Saray’s silver dangs of Juchid khan of 15-th century with name Muhammad

  • Yuriy Zayonchkovskiy Kharkiv National University of Construction and Architecture 
Keywords: numismatics, Golden Horde, dang, Ulugh-Mukhamad, Küchük Muhammad, Saray, Saray al-Jadida, Saray al-Mahrusa


Progress has been achieved in recent decades in the study of the coins of the Golden Horde at the final stage of its existence. However, the late emissions of Juchid coin of 15-th century are still insufficiently studied. This prevents the full use of numismatic sources for the adequate reconstruction of political events of that turbulent time. The paper is aimed at the publication and preliminary analysis of the main types of Saray’s silver dangs of Juchid khan of 15-th century with name Muhammad. These issues are very poorly represented in scientific articles: of nine types analyzed in the paper only one was properly published with graphic reconstruction of dies. For the first time dangs, which are the subject of this article, were mentioned (without graphic reconstructions) in the famous work of Hh.M. Frähn “Recensio numorum Muhammedanorum”, published in 1826. In A.K. Markov’s “Inventory Catalog of Muslim Coins of the Imperial Hermitage” (1896) there is no mention of the Saray’s dangs of either UlughMuhammad or Muhammad b. Timur. In 2004 V.P.Lebedev and V.B. Klokov had information about 8 coins, which are the subject of this article, and attributed these dangs to the issues of Ulugh-Muhammad. Enlarged photographic images of silver coins with metrology (most of which are first introduced into scientific circulation) of Juchid khan of 15-th century with name Muhammad are presented in the article. Nine types of late Juchid silver dangs with the name and titles of khan Muhammad on the obverse and the designation of mint on the reverse as Saray, Saray al-Jadida, Saray al-Mahrusa are published. Reconstruction and translation of monetary legends, as well as preliminary analysis of emissions, are given. The place of issue on the coins is indicated as a Saray (without the epithet or with al-Jadida or al-Mahrusa). But this fact alone does not allow to state with complete confidence that these dangs were minted there. With regard to the silver emissions of the XIV century, it is proved that the coins in some cases weren’t minted where it is written on their reverses. A similar situation could have take place in the XV century. According to the information reported to the author, the coins published in the paper were unearthed on vast spaces that once were the territory of the Golden Horde – from Moldova to Siberia without any apparent concentration in one region, which may not be surprising paying attention to the rarity of the coins. At the present level of our knowledge, the place of minting of these coins can not be reliably established. It can be affirmed that most of the silver dangs, that are the subject of this paper, have a weight in the range from 0.66 to 0.96 g. None of the published coins carries the date, which creates the problem of dating these issues. Taking into account all facts, the author thinks that it is possible to date most of the reproduced dangs as 822-the mid of 830-s AH. Who was that Muhammad-khan, on whose behalf the published coins were issued? Historiography was dominated until recently by the viewpoint formulated by V.P. Lebedev and V.P. Klokov, that in the case of different Muhammads an understanding was already reached on the issue how they called themselves on coins: Ulugh-Muhammad – simply Muhammad, Boraq – Muhammad-Boraq, Küchük-Muhammad – Muhammad b. Timur. It was established on the numismatic material by Yuriy Zayonchkovskiy that on dangs of Küchük-Muhammad his name can be written as Muhammad b. Timur or simply as Muhammad. Thus, the absence of nasab on a coin is not a sufficient basis for classifying a coin for Ulugh-Mukhammad. In view of what has been said, it can be stated that published dangs can’t be automatically attributed to  UlughMukhamad’s emissions. The proposed article is an important step to make attribution of published coins more precise. The author hopes that a full introduction of these interesting dangs into the scientific study can activate the discovery and research of relevant numismatic sources, will allow to find the missing answers and, if necessary, to specify (and possibly correct) the theses presented in the paper.


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Author Biography

Yuriy Zayonchkovskiy, Kharkiv National University of Construction and Architecture 

Yuriy Zayonchkovskiy, Associate Professor at the Department of Ukrainian Studies, Kharkiv National University of Construction and Architecture 

How to Cite
Zayonchkovskiy, Y. (2017). Saray’s silver dangs of Juchid khan of 15-th century with name Muhammad. The Ukrainian Numismatic Annual, (1), 75-85.