Images of cats from the British Museum collection, £9.99
Diameter: 10.000 mm (largest
Weight: 1.900 g (largest coin)
Gift of W.L.S. Barrett
Coins and Medals
Hoard of gold coins and scrap gold
Thailand, 9th century AD
Any scrap of gold will do
Between the sixth and the ninth century, the Mon peoples of Dvaravati in central Thailand issued extensive coinage, mostly in silver, but also in other metals. One of the predominant designs was the conch shell.
This hoard of coins and scrap gold was found on the coast of Thailand. The coins from the hoard feature the distinctive conch shell design, and date to the ninth century. They were found together with a small leaf ornament, gold beads, fragments of wire and other scrap gold, and a series of bosses and flowers made from gold granules. The combination of scrap gold and coins in the hoard suggests that the gold was being used as bullion in the lucrative maritime and spice trade of the region.
R.S. Wicks, Money, markets and trade in ea (Ithaca, N.Y., Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1992)