ANCIENT COINS OF THE SILK ROAD: A 20 BRONZE AND COPPER COIN COLLECTION

ANCIENT COINS OF THE SILK ROAD: A 20 BRONZE AND COPPER COIN COLLECTION


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Directory: Traditional Collectibles: Numismatics: Coins: Ancient: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1340051

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The Silk Road is not a single road, but rather a network of routes extending from the Far East to Europe, including such storied cities as Alexandria, Tyre, Samarkand, Herat, and Xanadu. One cannot overstate the impact of the Silk Road on the cultural exchange between East and West. Trade along these routes—essentially a highway between two of the world’s largest empires (China and Rome) running through a third (Persia)—contributed to the cultural development of China, India, Persia, Arabia, north Africa, and all of Europe.

The Silk Road became more than crude caravan tracks in the second century BCE, when Zhang Qian, an emissary of the Han Dynasty, made the trek across the deserts of western China and through the Hindu Kush mountains to what is today Afghanistan. Learning of new lands to the west, he convinced Emperor Wu to expand Chinese trade routes. By the time Marco Polo set upon his famous journey to Asia in 1271, the Silk Road was at its peak. Only when Vasco de Gama became the first explorer to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in the late fifteenth century did the Silk Road’s influence begin to wane, as Europeans traders took to the quicker, less dangerous sea route to India.

The name “Silk Road,” coined by the German academic Ferdinand von Richthofen a century and a half ago, is somewhat inaccurate. Silk was not a major commodity until it became fashionable in Rome, where it was worth its weight in gold (The Roman Senate, in fact, tried to ban the material, on the grounds that its purchase was depleting the imperial gold reserves); by then, the Silk Road had been operating for centuries. Indeed, the highway facilitated the exchange of almost anything: nephrite jade and lapis lazuli and silk, music and art and poetry, Christianity and Buddhism and Islam. Genghis Khan used the route in his conquests of the early 1200s, and it was the Silk Road traders who carried the Black Death to Asia in the 1347.

The decline of the Silk Roadwas marked. The once-bustling streets of the Silk Road are empty and the cities that sprung up along the route are ruins buried in the sand. Many of these ancient places are known only by the coins they left behind.

1.China Qin Ban Liang Cash Coin 2nd-4th BCE

Country: China

Year of Issue: 475-221 BCE

Ruler: Mixed

Denomination: Cash

Material: Copper

Weight: 1.7-3 g

Diameter: 22.3-25 mm

Thickness: 0.05-1.2 mm

Obverse: Chinese characters

Reverse: Blank


2.Bactria: AE Squares, 2nd-1st BCE

Country: Northern India

Year of Issue: 160-145 BCE

Ruler: Mostly Meander

Denomination: AE Square Chalkos

Material: Bronze

Weight: 2-8.8 g

Diameter: Sm: 11 x 10.58 mm/ Lg. 24 x 24.5 mm

Thickness: 0.29-0.35 mm

Obverse: Head of Elephant

Reverse: Club, flanked by monograms


3.Judea Leptons, 1st BCE

Country: Judea

Year of Issue: 103-76 BCE

Ruler: Alexander Jannaeus

Denomination: Leptons

Material: Bronze

Weight: .9-1.2 g

Diameter: 12.5-15 mm

Thickness: 1.5-1.7 mm

Obverse: Star

Reverse: Anchor


4.Sunga ½ Karshapana 1st BCE-1st CE

Country: India

Year of Issue: 150 BCE-100 CE

Ruler: Mixed rulers

Denomination: ½ Karshapana

Material: Bronze

Weight: 1-4.4 g

Diameter: 15 x 13 mm

Thickness: 3-4.3 mm

Obverse: Elephant and symbols

Reverse: Cross, three arched hill, railed tree


5.China Hsin Huo Quan Cash Coin, 1st CE

Country: China

Year of Issue: 7-22 CE

Ruler: Hsin Huo Quan

Denomination: Cash

Material: Copper

Weight: 1.9-3.4 g

Diameter: 21-23.5 mm

Thickness: 1.2-2 mm

Obverse: Two fish

Reverse: Blank


6.India Kushan Drachm, 1st-2nd CE

Country: India

Year of Issue: 30-190 CE

Ruler: Kushan Kings

Denomination: Drachm

Material: Bronze

Weight: 5.3-12.8 g

Diameter: 20.5-23.5 mm

Thickness: 2.56-4.5 mm

Obverse: King in Kushan dress

Reverse: Deity


7.India, Narwar Kakini Fraction, 3rd-4th CE

Country: India

Year of Issue: 200-340 CE

Ruler: Naga Kings

Denomination: Kakini

Material: Bronze

Weight: .5-2 g

Diameter: 7.5-9 mm

Thickness: 1.57-3.5 mm

Obverse: Bull standing left

Reverse: Brahmin script


8.India: Kushanshah Drachm, 3rd-4th CE

Country: India

Year of Issue: 230-360 CE

Ruler: Kushanshah Kings

Denomination: Drachm

Material: Bronze

Weight: 1.6-4 g

Diameter: 14.8-18 mm

Thickness: 1.6-3.5 mm

Obverse: King with headdress

Reverse: Zoroastrian sun worship


9.Rome Empire Nummus, 4th CE

Country: Rome

Year of Issue: 364-375 CE

Ruler: Valentinian I

Denomination: Nummus

Material: Bronze

Weight: 1.7-3.4 g

Diameter: 13.8-19.5 mm

Thickness: 1.3-2.1 mm

Obverse: Portrait of Valentinian I

Reverse: Various military and religious themes.

Please see images for description of all coins.