Tahmasp I, Safavid Shah of Iran AH 930-984/AD 1524-1576

A A2593, Very Fine

Hamadan mint. Within eight-lobed cartouche, “Shah Tahmasp” and mint name, titles around, date below; Reverse, Shi’ite Kalima, names of the 12 Imams in margin. Hamadan, also known as Ecbatana, is located in northwestern Iran.


The Safavid Shah Tahmasp I (AH 907-930/ AD 1501-1524) came to power at the age of ten after his father’s death, Tahmasp is the second longest reigning King of Persia after Shapur II of the Sasanid Dynasty. Tahmasp was a clever politician who realized that war with Ottomans would not be possible until the Persian forces were efficient in the use of rifles and canon. He entered into the Peace of Amasya with the Ottomans. This treaty defined the borders between the two empires for nearly three centuries. In this treaty, Persia maintained control over Azerbaijan, Dagestan and the eastern portions of Armenia. The Ottomans gained the control of Baghdad, giving them maritime access to the Persian Gulf. Tahmasp also entered into treaties with several European courts, agreeing to assist them when and if attacked by the Ottomans. One of Shah Tahmasp’s more lasting achievements was the encouragement of the Persian rug industry on a national scale, possibly as a response to the interruption of the Silk Road trade during the Ottoman wars.