Partial relief was sought in the continual issue of debased currency (beshlik, altilik and their subdivisions), of which the excess of nominal value over intrinsic value ranged between 33 and 97%, and finally paper money (kaime) which was first issued in 1839, bearing an interest of 8%, reduced in 1842 to 6%, such interest being paid on notes of 500 piastres, but not on notes of 20 or 10 piastres, which were issued simultaneously.
The altilik, beshlik and metallik currencies struck, the first and last in the reign of Mahmud II.
And Abd-ul-Mejid, and the second in the reign of Mahmud only, were not included in the reform; these were debased currencies bearing a nominal value, the altilik of 6, 3 and 12 piastres, the beshlik of 5 and 22 piastres, the metallik of 1, 2 and 4 piastres; they represented the last degree of an agelong monetary depreciation, the original piastre having had a value of about 5s.
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.
In the last twelve years of the 19th century the altilik currency was almost entirely withdrawn, and replaced by fractional mejidie; a large proportion of the beshlik has also been withdrawn, but the metallik has not been touched.
The standard of the altilik is about 0.440 fine, that of the beshlik is 0.185 to 0.225 fine, that of the metallik is 0.170 fine.