Author Topic: Large copper Mongol dirham of Samarkand  (Read 282 times)

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Offline Pellinore

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Large copper Mongol dirham of Samarkand
« on: May 13, 2018, 01:13:52 AM »
Not in perfect condition, but still a very presentable coin, impressively large - the size of a Morgan dollar or Napoleon 5 francs. These apparently were fiduciary dirhams because of the silver shortage of the time.

AE Chagatayid dirham, Samarkand, AH 663 (=1265 AD). Issued during the reign of Alughu (also written as Alghu, 659-664/ 1261-1266). Obv. Titles in three lines across fields; additional titles in outer margin Rev. Continuation of titles; mint and date in outer margin. 38.5 mm, 6.69 gr. 9 h. Davidovich type 10. Album B1979 (under Great Mongols).

« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 01:39:12 PM by THCoins »

Offline THCoins

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Re: Large copper Mongol dirham of Samarkand
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 01:15:51 PM »
Difficult to read, but i think very represenative of the coinage of this era and area.
There is some design similarity with the earlier Khwarezmshah coppers, but these often still show traces of silvering. Might indeed be indicative of a silver shortage which worsened over time.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Large copper Mongol dirham of Samarkand
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 08:15:35 PM »
Everything is possible, but Samarqand was a wealthy city on the silk route. The Mongols had plenty of silver. In Karakorum, their capital, the "silver tree" was a spectacular and large monument. It is known that there were extensive discussions on the best way to collect taxes in court.

If mine production had diminished, there would have been deflation, hunger and poverty, though that could have been partly compensated by depopulation, owing to Mongol cruelty. The best scenario with some credibility I can think of is an attempt to introduce the Chinese, base-metal based currency in the Mongol empire. The Mongols were certainly aware of the system, but were they sophisticated enough to understand it?

To me, it remains a puzzle.

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