The silver coins were of 20, 10, 5, 2, I and 2 piastre in value, the 20-piastre piece weighing 24.055 grammes, .830 fine.
The heavy depreciation in silver causing large losses to the government, free coinage was suspended in 1880, and the nominal value of the mejidie was reduced by decree to 19 piastres (105.26 piastres thus = £T1), while in the same year the debased currencies were reduced, altilik, the 6-piastre piece to 5 piastres, the 3-piastre piece to 22 piastres, the 12-piastre piece to 14 piastre; beshlik, the 5-piastre piece to 22 piastres, the 22-piastre piece to 1;-piastre; metallik, the 1-piastre piece to 2 piastre, the 2-piastre piece to 4 piastre, the *-piastre piece to a piastre - these values representing approximately the intrinsic value of the silver, at mejidie standard, contained in the debased coins.
The 20-piastre mejidie currency, in spite of the further enormous depreciation of silver since 1880, has scarcely varied in the Constantinople market, but has always remained at a discount of about 3% (between 108 and 109 piastres to the pound) under government rate; this is doubtless due to the fact that the demand and supply of the coins in that market are very evenly balanced.
The fractional mejidie coins (5, 2 and 1 piastres) are quoted at a separate rate in the market, usually at a premium over the 20-piastre piece.
The coinage formerly was the caroub and piastre (the latter worth about 6d.), but in 1891 the French reformed the coinage, substituting the franc as a unit, and having the money minted at Paris.