Author Topic: Coins of the Krim Khanate  (Read 3260 times)

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Offline Afrasi

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Coins of the Krim Khanate
« on: February 02, 2015, 10:26:06 PM »
This heavy coin is 1 Kirmys or 15 Aqche, year AH 1191, reignal year 5. I havn't looked at these pieces for decades. Now I see the flan of this coin looks cast. The flan is of uneven thickness being thinnest at those parts, where the legend is invisible. Were cast flans usual for these pieces? I have another much heavier kirmys with reignal year 4, whose edge is diagonal milled.

43.24 g
45.4 mm
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 10:49:51 PM by Afrasi »

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 10:55:25 PM »
A monster coin!  do you think it was die struck but on a cast flan?
Vic

Offline Afrasi

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 11:00:44 PM »
Yes, I think this coin was die struck by hand on a cast flan, but I am not sure. It reminds me to the large copper coins of Alexandria under the Ptolemaians and Romans, which were struck on cast flans, too.
These Kirmys refer to the Russian 5-Kopeks-pieces.

Here the scan of the AH 1191 Y 4, which is even heavier. See the diagonal milled edge. This one looks machine struck. "German"/"Medal" die orientation.

62.32 g
45.1 mm

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 12:20:18 AM »
That is some very nice die engraving.   To my eye the flan of the first piece looks like it came from a rolled sheet.   The thin area with rough edge would be where they tried to get a flan too close to the sheet edge.   That broken edge does not look like a sprue to me.   The surface of the area not struck up would have a different texture if the flan was cast.   But it has the same pressed-down look as the well struck areas.

The first piece looks punched-out at its edge.    A cast flan should show both edge seam, if it isn't tooled, and sprue.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 12:33:50 AM by bgriff99 »

Offline Afrasi

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 02:33:05 AM »
Many thanks for your reply! What is the meaning of "sprue"? I didn't found it in my dictionary ...  :-[

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2015, 03:13:33 AM »
Many thanks for your reply! What is the meaning of "sprue"? I didn't found it in my dictionary ...  :-[
A sprue (properly) is the stub left on a casting from the opening to let metal into the mold.   On a coin it may be a shallow stub, or a broken off spot.   On cash coins it is typically filed off, but not always perfectly.   Cash coins have regular positions for the sprue, and are often found with two on opposite sides.   That's part of verifying authenticity.

Offline Manzikert

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2015, 10:37:00 AM »
My rather battered example below, blank definitely punched from strip, not cast, with flan clip lower left, crude diagonal milling.

Alan

Offline EWC

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2015, 11:22:25 AM »
A speculative point – but it looks to me like these large coppers were probably inspired by the big 18th century Russian Issues – which in turn were perhaps associated with an attempt to fully monitise copper by the Swedes?

Literature I looked at seemed to suggest this was primarily driven by Swedish self interest – they had lots of copper.

I have doubts about this.  Seems too simplistic to me.  In a largely forgotten piece by the Irish philosopher Berkeley – 1736 as I recall - he calls for the abolition of gold and silver coins and its replacement by copper and paper along Chinese lines.  It has nothing to do with Irish copper mining – he seems to want to counter the deflationary tendency of precious metal use, and thinks a Chinese style copper/paper currency would create a more prosperous society.  In this it seems to me he was attacking Swift’s recommendation, and Swift’s politics

Anyone looked at early Swedish/Russian thought on this? (or Krim!)

BTW – Berkeley seems to think the paper should be negotiable mortgage backed securities  - but cautions that steps should be taken to prevent any  bubble in mortgage values  (in 1736…..)

Offline Afrasi

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2015, 11:50:56 AM »
A speculative point – but it looks to me like these large coppers were probably inspired by the big 18th century Russian Issues ...

That's what I said in answer 2.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2015, 01:08:55 PM »
BTW – Berkeley seems to think the paper should be negotiable mortgage backed securities  - but cautions that steps should be taken to prevent any  bubble in mortgage values  (in 1736…..)

The longest series of price stats in history is the Keizersgracht series, continuous stats on the value of houses situated on Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. The series, starting in 1585, was described and analysed by Prof. Piet Eichholtz. Taking a few short cuts, Eichholtz' conclusions are that this particular piece of real estate was extremely stable during long periods, punctuated by "short" periods (around five years) of rapid price increase. The general pattern could be applied to much shorter real estate series and is now generally acknowledged by real estate investors.

Mortgage-backed securities would be a stable support for a currency, provided that you can prevent leverage, but it would be economically lethal in periods of rapid price rise: just when you want to decrease the money supply, the market creates space for a large increase.



On the copper economy: both Sweden (Stora kopparberg, the largest copper mine in the world) and Russia (Barnaul, Krasnoyarsk - Siberia, the second largest copper producer in the world) produced more copper than could be used in the economy, so they had a vested interest in producing heavy copper coins (detail: Siberian copper contains significant traces of silver, making it incomparable to Swedish copper.) Swedish ships carried copper plates as ballast with instructions to sell wherever the price was above what the king of Sweden thought proper.

In other words, a copper-based money system would have been a Swedish toy. Not acceptable for other countries and not suitable in a theoretical economic sense as money must have a degree of scarcity to be acceptable (see the fate of cauri shells).

Fun detail: in theory, the Spanish currency was copper-based, as its basic unit was the copper maravedi. In practice, the kings of Spain held the weight and silver content of the 8 reales coin as constant as they could in order to retain their international market share, so copper coins were devaluing. Spanish countermarked coins may be among the very worst coins in European history.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline EWC

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2015, 02:02:47 PM »
In other words, a copper-based money system would have been a Swedish toy. Not acceptable for other countries

But that is just the  standard argument that I already pointed up - I am not convinced by it.  Gold and silver are much more localised globally  than copper but that hardly seems to matter when it comes to acceptability.  Britain did not stop using silver in the 16th century when Spain dug up loads of it.   Britain had loads of copper (North Wales) - and knew about it - but seems to have ignored it and carried on importing silver..  The interests of the merchant classes seem to me just as likely an explanation as the interests of the Swedes here

and not suitable in a theoretical economic sense as money must have a degree of scarcity to be acceptable (see the fate of cauri shells).

A recent paper I have seen takes the line that cowries were an excellent local  currency, displaced by self serving EIC officials. 

I do not know the answers to these questions - but I feel they are rather less clear cut than you make out




Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coins of the Krim Khanate
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2015, 07:49:12 PM »
You are taking me back to my university day books, only to discover I probably dumped them long ago. Much of this is memory.

Anything (including copper) can serve as money, but will it? Obvious requirements are sturdiness, not spoiling, small and having a combination of intrinsic value and trust.

Cauri is light and doesn't spoil, but it is fragile. It was well accepted until huge quantities were found (in Africa?) which undermined trust, while it had little intrinsic value.

Copper is sturdy, doesn't spoil, it has an intrinsic value. Its weak point is weight. This makes it suitable for small change, but not for high denominations. The Chinese had designated servants carrying their strings.
Silver is all what copper is, but also packs more value per weight, making it more suitable for medium sized denominations that would have been too heavy if done in copper, too small if done in gold.

The Chinese secret for high denominations is paper, denominated in strings, obviating the use of gold and silver (sycee were mostly bragging pieces).

But still, you can design a currency based on copper: you set the basic unit's weight, composition and value and express the other units in terms of the copper unit, just as the Chinese priced their paper money in strings. Now, if you have copper, silver and gold in circulation and a foreign power controls the copper price, you'd use anything else, but not copper.

Silver was popular partly because of a tradition in which gold was scarce. Moreover, the Spaniards did not control the silver price even when the silver production of the Spanish empire was very high. One reason was that Spain ran a very large trade deficit with the rest of the world. Another reason was that the silver mined was scarcely enough to cover economic growth in bad times and ran behind in good times, while there was never a lack of copper.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.