Author Topic: Islamic coin: Ala-al-Din Muhammad Khwarezmshah Jital  (Read 149 times)

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Online Treverer

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Islamic coin: Ala-al-Din Muhammad Khwarezmshah Jital
« on: November 12, 2019, 12:20:17 AM »
Hello,
please help me in identifying this coin. Thanks!
AE or BI
2,93 g
15,9 mm
« Last Edit: Today at 03:37:15 PM by THCoins »

Offline THCoins

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Re: Islamic coin
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2019, 08:15:58 AM »
Hello Treverer, and welcome to WorldOfCoins !

Your coin is a "bull's eye" Jital issued under the name of Khwarezmshah Ala-al-Din Muhammad (1200-1220AD).
The circular margin text on one side reads: "As-Sultan al-Azam, Abu l'Fath".
The text on the other side: “Muhammad bin/al-Sultan/Tekish”

It is in a nice condition for the type. These are often struck partially off center or worn flat.
For reference: Tye#255.

Online Treverer

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Re: Islamic coin
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2019, 08:58:52 AM »
THCoins
Thank you very much for your warm welcome and great help.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Islamic coin
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2019, 06:20:32 PM »
Although the mintplace of your coin is unknown it was probably minted in the Zamin Dawar region in Afghanistan (near the city of Kandahar). It is one of a series of stylistically closely related coins. In the Tye catalog these are refered to as mint "Y".
The first one below is similar to yours, but the obverse and reverse texts have switched places (Tye#254).
The second seems to have been made just using the dies of the plain text sides of the former two, discarding the bull's eye design on the obverse (Tye#284).

Online Treverer

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Re: Islamic coin
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2019, 09:11:21 PM »
Hello THCoins
thanks a lot for your additional information and remarks on my coin's mint place and for showing me these nice varieties.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Islamic coin
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:04:18 AM »
Highly interesting, TH! It suggests a de-centralised minting network, guided by general indications (Muhammad bin Tekesh is the new big guy now) leading to a minimal change in a traditionally produced type (OK, replace the name of Tekesh bin Arslan by Mohammed bin Tekesh), rather than a centralised system (This drawing shows what the coins must henceforth look like; their weight should be x, their fineness y).

Muhammad II comes across as a ruthless, murderous type with little patience with people arguing with him. If this is the way it happened, it must have been a tradition he was either happy with or hadn't had time to break yet.

The de-centralised minting is in line with what happened under the Mongols: no interest from the rulers and cities eventually coining traditional types with new names.

Numismatically, it means dealing with areas, each with their own standards, that may or may not coincide with a political division.

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

Offline THCoins

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Re: Islamic coin
« Reply #6 on: Today at 08:29:44 AM »
Yes Peter, fully agree. All the evidence shows that there were (clusters of) cities who managed their monetary affairs semi-autonomous. As Rob Tye suggested there even may have been a functional regional banking system at the time.
With the coins in this thread i do not even think finenes of precious metals was regulated. These coins hardly contain any silver anymore. They are largely a fiat currency.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Islamic coin
« Reply #7 on: Today at 10:14:15 AM »
Thank you. This gives some depth to the designation of "empire" so many rulers used. If their subjects defined themselves in terms of language, history (in other words clanship), culture, including standards and money and their lands housed several clans that recognised them, they were indeed Khaqans, overlording Ilkans, their local reps. Often enough, Karakhanid coins refer to both the issuer (often designated "governor" in coin catalogues) and his overlord.

I cannot imagine that these clans (for lack of a better word) did not trade, so there must have been money changers. In European history, such money changers were local (Lombards), subject to local regulation, not the merchants themselves. They ranged from glorified jewellers, living mainly off clipping to veritable money managers. It may have been different in Asia.

The question arises at what point a money manager becomes a bank. One extreme is Barcelona, where local regulation said a money dealer who went broke was to be beheaded in front of his shop. Clearly, the authorities did not accept deficit financing. However, that is exactly what makes a bank. The other extreme are the Fuggers, Jacques Coeur and later dynasties, who held liquid reserves against claims, but could provide more money in credit than they possessed in capital. They are bankers. I know nothing about money changers in Khwarezmia. What I do know about the much later Indian shroffs and the history of the Habib bank leads me to believe that money changers in general were more like jewellers than like bankers. There is one important point of doubt, though: the hundis, bills of exchange. They would have the potential to become a banker's business. However, I do not have the impression that this potential was realised.

I think the standard to judge pre-Law "fiat currency" by is China. The cash coins were regarded as full value, except for seigniorage (as in Europe), but the seigniorage was so large that the cash coins amounted to fiat currency. To maintain faith in the currency, it is necessary to have strict control over the money supply. In a system where the production is de-centralised, it is quite improbable that a common fiat-currency system can be maintained. However, it is possible - and probably useful for purchases of daily necessities - to produce low value coins. The seigniorage on these coins could be high, as in China, as long as there was trust that they could at a minimum be readily used for payments in the area where they were issued. Locally, their production could be controlled by minting on demand (for a fee) from merchants and frequent re-coining, to adapt to periods of diminishing demand. In other words, in pre-Law times, there is no sharp distinction between "fiat currency" and "full value" currency. Coins were not "full value", but seigniorage could vary from "minting cost only" to "the maximum of what the market will bear".

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