Author Topic: Karakhanid coin strips  (Read 267 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26 481
Karakhanid coin strips
« on: May 08, 2017, 12:38:45 PM »
I came across a surprising exhibit in the coin department of the museum of the Ark in Bukhara.  The label of the two strips speaks for itself.

What is amazing about this is the technology used. The strips were of equal thickness throughout, suggesting that around 1100 AD, the Karakhanids had mechanical rolling equipment and machines to cut perfectly round flans from a strip as well as a technique to strike perfectly centred coins. The oldest European mint with that level of technology was in Segovia (see here and here), albeit using water power. It is not clear to me if the Karakhanids used water power, but it sure looks like they were 500 years ahead of Segovia!

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

Offline THCoins

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4 606
Re: Karakhanid coin strips
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 09:24:27 PM »
Very intriguing artefacts !
Would you think the karakhanids punched and struck their coins in one blow from these ? If so that would explain why these coins are always so paper thin. That may have been the compromize they had to make because the technique probably was not yet advanced enough to make full thickness coins.

Offline capnbirdseye

  • Vic
  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5 517
Re: Karakhanid coin strips
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 10:01:47 PM »
They would have to make a special die to cut and stamp at the same time I would think, they would also have to hope the reverse die underneath the copper strip was lined up properly.
 It's hard to tell from the photo but the strips looks thicker than I would expect for paper thin Karakhanid coins, they are often brittle and can be snapped in half but that may be the result of centuries of hardening.