Gold kupang of Sultana Ratu Safia ud-din Taj ul-Alam (1641-1675), Aceh Sultanate, Northern Sumatra (Millies 139)

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Arabic inscriptions on both sides: Paduka Sri Sultana Taj Al-Alam / Safiat al-din Shah Berdaulat. 14mm, 0.59 grams. Acheh mint. Millies 139.

This coin was issued in the name of the Sultana (female Sultan). Ratu Safiatuddin Taj ul-Alam (d. 1675) was the fourteenth sultan of Aceh. She was the daughter of the sultan Iskandar Muda and the wife of his successor, Iskandar Thani, who became sultan upon the death of her husband. She was the first of four women to hold the position, thanks to the efforts of the Acehnese nobility to weaken royal power following Iskandar Muda's administrative reforms aimed to undermine them. These efforts were largely successful, and from her reign on the sultanate became a weak symbolic institution, whose authority was limited to capital city itself, while real power was held by the hereditary rulers of outlying districts (the uleëbang set up by Iskandar Muda) and the religious leaders (imam or ulama). The Sultanate of Aceh on the Island of Sumatra (modern north-western regions of Indonesia) was established initially as a small Islamic kingdom in what is today Banda Aceh during the 15th century AD. During its golden era, its territory and political influence expanded as far as Satun in southern Thailand, Johor in Malay Peninsula, and Siak in what is today Riau province.