Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Ancient and Old Currencies

Gold ingots and slabs have been used for trade.

A golden necklace made with coins is displayed at Penang Museum.

Countries have use their own currencies - as paper notes and coins. Among the ancient and early currencies were Chinese, Spanish, Dutch, Kelantanese, British Malayan and British Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The Japanese used paper money during WWII in Malaya and Singapore.


PENANG MUSEUM
http://www.penangmuseum.gov.my/
http://www.penang-traveltips.com/penang-state-museum.htm

A golden necklace made with coins. Photo from Penang Museum.


DUTCH COINS
www.museum.wa.gov.au
I bought two replica Rijks Daalder Dutch coins for AUD$3.00 each from the Western Australian Museum Shop at the Shipwreck Museum in Fremantle on 11 February 2013 @11.19 am, from its operator named Michael (Rec# 3-01-043250).

Front surface shows a man with a sword and shield-soldier?
Text at periphery: CON FOE . FHL . GEL  +  MO . AKG . PRO.
Rear text: Pewter replica Rijks Daalder 1611. From the wreck of 'Batavia' 1629. W.A. Maritime Museum.

SPANISH COINS
www.museum.wa.gov.au
Spanish coins were preferred over other coinages as they contained higher silver content. Thus, Spanish coins dominated trade at the ports of call of the European merchant ships. Spanish dollars were mentioned in the Will (Wasiat) of the Indian Muslim headman, Cauder Mohideen of Masjid Kapitan Keling. The Spanish coins below were photographed at the Shipwreck Museum in Fremantle on 11 February 2013. They were used between 1754 and 1809. I bought a Spanish 8 real Segovia 1618 pewter coin replica from the wreck of the Gilt Dragon 1656 for AUD$3.00.

On museum display, Spanish silver dollars 1754-1809
Front view of the Spanish 8 real from Segovia 1618.
Text at periphery: HISPANIA . RVM . REX . 1618.
Rear view of the Spanish 8 real pewter coin. Rear text: Pewter replica, Spanish piece of eight, Segovia 1618. From the wreck of the Gilt Dragon 1656, W.A. Maritime Museum.
Left: Spanish 8 real coin of Segovia 1618 from the wreck of Gilt Dragon 1656.
Right: Dutch Rijks Daalder coin of 1611 from the wreck of Batavia 1629.


PITIS KELANTAN
Pitis Kelantan was used in the 1800s before the British ruled Kelantan and before the Indian Mercantile Bank was established in Kelantan.

I bought several pitis Kelantan (coins) long ago from a Malay lady at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. They are replica coins and were made in Terengganu. They were brought to the main market in Kelantan to be sold as collectors' items. The pitis Kelantan costs RM5 each.

5 coins of the pitis Kelantan collection. One side of the coins has an old man (Prophet Noah/Nabi Nuh), a ship (bahtera Nabi Nuh/Noah's ark) or the Quranic text Yaasin repeated seven times.
The crow (front, top coin) and 7 Yaasin (back, lower coin) designs from the pitis Kelantan collection. This could be from Aesop's fables where the crow filled up the bottle with pebbles so the water level rose and it drank the water.
3 coins from the pitis Kelantan collection. Top row shows the front side of each coin. From left: a boy with 2 spears, an old man with a cane and Kaabah. Bottom row shows the opposite side of each coin above. From left: A big coin with 7 Yaasin, a smaller coin with 7 Yaasin, and a tin coin with a stack of 7 Yaasin.
3 coins from the pitis Kelantan collection. Top row shows the back side of each coin. From left: a sword, 7 Yaasin and a tin coin with stacked Yaasin. Bottom row shows the opposite side of each coin above. From left: a boy with 2 spears, an old man with a cane, and Kaabah.
Top: Two coins showing similar designs on the front - a boy holding 2 spears. Bottom: The rear shows one coin with a 7 Yaasin and the other shows a sword with Yaasin text beneath it.
3 coins of the pitis Kelantan collection. From left: Noah's ark and Prophet Noah on the last two coins.
5 coins of the pitis Kelantan collection. It is unknown why all the figures are either holding spears or a cane/walking stick.


BRITISH MALAYAN CURRENCY
When the British introduced their currency in Malaya, the Kelantan pitis was put out of use in Kelantan.


$1 note; front (top) and back (bottom)
$5 note
$10 note

BRITISH HONG KONG BANKING CURRENCY

A Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation $25 note in Penang.
Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in Penang in the old days. Photo from Penang Museum.
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in Penang today.

JAPANESE MONEY
The Japanese money had no value after WWII in Malaya. As such it was called 'banana money'.


Banana money. Photo from Penang Museum.

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