Author Topic: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham  (Read 1566 times)

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Offline capnbirdseye

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Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« on: March 15, 2016, 12:21:42 PM »
Ticket reads as Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, Balkategin governer of Tokhareistan, caliph al-qadir, Anderabah, AH 389


This is a huge coin, 49mm won't fit my coin trays  :D

9.62g
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 07:08:51 PM by THCoins »
Vic

Offline THCoins

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Re: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 06:08:31 PM »
Very impressive specimen Vic !
But you don't answer the obvious question: Why so big ?
It seems impractical to carry these coasters for trade. They are prone to be clipped by some vandal. I wonder what was the advantage of this design. One factor might be that these very large coins are more difficult to counterfeit, but i don't know if that's even part of the full answer.
(Note: the weight misses a decimal point  ;))
 

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2016, 06:33:47 PM »
It is the largest coin in my collection,it's slightly bigger than average & it has to sit on a tray as it won't fit any of the spaces  :o I've no idea why they made them so big because nowhere else  in the Islamic world did the same did they?  there is a sword bottom of left image


typo fixed for the weight although it would have been good if it did weigh 962g  ;D
Vic

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 10:15:35 PM »
There are more types with a broad, empty ring on the outside and you don't see them clipped, ergo they went by weight. That makes it likely that they were used in quantity for large payments, perhaps packaged together, so they just needed weighing. They would be only one phase away from metal bars with marks where they could be cut into small change. Pure speculation, but I think a thin flan would be easier to re-melt, necessary if you want "foreign currency", e.g. in Byzantium, Kiev or China.

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

Offline Manzikert

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Re: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 10:28:23 PM »
Mine from the same pair of dies, SNAT XIVc, 214-217 (same dies); A 1608 (c) Album says the big hoard may have contained 30,000 coins, and that up to 30% may have been this type. Mitchiner AN 16 (citing 109 specimens)

Mahmud I ibn Sebuktegin [with Mansur ibn Nuh as overlord and Balkatekin as governor of Tokharestan], 10.22 gm, 48.5 mm, so youve pipped me by 0.5 mm  ;D

Alan

Offline EWC

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Re: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2016, 09:56:28 AM »
Hello Alan,

If I recall it correctly we attended a talk on these by Michael Mitchiner in 1976 perhaps we sat in the row behind Steve Album?

As best I recall Mitchiner put up two key facts:

1)  They were struck in semi-refined silver (40% lead?) at hillbilly mints close to the actual silver mines

2)  At the time there was a big demand for silver in the Viking West

1) seems to me the important point.  As Peter suggests, these were more or less a commodity semi-refined silver new from the mine.  The state probably levied a tax on the production, and these were stamped to represent authorised (tax paid) commodity silver, passed in bulk by weight.  I heard next to no evidence they circulated as coin

2) does not convince me.  Islamic demand for silver up to 800 AD was surely much greater than Viking demand later, - but they were not issued then.  Anyhow -  the flow to Scandinavia seems to have stopped around 940 AD, long before the pieces you show

Islam outside Afghanistan was tending to hoard rather than circulate silver around 1000 that may have something to do with it I spose

Rob

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2016, 10:39:59 AM »
I thought the coins looked rather base silver so presumed 40% lead would account for it  :o
Vic

Offline Manzikert

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Re: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2016, 11:59:18 AM »
In the latest edition of his checklist Album quotes the silver content at Andarabah as c.85-97% up to 368 H, 75-80% from 374-378, and 55-75% 385-390 H. Unfortunately he doesn't give a reference so I don't know what the alloying metal might be, but if crudely refined then lead might certainly be a major component of it.

Yes EWC, I remember that conference, where I think we were the only two non-academics, though the two things I remember most clearly were the couple of Saudi delegates in the row behind translating unpointed Kufic at sight, and the complex process of people asking questions of Ibrahim Artuk which his wife had to translate into German (which he understood) and then the process being reversed to give the questioner his answer in English.

Alan

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Ghaznavid,Mahmud ibn Sebuktegin, huge multiple Dirham
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2016, 01:09:08 PM »
All of which reminds me of the two French girls, trying to order breakfast in London from a Polish waitress with a very different accent. I translated the order from French to English for an American fellow guest who spoke Russian to the waitress...

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