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    Description

    Unrecorded Proof 10 Tomans

    Qajar. Nasir al-Din Shah gold Proof 10 Toman AH 1297 (1879/1880) PR63 NGC, Tehran mint, cf. KM945 (unlisted in Proof), Poole-596, Rabino-58, Kian-47 (RRRR). Plain edge. Simply a fantastic rarity of Qajar coinage. Fitting as the cap following a nearly continuous sequence of monetary reforms and crises since Nasir al-Din Shah's accession to the throne in AH 1264 (1848), this brilliant Choice Proof 10 Tomans represents the final weight standard adopted during his reign, based on the gold Toman of 45 grains. Due to the low gold-to-silver ratio in Iran in relation to world silver prices prevalent from 1850, silver had been in a continuous dearth in the country, flowing outwards to India, Turkey, and Russia. While the resulting difficulties in exchanging silver for gold, coupled with economic mismanagement of the provincial governors who would gladly profit from the debasement of the coinage, did cause the Shah to take action, the French system proposed and adopted in 1875 was quickly replaced by the return to an Iranian standard three years later. That the final arrangement reached in 1879 failed to resolve the problem is verified by a Royal Mint report of 1900 recorded by Sweeny, which confirms that silver continued to pour out of Iran.

    Though the Qajar regime may not have known the frailty of their solution, the fact the such a piece as the present specimen inaugurated the new coinage could hardly have been unintended--indeed, the offering appears virtually flawless in its presentation, from the Shah's dress to the elegant, sweeping calligraphy of the reverse inscription. Entirely unpublished in this Proof format, it is not unlikely that pieces such as this were intended to serve as Proofs of Record, quite possibly for distinguished officials. We know of only a single other example recorded as "proof-like", hailing from the Kian Collection, which further doubles as the plate coin in the Standard Catalog of World Coins.
    Ex. Leu Numismatik Auction 89 (October 2003, Lot 494)


    Estimate: $25,000 - $50,000.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    November
    5th Thursday 5:50 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    November
    5th-6th Thursday-Friday
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    16 Days 21h 36m 38s
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    Heritage Auctions
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    Current Bid:
    $13,500
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