Author Topic: Maldives, 4 Lariat 1902/1320 Silver Coins  (Read 397 times)

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Offline sealladh58

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Maldives, 4 Lariat 1902/1320 Silver Coins
« on: May 03, 2018, 05:53:17 PM »
On 28 April a topic was started on the subject of "Modern coins of the Maldives".  During the latter posts the thread wandered far off  the original subject onto the matter of the off-metal coins struck in 1902/1320.  I promised to start a new topic on that subject.

As I stated the 4 lariat 1902/1320 bronze issues were struck by local craftsmen in Malé.  They are fairly common and come with either a plain or a crude reeded edge.  The off-metal silver coins are extremely hard to find, and I only know of four specimens anywhere, all from the same pair of dies.  Two are in major museums in the UK.  A collector friend has one and I have recently acquired the fourth specimen.  The latter two specimens  are definitely struck in silver, as I arranged for both to be tested by X-Ray Fluorescence (XFR).  They both have very similar compositions of 92% silver and 8% copper.  One of the UK museum specimens has a long provenance originating from Malé in about 1915.

I also mentioned that silver plated specimens struck in bronze were, however, not very hard to find.  All of these coins are from different pairs of dies to the genuine silver specimens.  It is almost certain that the silver plating was applied in more recent times, probably from the 1960s onwards.  I have one such specimen and XRF analysis shows that the composition is most definitely copper (82%) with just a relatively small amount of silver (about 13%).

I posted pictures of my silver specimen.

Although the design of the silver and bronze and silver plated coins are very similar one fact can be used to distinguish between the two types.  While the bronze and silver plated specimens have an average weight of 3.93g, the known silver strikes have an average weight of 2.51g.  Also the silver coins are noticeably thinner than the bronze specimens.

Although some specimens feature a crude reeded edge they are much rarer than the plain edge types.

I have attached pictures of three coins in my collection, each showing part of the edge.  The top coin is the genuine silver strike.  The middle coin is a bronze specimen, and the bottom coins is a silver plated specimen from the same pair of dies as the bronze coin.  Only the silver plated specimen has the reeded edge, although there is some evidence of reeding on the genuine silver coin.
 :-[
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 03:15:57 PM by sealladh58 »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: 4 Lariat 1902/1320 Silver Coins
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 08:08:56 AM »
Thank you, sealladh. An important post. For those who have no access to non-destructive analysis, the weights you mention are indispensable.

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