During the last ten years or so there have been some discussions about an Ottoman copper coin with an enigmatic legend, as to whether this represents the coin's denomination or the name of its mint. The coin concerned is known from perhaps half a dozen specimens present in a few collections. It shows distinct similarities with 16th - 17th century (10th - 11th century AH) Ottoman copper coins from the Yemen and is therefore thought to originate from that part of the world. As it is unknown for any pre-19th century Ottoman coin to have its denomination or value shown as part of its inscription, it may be safely assumed that the inscription on this particular coin represents its mint name, and not its denomination. Having said that, this then leaves us with the identification of the mint name of these coins.
The legend in Arabic script on the coin's obverse from the top downwards shows the usual dhuriba (it was struck), where the letter ba forms a horizontally drawn-out line below the letters dha and ra; (dha is used to decribe the Arabic letter that is normally transcribed by a d with a dot below it, which I cannot do in my computer) below this horizontal line of the letter ba there are the naturally unconnected letters: dal-wau-alif-ra-ya; below these letters is the word sanah (year) again in a horizontally drawn-out line, below which there is the year 974, the year of Sultan Selim II's accession.
The coin's reverse shows a hexagram of two superimposed triangles with dots and accents, very similar to the reverse of the large Ottoman copper coins from Malhaz in the Yemen which, incidentally, show the same year.1) Thus the coins under discussion look like a fraction of the Malhaz coin. See illustrations Fig. 1-5.