanding of the meaning of the designs. Some of the coins are modeled on Sassanian or Kushano-Sassanian coins depicting the bust of the king and a fire altar.  Other coins are modeled after Kushan or other Indian coins and feature various deities or a standing king. There is a wide variety of extremely crude and primitive Kidarite copper coins.  These scarce, crude Kidarite copper coins are unusual pieces from a little know Hunnic tribe.
Item KIDARx1 KIDARITE COPPER UNIT, circa 350-500AD, CRUDE  $5.00
Item KIDARx5 5 of the above KIDARITE COPPER UNIT, circa 350-500AD, CRUDE  $18.00
Item KIDARx100 100 of the above KIDARITE COPPER UNIT, circa 350-500AD, CRUDE  $195.00



THE BEY BUD TANKA OF TIMURID SULTAN HUSAYN

Silver Tanka of Timurid Sultan Husayn BayqaraThis silver Tanka was struck by Sultan Husayn Bayqara, the last great Timurid monarch, at his capital in Heart (Afghanistan),  between 1470 and 1506AD. The Timurids were descendents of Tamerlane.  They ruled much of Central Asia from during the 14th and 15th century.   Dynastic battles were common as family members battled for control over the Empire.  During his younger years, Husayn served as a mercenary and guerilla fighter.  After a while he decided to fight for himself.  He eventually conquered Herat, and soon gained control over much of the Timurid territory.   He was a great supporter of the arts and literature and engaged in a major building program.   This silver Tanka of Husayn prominently features the words "beh bud" on the coin.  The Persian phrase "beh bud"  means "it was good", perhaps to assure merchants that the coins were made of good silver or maybe to indicate his reign as a time of prosperity.  However one of Husayn’s chroniclers states "Bih-bud Beg" was one of Husayn’s close male companions before he became Sultan, who gave him such sexual satisfaction that he did him the favor of putting his name and stamp on the coins.  Shortly after Husayn’s death, while his two sons fought for control of the throne, the Uzbeks conquered Herat, effectively bringing an end to the dynasty.
Item TIM-HUSAYN TIMURID SILVER TANKA, HUSAYN 1469-1506AD, A2432.3 VG-F-crude, bent $19.50


A RAT FROM HERAT

Herat local 1 Falus 1689-1696ADHerat, situated in the fertile border region between Persia and Afghanistan, has long been an important city on the ancient trades route from India and China to Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea.  Today it is an important city in Western Afghanistan.   This unusual local copper 1 Falus was issued between about 1689 and 1696, while the city was nominally under Persian control.  One or both sides of the crude coin feature a rat.  The coin is approximately 18mm in diameter.   The design is unusual in that most Islamic coins of that era did not include pictorial devices in their design.  It is an interesting local issue that was probably intended only for use within the city.
Item HERAT HERAT COPPER FALUS circa 1689-1696AD Crude-Good $9.50


NEWLAST COINS OF THE LAST KING OF AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan 1, 2 & 5 Afghani coins 1961, AH1340 KM953-955, obversesAfghanistan 1, 2 & 5 Afghani coins 1961, AH1340 KM953-955, reverses
Mohammed Zahir Shah ascended to the throne of Afghanistan in 1933 when he was only sixteen years old.  His long reign was noted for modernization, peace and stability in what was, and again is, a war-torn nation.  He managed to maintain neutrality during World War II.  During the Cold War he received aid and support from both the United States and the Soviet Union.  In 1973 he was overthrown by his cousin Mohammed Daud Khan who attempted to establish a republic. His last coins were these 1, 2 and 5 Afghani dated SH1340 (1961AD).  The 5 Afghani was highly controversial as it featured his portrait. It was the first Afghan coin to feature a monarch's image. Because Islam discourages the use of images of people, the coin was poorly received and many were mutilated or destroyed.  A statue of an eagle with outstretched wings is on the 2 Afghani.  Three ears of wheat are on the 1 Afghani.  All three coins are struck in nickel-clad steel and feature the denomination on the reverse.
Item AF-SET61 AFGHANISTAN 1, 2 & 5 AFGHANI SH1340 (1961) KM953-955 AU-UNC. $4.50



RECENT COINS OF AFGHANISTAN  

Afghanistan 3 coin set: 1 2 5 Afghani SH1383 (AD2004)In 2004 Afghanistan released its first coins for circulation since 1980.   The set includes a copper-plated steel 1 Afghani, a steel 2 Afghani and an aluminum-bronze (brass) 5 Afghani, dated SH1383, which corresponds to AD2004. Since 2005 no additional coins have  been minted  for circulation. The coins feature the denomination on one side and the traditional arms of Afghanistan on the other.  The coins were minted in Europe, sent by ship to Pakistan, and then trucked to Afghanistan.  Millions of the coins were stolen while they were in transit in Pakistan. The loss was only discovered when sharp-eyed customs official noted that a truck containing the coins was much lighter than it should have been.  The release of the coins was delayed until the stolen coins were recovered. The coins help mark Afghanistan's return to normalcy after years of civil war and Taliban rule.
Item AF-SET3 AFGHANISTAN 3 COIN SET 1, 2 & 5 AFGHANI SH1383 (AD2004) KM1044-1046 UNC. $3.75





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