INDONESIA DEMAK 1475-1518 tin pitis


INDONESIA, DEMAK, Pengaran Al-Patah, 1475-1518, pitis, no date, Obverse: SULTAN ABU PENGARAN AL ‘ADIL, Reverse: blank, tin, 19mm, 1.52g, R19, bent, then straightened, VF+

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Demak was an Islamic sultanate on the northern coast of Java. It was formed with the assistance of a Muslim Chinese admiral in the 15th century and was vassal to Majopahit until the fall of that Empire until it became independent in 1478. For a while the Sultanate expanded its control as far as coastal Sumatra. After a while the usual dynastic succession struggles ruined the economy, and it had to submit to foreigners.

The 10,000 islands of Indonesia are home to people speaking more than 700 languages. Bureaucratic governments are known from about 2000 years ago. Coins were struck at least1000 years ago.

Coin collectors tend to be geographically oriented. If they are not patriotically collecting the coins of only their own country, or sentimentally some other country, then perhaps they will collect a region. The Pacific islands that start with Borneo and progress eastward to Hawaii and Easter Island are culturally very varied and spread across an expanse of water three times the size of Asia. Size of these islands ranges from Australia to Nauru. Population of Indonesia 1/4 billion, Tonga100,000. Coins were made in Indonesia1000 years ago if not earlier.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.