The Elusive Hejaz 1/2 Qirsh AH 1334 Regnal Year 8

The Hejaz 1/2 Qirsh Regnal AH 1334, Regnal Year 8 (KM-26) is an exceptionally rare coin that is missing in most collections. A contributing factor to this is the fact that these coins were short-lived, and most known specimens were overstruck to produce the transitional coinage of what became today’s Saudi Arabia (then the Kingdom of Hejaz and Sultanate of Nejd) 1/4 Qirsh of AH 1343 (KM-1).  The latter coin is also a scarce one as it was transitional and eventually replaced by the 1/4 Qirsh of AH 1344 (KM-4) from the regular series. The early Saudi coins are an interesting series to collect in general with many different types.

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The Banknotes of Hejaz

One of the many mysterious corners of Arab numismatics is the banknotes of Hejaz and circumstances surrounding their production. These unissued notes were only “discovered” in the early 1950s after the sale of King Farouk of Egypt’s collections. Few sets reportedly survive today and most collectors don’t even seriously consider trying to locate a set that is available for sale.

A very good article on this subject was written a while back by Peter Symes, and is available at his web site here: http://www.pjsymes.com.au/articles/Hedjaz.htm

I strongly recommend those interested to read this article.

Notorious Blunders

On more than one occasion, and in more than one country, a coin was minted in production quantity after passing all QC measures, only to be returned to the drawing board due to mistakes in the wording. Today, I will present three examples of this.

The first takes us back to 1949, when Jordan first issued coins. The Jordanian Dinar consisted of 1000 Fils and the coins included 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Fils. The interesting part is that the coin designer, W. M. Gardner, must have thought that the singular was “Fil” while the plural was “Fils”. In fact, that was not the case and the correct Arabic singular was “Fils”. The coin, nonetheless, was made as a “Fil” and fixed some time later.

The second is a Saudi 25 Halala coin dating back to sometime around 1972 (1392 on the Hijra calendar). In Arabic, the word for “twenty five” changes form depending on its placement in the sentence and the gender of what it describes. Mistakenly, the wrong form of the word was used by writing خمسة وعشرون instead of خمس وعشرون. This was later corrected, naturally.

The third is an Iraqi 500 Fils coin dating back to 1982. Again, the wrong form of the word “Fils” was used and had to be corrected later upon discovery. The initial, incorrect form was “فلسا” and it was changed to “فلس”.