Pysa: coin from Sultanate of Zanzibar; 1/136 riyal


1 pysa, 1882: Sultanate of Zanzibar

1 pysa, 1882: Sultanate of Zanzibar

Ruler: Sayyid Barghash bin Said al-Busaidi (Arabic "برغش بن سعيد البوسعيد") — the second Sultan of Zanzibar (1870-1888).

Date on coin: AH 1299 (AH: Latin "Anno Hegirae" — "the year of the Hijra"; Islamic calendar) = 1882 (Gregorian calendar).

Classic balance scales with date in the middle between bowls.

١٢٩٩: 1299.


سلطان سعيد بن برغش بن سلطان - حڢظه الله: Sultan Said ibn Barghash ibn Sultan /the ruler's name is written incorrectly/ - May God (Allah) protect him.

Zanzibar is sometimes called the Isle of Cloves — small clove sprigs can be seen on the top of the coin's obverse (around the name of Allah).

Engraver: Léopold Wiener (Belgian sculptor, medalist and die cutter).

Royal Mint of Belgium (Brussels, Belgium).

Mintage: 4.640.000.

Interestingly, this coin was minted over several years with the same date (AH 1299) and no denomination in any form (a rare occurrence for 19th-21st century coins).

  • Copper: 25 mm - 6.34 g
  • Reference price: 10$

COIN PYSA — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. SULTANATE OF ZANZIBAR (1882-1886): pysa = 1/136 riyal

About the name of the coin pysa: the coin pysa (as well as a number of relatives — pice, pesa, baisa, poisha...) is included in the list of coin names that are perhaps the most common in the region of the Northern and Western parts of the Indian Ocean.
As for the origin, all the above-mentioned names come from another, more ancient coin — paisa. That is: pysa, pice, pesa, baisa, poisha are coin names derived from the Indian paisa.