Afghanistan: Amanullah – 1298 – 1307 SH (1919 – 1929 AD) – 20 Paisas (Abbasi) 1299 SH (1920 AD) KM # 882
October 2, 2011 2 Comments
Afghanistan: A Brief History
The Islamic State of Afghanistan, which occupies a mountainous region of Southwest Asia, has an area of 251,825 sq. mi. (652,090 sq. km.) and a population of 25.59 million. Presently, about a fifth of the total population lives in exile as refugees, (mostly in Pakistan). Capital: Kabul. It is bordered by Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China’s Sinkiang Province. Agriculture and herding are the principal industries; textile mills and cement factories add to the industrial sector. Cotton, wool, fruits, nuts, oil, sheepskin coats and hand-woven carpets are normally exported but foreign trade has been interrupted since 1979.
Because of its strategic position astride the ancient land route to India, Afghanistan (formerly known as Aryana and Khorasan) was invaded by Darius I, Alexander the Great, various Scythian tribes, the White Huns, the Arabs, the Turks, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, the Mughals, the Persians, and in more recent times by Great Britain. It was a powerful empire under the Kushans, Hephthalites, Ghaznavids and Ghorids. The name Afghanistan, “Land of the Afghans,” came into use in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to describe the realm of the Afghan kings. For a short period, this mountainous region was the easternmost frontier of the Iranian world, with strong cultural influences from the Turks and Mongols to the north and India to the south. Afghanistan’s traditional coinage was much like that of its neighbors Iran and India. There were four major mints: Kabul, Qandahar, Balkh and Herat. The early Durranis also controlled mints in Iran and India. On gold and silver coins, the inscriptions in Persian (called Da r i in Afghanistan) included the name of the mint city and, normally, of the ruler recognized there, but some issues are anonymous. The arrangement of the inscriptions, and frequently the name of the ruler, was different at each mint. Copper coins were controlled locally and usually did not name any ruler. For these reasons the coinage of each mint is treated separately. The relative values of gold, silver, and copper coins were not fixed but were determined in the marketplace.
In 1890 Abdur Rahman had a modern mint set up in Kabul using British minting machinery and the help of British advisors.
The other mints were closed down, except for the issue of local coppers. The new system had 60 paisa equal one rupee; intermediate denominations also had special names. In 1901 the name Afghanistan appeared on coins for the first time. A decimal system, 100 puls to the Afghani, was introduced in 1925. The gold Amani, rated at 20 Afghanis, was a bullion coin.
The national symbol on most coins of the kingdom is a stylized mosque, within which is seen the mihrab, a niche indicating the direction of Mecca, and the Minbar, the pulpit, with a flight of steps leading up to it. Inscriptions in Pashtu were first used under the rebel Habibullah, but did not become standard until 1950.
Until 1919, coins were dated by the lunar Islamic Hejira calendar (AH), often with the king’s regnal year as a second date. The solar Hejira (SH) calendar was introduced in 1919 (1337 AH, 1298 SH). The rebel Habibullah reinstated lunar Hejira dating (AH 1347-50), but the solar calendar was used thereafter. The solar Hejira year begins on the first day of spring, about March 21. Adding 621 to the SH year yields the AD year in which it begins.  SCWC 1901-2000
Amir Amanullah Khan Barakzai
Reign: 1298 – 1307 SH (1919 – 1929 AD)
The coin pictured above is a is a 20 Paisas (Abbasi) from the era of Amir Amanullah Khan from the Barakzai Dynasty.
- 10 Dinar = 1 Paisa
- 5 Paise = 1 Shahi
- 2 Shahi = 1 Sanar
- 2 Sanar = 1 Abbasi
- 1-1/2 Abbasi = 1 Qiran
- 2 Qiran = 1Kabuli Rupee
- 1 Tilla = 10 Rupees
Obverse: Text within circle, stars surround with “Al-Ghazi”. Text: “Amir Amanullah, 1299 SH’
Reverse: Mosque within 8-pointed star, within circle, stars surrounds.
Date: 1299 SH (1920 AD) (obv.)