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Palembang tin pitis

Started by Pellinore, September 28, 2020, 12:05:08 AM

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Some years ago, I bought a number of these coins. They were issued in the early 19th century during the last years of the Sultanate of Palembang, Sumatra. Its last sultan before the Dutch took over was Mahmud Badaruddin II (1804-1821). I can't read this coin, but it is quite beautiful I think.

20 mm, 0.97 gr. The metal is tin mixed with lead, don't know the name for this alloy.
-- Paul



Dear Paul, your coin:
Malay peninsula (Palembang), no date, Tin, 1 Pitis, Palembang mint (1758-1776 AD).
Jawi text around coin:
ضر(ب) في بلد فلمبنغ (فاليمباغ) دار (الاس) لام , Zarb fi bilad Palembang dar al-Islam.
Undated type with fi written as upright ligature (with dots below).
Palembang ( فاليمباغ ) is the capital city of the Indonesian province of South Sumatra. Palembang is the second most populous city in Sumatra, after Medan, the ninth most populous city in Indonesia.

Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".


Quote from: Pellinore on September 28, 2020, 12:05:08 AM
The metal is tin mixed with lead, don't know the name for this alloy.

Tin and zinc are very alike and the combination of zinc with traces of other metals is quite common in East Asia coinage. It is known as tutenag in English. Take into account that even today, Indonesia is the world's largest tin ore producer and the second largest tin producer (after China). Perhaps, the Chinese who cast these coins just replaced the zinc in tutenag with tin.

Tin is often found together with lead, which is removed in the refining process. I suspect that the lead is a trace metal, rather than an addition mixed in. If so, it would be best to call the metal tin, as is done throughout numismatic literature.

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