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Old metal detector

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The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it. Benjamin Disraeli

find £500000 treasure

His tools is only an old metal detector but he already has find £500000 treasure. Peter Beasley, a former bricklayer, 68, digs for six hours-a-day, three days-a-week on fields close to his home in Waterlooville, Hants. Mr Beasley began the hobby 1979 when a work colleague sold his metal detector to him for £80, after he fell down a well on a dig. Within two years he was regularly finding coins and other artefact’s dating back to Roman and Norman times, most of which have been given back to the farmers who own the land as a thank you present.


Photo by Roman coins found by Mr. Beasley.

He found a solid gold Roman pendant unearthed in Hampshire about 10 years ago and it has been auctioned off for £30,000 in London. Inscribed with the letters TI CAESAR, the artefact’s is cast as a bust of the Roman emperor wearing a laurel wreath and dates back to the first Century AD. Mr. Beasley,found the jewellery in a field near Alton, in December 1999. He has found a 24K gold ring that he believe belong to a royalty in a field in Petersfield in 2008. Mr Beasley think the ring belong to Robert, the eldest son of William the conquerer, as it has his name engraved on it. He maybe will be selling the Norman ring later this year with a guide price of £80,000. His biggest sale was a haul of 250 Roman coins found in fields near Petersfield for £100,000 to the British Museum in 1996.


Photo by BBC News: Caesar gold Roman pendant

Mr Beasley said: “I just love exploring and it is all about the discovery. I came into this business as a hobby to keep me out of the house but it is serious.”

“I am fascinated by the history of our land and it is the buzz of finding something it is a great feeling to dig something up that you know is hundreds of years old. Or course I have found an awful lot of tat down the years, moles’ teeth and countless pieces of scrap metal, but you have to keep going – it is an obsession.”

He said: “The land between Chichester and Winchester is land that belonged to William the Conqueror so it is littered with potential finds.

“There are hundreds of us out there and you have to be thorough in doing your research.”

“It is really hard work, being out in all-weather when I come home I am absolutely knackered.”
He said he still rues the find that got away when he unearthed a Saxon shield, spears and a skeleton while roaming fields at Clanfield.

After a dispute with the landowner he was banned from the 15-acre site, which he believes is home to a Saxon haul of jewellery and up to 3,000 graves worth millions.

Mr Beasley has since stumbled upon another prize find, a six-inch square piece of lead discovered at the site of a Roman villa near Winchester with a grid pattern etched onto it.
He believes it acts as a map for locating estates of Roman soldiers who retired to the south of England after fighting for the empire.

He said: “I have a theory that it can help me find anything, anywhere it Europe.”

“If it was to get into the wrong hands it could have devastating effects but I am determined to use it for the good of history.”

This guy sound like a professional metal detector digger. With a £500000 treasure, he sure don’t need his pension money. But his found sound like need a lots of hardwork and determination. He has been digging treasure for 30 years, that are lots of experience. Do any Malaysian try using metal detector before to find treasure? A friend once told me that people dig old coins near Melaka river few years back.

Source: , BBC News


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Another story of a lucky man found a coins collection in his new house. Fred Murray from Winnipeg, Canada uncovered a bunch of old currency stashed in the basement ceiling of his home during a renovation project.

He found Canadian currency; ranging from regular and commemorative coins to paper money, including the 25 cent bills commonly known as shinplasters to $100 bills.

The collection also included foreign cash from Weimar Germany, 1920s China and the United States, stamps from numerous countries and clippings from Winnipeg newspapers.


Photo by CBC News: Fred Murray finds, ready to shipped for auction.

Fred Murray bought the old bungalow in Elmwood and recently decided to renovate the basement, spurred on by the federal government’s home renovation tax credit.

From older neighbours, Murray found out the house was built by a German immigrant named Albert Schmidt in the 1940s, whose identification he also found in the rafters.

He lived in the home until sometime in the 1970s. It was when he ripped out ceiling panels in the 750 square foot home’s basement that he realized he’d be supplementing that funding with some older money.

When he encountered trouble feeding an electrical wire through the ceiling, he started to remove the panels.

That’s when he found the cash and coins packed in cloth bags, pill bottles and tobacco cans.

“The oldest coin I found was from 1859. It was a penny,” Murray said.

“If it pays for the house, it’s a bonus,” said the 54-year-old.

He took his find to local collectors but said there wasn’t much interest, so he plans to send everything to an auction house in Eastern Canada.

“It’s all getting shipped off. I have no intentions of keeping it, and no one here in the city seems to be serious about it,” he said.

“So I am shipping it off to Quebec and from there it goes to Toronto. And then it will end up in an auction.”

While Murray said he knew nothing about collectible currency or stamps before his demolition find, he’s now a little more up to speed. However, he’s not interested enough to hold onto the collection and plans to ship it off this weekend to an Eastern Canada auction house. He said he has no idea what he’ll get for the collection but plans to put it right back into the renovations.

I wish I am as lucky as this man but I think there are no interest because the item is not valuable to collector.

Source: CBC News, Toronto Sun.


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Do you want to buy a house and at the same time get free gold? Not just one but 10 pieces of coins. Not just normal coins but an old one to. This sound like a scam to everyone but who know when do you get so lucky. Like this guy, Darcy Carter from Saint John, Canada who found leather purse contained 10 U.S. gold coins minted in the 1860s and ’70s. Darcy Carter was putting down hardwood flooring on the second storey of his west side home when he pulled up the top step and found the treasure.



Photo by wood TV: Coin found by Darcy Carter.




Photo by CBC News: Darcy Carter.


“It was something tucked in there, under the stair for a rainy day.”


“It was in a little coin purse that looked similar to a child’s marble bag,” he said.


“We lifted that board up and the coins were in a little sack. My wife is dreaming of her new counter top and I think she very much deserves it so that’s where the money’s going to go, into our new kitchen,” said Carter.


One of the $20 coins, which is in pristine condition, is worth about $9,000, according to an appraiser. The U.S. gold coins, called Double Eagles with the liberty head design, were minted in the 1860s and 1870s.


“There was a lot of trade that went on from the Saint John, Halifax and all our area down to the eastern United States, so that it’s not surprising that somebody might bring these back with them and tuck them away,” said Geoffrey Bell, a coin expert from Saint John.



Photo by CBC News: Coin found under this stair.


Carter hasn’t decided what he’s going to do with the antique coins yet. He said he might put them toward his renovation costs, or save them for a rainy day.After that valuable treasure found at his new home, Carter plans

to carry on the tradition by leaving a keepsake of his own behind for someone else to find. It won’t be gold though. Just a regular old quarter. He is certainly a lucky man. Who say you cannot get free gold when you bought a new house. Next time you doing some renovation to your home, make sure you check every inch of the house. Who know, it maybe your lucky day.


Do you know what happen after you don’t claimed your item from safe deposit box that you rent from bank? In United States, it will be auctioned by The State Treasurer Office. In a news I found via, State Treasurer’s Office shows off abandoned property up for auction on eBay, beginning yesterday. The items up for auction are all unclaimed property found in safe deposit boxes that has been turned over to the state by various banks. When the rent on a safe deposit box lapses, the banks will open the lock and seek to return the item to the rightful owner. If the owner cannot be found, the property is turned over to the state treasurer’s office, which takes over the search.

Photo by Republican staff Michael S. Gordon: Beatles watch.

Some of the items that will be auctioned, what looked like a beat-up quarter with a hole in it, but was actually a George Washington funeral medal issued by the Boston Masonic Lodge upon the first president’s death in 1799. A Silver Beatles watch, a gold version sold for $230,000, this version is silver but still such a historical and rare item. Under the watchful eyes of two state troopers, members of the public could look over the several cases of rare coins and paper money, jewelry, watches, and assorted knickknacks that will be put up for auction. One case on display Thursday contained about $250,000 in gold and diamonds, and officials were hoping it would being in twice that at auction.

Photo by Republican staff Michael S. Gordon: Unclaimed paper money.

James F. Roy and officials with the abandoned property division had several cases on display in the lobby of the Western Massachusetts State Office Building, 436 State St, as part of a one day stopover. From Saturday through July 1, the state hopes to auction off 2,500 lots of abandoned property, ranging in value from a few cents to as much as $70,000. Roy would like to bid on the medal, but can’t. As tangible property manager for the state treasurer’s office, Roy is not permitted to bid on anything in the auction.

What about Malaysia, are abandon safe deposit box items in Malaysia will also be auctioned? Do anyone know about this? This kind of auctioned will certainly something that I will not missed. But selling them on eBay will bring up some competitor for the bid.



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A news by BBC reported a rare piece of Falmouth Banknote produced in 1808 fetched £500 in a specialist auction on Wednesday 14th April. Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. The name Falmouth comes from the river Fal but the origin of the river’s name is unknown. In recent years these types of notes have risen in popularity and value because of their many varieties, one sold in 2004 for £540.

The bank that produced the black and white piece of currency folded just two years after its production, enhancing its rarity. It was highly sought after according to auctioneers Spink, because it was never issued and has remained in “very fine” condition. Although it was only expected to sell for between £350 and £450, two bidders at Spink in London, one in person and one via phone fought hard to obtain the piece of Cornish financial history.

Reflecting on the notes origin, auctioneer Barnaby Faul said: “All towns and cities in England used to issue their own banknotes.

“Privately-owned merchants would start up their own banks, but their notes, which were like IOUs, could only be used locally. When these local banks, like Falmouth, went bust, their notes became completely worthless.”


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This is the last post from three of Malaysia Numismatic Society (MNS) auction no.143. The auction held on 28 March 2010 at Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Malaysia National Museum, Kuala Lumpur. The auction start at 10.45am with MNS president Mr. Thenakaran Nadarajah himself as a auctioneer. Mr. Lawrence De Souza (guy sitting with the bidders card) act as a bidder for mail bidders. There are only around 45 members of the society who participated in the bidding process.


This year, the crowd are very small compare with the last auction held by this society in 2005. Only around 70 people are watching the auction session. Most of them are almost the same age with me or a bit older. I can only see two kids brought by their parents in this auction. look like, kids nowadays really doesn’t interested on coins or banknotes collecting. Most of them were really interested on video games and social network like facebook. I start my collecting at the age of 15. With all the travelling and hunting around Malaysia, it is a rare sight, looking that kids participating in this kind of hobbies. One day, we can only see this kind of stuff in the museum.


Back to the auction, I cannot stay for the full auction that day. I am also cannot take the full video of the auction. I am sorry, will try to do better next time. This is the first time I am doing a post about any auction. Look like my digital camera is a bit slow. Look like the Malaysia 10th Series RM1 CR 7204131 Ali Abul Hassan signature with a reserve price of RM1650 ended up with no single bid, there is one seller at the bourse table selling the same CR prefix banknotes at RM1150 that day. That mean, to anyone who still looking for UNC CR Ali Abul signature, you still can get it for RM1000 this year.


The Malaya $10 1941 D/60 019898 extremely fine condition and with nice number too, end up at RM850. That is consider a way cheaper then the market price. Only two bidder, make a bid on that item. Malaysia 1st Series RM100 A/1 323396 Ismail Ali’s signature end up at RM4000. The United States Replacement $1 B 00098644 notes, end price is RM50. If any of you, MNS members have the complete auction list sale price, it will be a little bit of help to send the link in here or e-mail it to me at


One suggestion to MNS committee members, it is better nowadays if live online auction been done, instead of offline sale like this. It will be a bit hard to start with the website but in the end, it will benefit the society more. Most collector are not in Kuala Lumpur. It will added transportation cost for members from Penang, Kedah, Sabah or even Sarawak come to Kuala Lumpur, simply for the auction. More people bidding, means a good and healthy auction for the society. Many people also email me asking if any website is holding auction for coins and banknotes in Malaysia. This society can help member sale their items with accurate grading and reasonable reserve price. This is also one way to promote the society to the public and make people interested on joining the society. No pun intended but right now, what I see is that this society trying to hide their activity to the public (or maybe there is no activity at all). This society exist since 1968, why not make a change? For the benefit of the society and Malaysia Numismatic.


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To anyone who haven’t read my post yesterday, this is one of 3 series of posts about a Malaysia Numismatic Society (MNS) auction day at Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Malaysia National Museum, Kuala Lumpur held on 28 March 2010. This post is about Malaysia Numismatic Society Auction No.143 viewing auction session. The viewing session start as soon as their Annual General Meeting finish at around 10.00am. A blue table tennis (ping pong) table is used for displaying the item with few of the committee members act as security to make sure anyone not running with the items on display.


There are 120 items on display for the auction that day. Items arranged according to their number in the list. All of the items came from MNS member who want to sell their collection. There are around 30 people who came and interested to view the items on auction. With most of them interested to view auction item number 1 until 20. Especially Malaysia 1st Series RM100 A/1 323396 Ismail Ali’s signature. Some even bring their UV light tools for item viewing, just to make sure what they want to buy is genuine and haven’t been washed.

It is a bit shock for me to see that members and visitors are allowed to touch the auction items. Even though the items is put in a plastic, with so many people come and touching that item, there is big probability some of the items will get folded. This for sure will effect the grading of the banknote. The viewing session going on for about 20 minutes. At that time, the place is sound like I am in a wet market. Sorry if I need to slow down the volume in the video or any of that sound came through.

Its a bit hard to take picture of the viewing session. Only the close up picture of the items came through clear and sharp at the end since I am only bring a small compact digital camera. The items viewing session ended around 10.30am. The MNS President then announce that the auction session will be starting at around 10.45am. I will post that auction session tomorrow. Just make sure you keep on coming and read them.


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A Monetary Museum in Purbalingga, Central Java claimed has a complete collection of currencies from 183 countries, largest world currency collection as reported by Jakarta Post. Inaugurated by Purbalingga Regent Triyono Budi Sasongko six months ago, the museum broke the country, or even the world, record as the museum with the largest collection of foreign currencies. The award was presented by Paulus Pangka from the Indonesian Records Museum (MURI). The Museum has been open since 18 December 2008.

Photo by Museum money collection.

This museum is located in the same complex as three other museums in Kutasari village, Kutasari district, only about 4 kilometers north of the heart of the capital of Purbalingga regency. The other museums are the Reptile Museum, the Wayang (Puppet) and Archeology Museum and the Museum of Science and Technology. The three museums, along with a nearby reptile park, were inaugurated at the end of 2009.

Prayitno, a spokesman for the Purbalingga administration, said the Monetary Museum was built on an idea from the regent, who will retire soon. “His term will end in April. He had a huge collection of foreign currencies, so the museum was constructed so that the public could enjoy his collection too,” he told the Post.

Prayitno said that Regent Triyono had collected the international currencies when he traveled to other countries. “He said every time he left the country, he would change some money and bring it home for his collection. He did it a long time ago, when he was an employee at the Home Ministry.”

Photo by Jakarta Post: A visitor looking at the collection using magnifying glass.

Triyono acknowledged that the money at the museum was his private collection. He started to collect foreign currencies more than 15 years ago. The regent, who is currently in the post for his second term, hoped that after his term ended, the currency collection could become his memorial and an educational resource for people, especially Purbalingga residents.

“I can say that the museum has the largest collection in Indonesia, and maybe in the world. That’s why it has received an award from the Records Museum (MURI) as the museum with the largest currency collection,” Triyono said recently.

He said whenever he traveled overseas he would buy foreign currency at the airport before he left for home. “I always bought foreign currency. I bought it with my own money. I enjoy collecting currency from various countries, including old coins. As my collection grew, I do not know where to keep it all, so I make the best of it by building a monetary museum,” Triyono said.

He hoped the existence of the museum would improve the tourism potential in Purbalingga.

“Before the museum was built, the number of tourists in 2008 and 2009 had reached more than 1 million in a year. Hopefully, there will be more tourist arrivals in the future,” Triyono said.


Photo by Museum money collection.


Photo by Museum antique and vintage item collection.

This is one museum I certainly want to visit. I am looking for other information about this museum but cannot find any. Look like this museum is allowing their visitor to take picture of their collection. I has seen many blogger posted their photo in the museum. It is certainly a big different in Malaysia since most museum in this country doesn’t allowed photo taken in their premise. Maybe they afraid of theft and break in or just don’t want to hire a reliable security guard.

Source: Jakarta Post,


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The “Ides of March”: a Medal of Julius Caesar assassin is shown at British Museum. This unique gold coin, minted by Caesar’s betrayer, Brutus, which may have been worn as a boastful talisman by one of the emperor’s killers. The gold coin struck by Brutus soon after the assassination of Julius Caesar on 15 March 44BC. The British Museum was first shown the coin in 1932 but couldn’t afford to buy it. Many private owners later, it has now been loaned to the museum, and will be displayed for the first time. The gold medal is on display in British Museum starting 15 March, marking the 2,054th anniversary of Julius Ceaser death.

Photo by Guardian UK: Julius Ceaser assasin medallion.


Caesar was struck down at the Senate, stabbed 23 times, in 44BC. The coin was among those issued by Caesar’s former friend and ally, Brutus, leader of the conspirators, after they fled to Greece. The coin shows the head of Brutus on one side and, on the other, two daggers and the date, Eid Mar, the Ides of March, which would forever after be regarded as unlucky. The daggers flank a pileus, a freeman’s hat, symbolising the conspirators’ insistance that in killing Caesar they were toppling a tyrant who threatened the future of the Roman republic. The coin was punched with a hole shortly after it was minted, probably so it could be worn – certainly by a supporter, conceivably by one of the conspirators.

Photo by the New York Times: Gold coin that expert believe is fake

The swaggering imagery displayed on the coin was already famous in antiquity. In the second century AD, the Roman historian Cassius Dio wrote: “Brutus stamped upon the coins which were being minted in his own likeness and a cap and two daggers, indicating by this and by the inscription that he and Cassius had liberated the fatherland.” Although 60 surviving examples of the silver version are known, including several in the museum’s coins and medals collection, there were only believed to be two in gold. Experts now believe one of those is a fake, making the newly displayed treasure unique.



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More than 250 silver coins dating back to the time of Alexander the Great were unearthed in northern Syria, a Syrian archaeologist said Thursday via Associated Press. Youssef Kanjo, the head of archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Aleppo, said the coins were discovered two weeks ago in northern Syria when a local man was digging the foundations of his new home. The man handed the coins, that were found in a bonze box, to authorities, Kanjo said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

The coins date from the Hellenic period, which ranges from 4th to the 1st centuries B.C. after Macedonian warrior-king Alexander the Great spread Greek culture into Middle East and beyond with his conquests. Kanjo added that the box contained two groups of coins, 137 “tetra” drachmas (four drachmas) and 115 single drachma coins. One side of the tetra drachma coins depicts Alexander the Great, while the other side shows the Greek god Zeus sitting on a throne with an eagle perched on his extended arm. Some of the coins bear the inscription King Alexander in Greek, while others say Alexander or carry the name of King Philip, most likely referring to his father.After Alexander the Great’s conquests, many of the successor kingdoms in the Middle East adopted drachmas as their currency.

“The discovery is extremely important and would be added to our archaeological treasures that date back to the Hellenic era,” Kanjo said.

I am not an ancient collector but with this beautiful coin, I certainly looking forward to owned one. In the news, there is no story about what the man who found this coin get. With Alexander The Great coin he found on his ground, someone for sure want to buy it from him. But he is a honest men, reporting what he found to the Syrian archaeologist without someone mention his name. Form me, this is a great find

Source: By ALBERT AJI (Associated Press), Photo by Syrian official news agency SANA .


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A Bulgaria Ancient Thrace sites in the Starosel Tomb, has been dated to the 4th century BC after years of research. A team of archaeologists of the Bulgarian National History Museum led by Dr. Ivan Hristov has managed to estimate the timing of the construction of the largest underground temple on the Balkan Peninsula, the Starosel Tomb, located in the Hisarya Municipality, Plovdiv District. Dr. Hristov’s analysis found that the Starosel tomb and underground temple complex were built by Thracian King Amatokos II (359-351 BC), of the Thracian Odrysian state (5th-3rd century BC).

Photo by Thracian coins


In the summer of 2009, the archaeological team took samples from a stake in the middle of the tomb where gifts to the Greek goddess of the hearth Hestia were laid. The radio carbon dating analysis carried out in Heidelberg, Germany, in the laboratory of Dr. Bernd Krommer, have shown that the stake was burned in the period after 358 BC, when the temple was constructed, and the earth was heaped on top of it to form a burial mound.

The analysis of the lab research and of the events which happened at that time have given archaeologist Ivan Hristov grounds to conclude that the temple in the village of Starosel, in the so called Chetinyova Mound, and the nearby Thracian ruler’s residence under Mount Kozi Gramadi were built during the reign of the Thracian King Amatokos II (359-351 BC), of the Thracian Odrysian state (5th-3rd century BC). The family coat of arms of King Amatokos was a doubleheaded ax, or a labrys. Symbols of a labrys were discovered on several items around Starosel, including Thracian coins. Before Dr. Hristov’s analysis, the researchers of Ancient Thrace believed that the Starosel tomb and underground temple complex were built by King Sitalces (445-424 BC), the third ruler of the Odrysian State.

The Thracian objects in the region of Starosel were also in operation during the reign of King Teres II (351-341 BC). The archaeologists believe that the region was the power center of Ancient Thrace in the 4th century BC. It was destroyed during the rise of the Macedonian state of Philip II in 342-341 BC. The Bulgarian archaeologists have reconstructed the so called “Holy Road” of the Thracians leading to their underground temples in Starosel, and are determined to continue revealing its secrets. Archaeologist Ivan Hristov is preparing a book on the Chetinyova Mound in order to tell the story of the Temple of the Immortal Thracian Kings there.

Starosel is a village in central Bulgaria, part of Hisarya municipality, Plovdiv Province. It lies at the foot of the Sredna Gora mountain range and the Pyasachnik River crosses it. Starosel is mainly known for its abundance of ancient Neolithic and Thracian sites. The village was in Antiquity an important and wealthy Thracian city in the 5th century BC, as evidenced by the excavations in the 20th century.



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Look like coin collector in Kuala Terengganu (state in Malaysia), were digging their own ancient coin for this past few days. A news by the star newspaper reported that some ancient coins and artefact’s found in Terengganu’s Chinatown work site. Earth-works for the new ring road and sewage system in Terengganu Chinatown here have uncovered hundreds of ancient coins and other artefact’s. There is also concern that workers at the site and the public may have been quietly digging up these items to sell.

Site manager Omar Mahmod said many items might have been sold before he realised that his work site contained buried treasures when he uncovered a porcelain vase that he believed was from ancient China. He questioned his workers and discovered that many items had been found at the site. Many of these artefact’s were found when they started earth excavation in February last year, but the workers concealed their find from management. Realising that the items were being sold off on the quiet, he directed the workers to declare any artefact’s found from the site.

Since discovering the porcelain vase, Omar has dug out coins with early Jawi writing, Arabic script and ancient Chinese emblems, ancient Indian ornaments and Chinese jars, plates and vases.

An Indonesian worker from the site who requested anonymity said he surrendered most of the artefact’s to his superior but admitted he had sold some to collectors.

“Such coins are collectors’ items some of which I will take back to Surabaya,” he said.

State MCA chief Toh Chin Yaw said the items were priceless and part of the state’s history. He said the contractor had been asked to declare any future discovery of artefact’s. “We want to preserve valuable items extracted at the site for our future generations,” he said.

Toh said he had informed the relevant authorities to visit the site and claim any artefact’s found.

Sound to me that Department of Museum Malaysia a bit late on handling this matters. The treasure hunting had been going on for almost a year now and nobody stop the illegal digging. This is national treasure, they should act fast to stop people from doing the illegal treasure hunting. I can see that man in the picture is holding some pitis coins, Chinese Tin cash coin and some coin that look like a Spanish coin. This is the first time an ancient coins found in Malaysia reported by a news this year.



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I just come back from Penang yesterday to collect a bunch of coins from my runner. After meeting him, I walk along jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and found a man selling a coin. Most of the coins he show are not interesting enough for me. When I about to walk away from him, he take something in his pocket and show me a bunch of old gold coins. One of them is a Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang. He try to sell it to me for 500 ringgit. The cheap price simply to good to be true. Something that I learn from my coin collecting hunting trip.

I remember from Malaysia numismatic society auction in 2008, the Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang start the price from 950 ringgit Malaysia. The price can go up to 2 thousand ringgit for a piece of Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang. When meeting my runner, we talk about the gold coin and he advice me don’t buy something you don’t know anything about. He also alert me that some fake Straits Settlements coins especially the high price already come into market. One of the coin is in auction by Malaysia numismatic society without everyone realize that it is fake. This fake coins is using the same material, composition, weight, diameter and come without any flaw at all. Some of the coins that he mention are King Edward one dollar 1903B raised, King George V half dollar 1921 dot, King Edward VII 50 cents 1902-1903-1905, Queen Victoria 50 cents 1889-1883.

That guy also selling some Acheh old gold coins for 150 ringgit a piece. Aceh is located at the northern tip of Sumatra, strategically controlling the entrance to the Straits of Malacca. In 1511, the Portuguese seized the important strategic port of Malacca, pushing many Asian and Arabic traders to the developing port of Aceh. Sultan Ali Mughayat Shah became the first ruler of Aceh from 1514.

Different views were given regarding the origin of the Kijang gold coins. One is the view which associates the coins with Che Siti Wan Kembang, a female ruler in Kelantan. Her reign was rather obscure as one historian places her in the 14th century while another puts her in the 17th century. According to local folklore, some Arab traders presented a Kijang to the Queen. She became very fond of her pet and had it inscribed on the gold coins. Another version was linked to the influence of Saivite Hinduism. The connection was based on the fact that the earliest issue of Kijang coins resembled the Indian humped-back bull and the bull motif was depicted on the ancient Hindu coins which were circulated in the Northern Malay States.

Malay states started to use kupang when Acheh trader come here. The use of Kupang Gold Coin was spreading and widely used by the rich people at that time. The word Kupang maybe come from a place in Aceh; kupang. Between 1400 to 1780, a number of gold coins or Kupang were known to be minted for used in Patani and Kelantan. Unfortunately, little is known about the history of Kelantan coinage as these coins were not dated, except for the gold Kupang with the inscription “Al Julus Kelantan”, which were issued after 1780.

The Kelantan-Patani gold coins which were on display in the Malaysia Money Museum were only minted in one denomination, namely a Kupang, which contained approximately 9 grains of gold. There were three types of Kelantan gold coins: the Kijang coins, the Dinar Matahari or Sun coins, and coins with Arabic inscriptions on both sides. The Kijang coins derived their name from the motif of the Malayan barking deer or Kijang embossed as the obverse design. This motif is used as the logo of Bank Negara Malaysia.

Several types of tin pitis, which were cast in the form of “coin trees” were also issued. The tin coin trees were produced by the use of moulds adapted from those used by the Chinese to cast copper coins. The coins were broken off from their branches to be used as cash, and the unused metal of the tree was then re-smelted in the next casting. All issues of Kelantan local coinage were discontinued in 1909 when the Straits Settlements coinage was introduced.

Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang; Malik Al Adi


Obverse: Hump Bull/Kijang deer facing left. Salivary flow in the mouth with tail rising. A crescent moon and sun above


Reverse : Malik Al Adil (The Just Ruler) in 3 rows and different style.

Source: Bank Negara Money Museum,


What do you think? Is this a fake coin or is this the original Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang? Do you have any Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang in your collection. How much do you pay to get your precious possession?


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I try to find any bit history and information about this coins but it is very hard to find valuable one. What most website is talking about Terengganu and Kelantan Pitis or Keping coin is that this coin is made following the Chinese Merchants copper cash that been used in Malay Peninsular in 8th century AD. Pitis or Keping, cast from tin is then produced during last two decade of the 18th century. I think thats why this Kelantan Pitis has a hole on its center.


Several types of tin pitis, which were cast in the form of “coin trees” were also issued. The tin coin trees were produced by the use of moulds adapted from those used by the Chinese to cast copper coins. The coins were broken off from their branches to be used as cash, and the unused metal of the tree was then re-smelted in the next casting. All issues of Kelantan local coinage were discontinued in 1909 when the Straits Settlements coinage was introduced.

Kelantan Pitis or Keping

It is probable that the name “Kelantan” on this coin is the name of the long forgotten ruler of the early Kelantan-Patani period and not a reference to the state of Kelantan.


Obverse : In Arabic “Khalifatul Muminin” (ruler of the faithful). Crude inscription.

Reverse : In Arabic “Al Julus Kelantan” (The accession year of Kelantan).

Edge : Plain

Weight : 3.70 grammes, 4.70 grammes

Diameter : 26 mm, 27 mm

Composition : Tin (round central hole)



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This coin is made by VEIC, Struck by Royal mint, London. On the obverse bore the year mintage and coat of arm with inscription Auspicio Regis et senatus anglie which mean under the auspices of the king and the english parliment. On the reverse is a lily cups wreath with arabic inscription “pulau pinang” (island of Penang). My coin here is struck by Madras mint which is inferior then the former.

1810 : minted by Royal Mint, London

1825 & 1828 : minted by Madras Mint, India


East India House


East India company is English chartered company formed for trade with East and Southeast Asia and India, incorporated in 1600. It began as a monopolistic trading body, establishing early trading stations at Surat, Madras (now Chennai), Bombay (Mumbai), and Calcutta (Kolkata). Trade in spices was its original focus; this broadened to include cotton, silk, and other goods. In 1708 it merged with a rival and was renamed the United Co. of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies. Becoming involved in politics, it acted as the chief agent of British imperialism in India in the 18th – 19th century, exercising substantial power over much of the subcontinent.



The company’s activities in China in the 19th century served as a catalyst for the expansion of British influence there; its financing of the tea trade with illegal opium exports led to the first Opium War (1839 – 42). From the late 18th century it gradually lost both commercial and political control; its autonomy diminished after two acts of Parliament (1773, 1774) established a regulatory board responsible to Parliament, though the act gave the company supreme authority in its domains. It ceased to exist as a legal entity in 1873.


source: Malaysia, Brunei & Singapore banknotes & coins book by K.N Boon,


You can try your luck by hunting for this item in penang and meet some of my friends. You can find them in Butterworth Roadwalk flea market.




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Yesterday, The Hamas-run ministry of tourism and antiquities in Gaza announced the discovery of ancient artifacts near the Egyptian border town of Rafah. 1,300 ancient silver coins, both large and small found at the archaeological dig. Archaeologists had also uncovered a black basalt grinder, a coin with a cross etched on it, and the remains of walls and arches believed to have been built in 320 BC. They also discovered a “mysterious” underground compartment with a blocked entrance that appeared to be a tomb, Agha said.



Photo: ancient silver coins recently discovered near the Egyptian border town of Rafah


The Palestinian Authority has been carrying out archaeological excavations since the 1990s, but this was the first major find to be announced by the Hamas-run government. The archaeological dig, still under way, is close to where a vast network of smuggling tunnels provides a vital economic lifeline amid strict Israeli and Egyptian closures imposed after the takeover. The News released by Mohammed al-Agha, tourism and antiquities ministerof the Palestinian National Authority.


According to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip there are 12,000 archaeological and cultural heritage sites, 60,000 traditional houses, 1,750 major sites of human settlement, and 500 sites which have been excavated to date, 60 of which are major sites. Gaza’s main highway, the Salah al-Din road, is one of the oldest in the world, and has been traversed by the chariots of the armies of the Pharaohs and Alexander the Great, the cavalry of the Crusaders, and Napoleon Bonaparte.


Having long been overlooked in archaeological research, the number of excavations in the Gaza Strip has multiplied since the establishment in 1995 of the Department of Antiquities in Gaza. Plans to build a national archaeological museum also promise to highlight the rich history of Gaza city, which has been described as, “one of the world’s oldest living cities.” Rapid urban development makes the need for archaeological research all the more urgent to protect the region’s archaeological heritage. Population pressure in the tiny Gaza Strip is intense, which means that numerous potential archaeological sites may have been built over and lost. According to specialists, there is much more under ground and under the sea than what has been discovered to date.



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What a lucky day for a guy who just started a hobby of metal detecting for a month. UK Dailymail reported that Nick Davies found this amazing haul of 10,000 Roman coins on his first ever treasure hunt. The stunning collection of coins, most of which were found inside the broken brown pot, was uncovered by Nick during a search of land in the Shrewsbury area – just a month after he took up the hobby of metal detecting. Experts say the coins have spent an estimated 1,700 years underground.


Photo by: UK Dailymail

The silver and bronze ‘nummi’ coins, dating from between 240AD and 320AD, were discovered in a farmer’s field near Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, last month. His amazing find is one of the largest collections of Roman coins ever discovered in Shropshire. And the haul could be put on display at Shrewsbury’s new £10million heritage centre, it was revealed today. It is also the biggest collection of Roman coins to be found in Britain this year. Nick, from Ford, Shropshire, said he never expected to find anything on his first treasure hunt – especially anything of any value.

He recalled the discovery and described it as ‘fantastically exciting’.

Nick said: “The top of the pot had been broken in the ground and a large number of the coins spread in the area. All of these were recovered during the excavation with the help of a metal detector.”


photo by:

“This added at least another 300 coins to the total – it’s fantastically exciting. I never expected to find such treasure on my first outing with the detector.”

The coins have now been sent to the British Museum for detailed examination, before a report is sent to the coroner.Experts are expected to spend several months cleaning and separating the coins, which have fused together. They will also give them further identification before sending them to the coroner. A treasure trove inquest is then expected to take place next year. Peter Reavill, finds liaison officer from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, records archaeological finds made by the public in England and Wales, He said the coins were probably payment to a farmer or community at the end of a harvest.

Speaking to the Shropshire Star, Mr Reavill said the coins appear to date from the period 320AD to 340AD, late in the reign of Constantine I.

Mr Reavill said: “There seems to be a minimum of 10,000 coins, the majority of which are corroded together in the pot.

“The coins are all bronze, and some of them have been silver washed. They are known as nummi and were common during the 4th century AD.

“The top of the pot had been broken in the ground and a large number of the coins spread in the area. All of these were recovered during the excavation with the help of a metal detector. This added at least another 300 coins to the total.

“It is likely that the hoard represents a person or communities wealth, possibly as a payment for a harvest. Why it was not collected by the owner is a mystery, but one that we can share and enjoy 1,700 years after the fact.”

However, Mr Reavill declined to put a figure on either the value of the coins or the pot until the findings of the inquest are known, but he described the discovery as a ‘large and important’ find.

Mr Reavill said the exact location of the find could not be revealed for security reasons.

Source: dailymail, Shropshire Star

Wish one day I am lucky enough to make such a big treasure find. A good thing for Mr. Nick Davies for sharing his find with everyone andnot being greedy. A finding of treasure like this will help we understand our history much better. Mr. Nick Davies can sale them in a black market but he choose to bring his treasure finding to relevant authority. He is an example to many treasure hunter out there.


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Jagdish Khaitan, A men in Uttar Pradesh India is going to open a coin museum. This numismatist from Gorakhpur boasts of a coin collection with hundreds of coins from different eras in Indian history and from abroad. Khaitan’s collection covers a lot from the interesting numismatic history of India. His collection features coins from the time of Mughal emperors such as Akbar, Humayun, and Shah Jahan, and from the time of Sher Shah Suri, Mohammed Tuglaq, Alauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate. He also has coins from around a 100 countries, big and small, from all over the world.

This is what I found about Mughal coinage history from RBI Monetary Museum website:

Technically, the Mughal period in India commenced in 1526 AD when Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi, the Sultan of Delhi and ended in 1857 AD when the British deposed and exiled Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor after the great uprising. The later emperors after Shah Alam II were little more than figureheads.

The most significant monetary contribution of the Mughals was to bring about uniformity and consolidation of the system of coinage throughout the Empire. The system lasted long after the Mughal Empire was effectively no more. The system of tri-metalism which came to characterise Mughal coinage was largely the creation, not of the Mughals but of Sher Shah Suri (1540 to 1545 AD), an Afghan, who ruled for a brief time in Delhi. Sher Shah issued a coin of silver which was termed the Rupiya. This weighed 178 grains and was the precursor of the modern rupee. It remained largely unchanged till the early 20th Century. Together with the silver Rupiya were issued gold coins called the Mohur weighing 169 grains and copper coins called Dam.

Where coin designs and minting techniques were concerned, Mughal Coinage reflected originality and innovative skills. Mughal coin designs came to maturity during the reign of the Grand Mughal, Akbar. Innovations like ornamentation of the background of the die with floral scroll work were introduced. Jehangir took a personal interest in his coinage. The surviving gigantic coins, are amongst the largest issued in the world. The Zodiacal signs, portraits and literary verses and the excellent calligraphy that came to characterise his coins took Mughal Coinage to new heights.

Uttar Pradesh numismatist mulls over a coin museum
From ANI

Gorakhpur (UP), July 31: Jagdish Khaitan, a numismatist from Gorakhpur boasts of a coin collection with hundreds of coins from different eras in Indian history and from abroad.

With a collection growing each day, he is going to open a coin museum. 7-year-old numismatist has been relentlessly collecting coins since 1956, when he went as a student to the Benaras Hindu University and was influenced by fellow students collecting stamps.

Khaitan’s collection covers a lot from the interesting numismatic history of India. His collection features coins from the time of Mughal emperors such as Akbar, Humayun, and Shah Jahan, and from the time of Sher Shah Suri, Mohammed Tuglaq, Alauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate. He also has coins from around a 100 countries, big and small, from all over the world.

“I have coins belonging to the ancient, medieval and modern times. I also have coins from the Delhi Sultanate, Mughal period, various states of India, and various countries of the world. I have coins from almost 100 countries,” he said.

Bought, bartered, from old shops, coin exchangers, Khaitan has gone through various odds to make his unique collection.

Sometimes inviting ridicule from his family for spending too much time with his coins, or just losing himself in search of a coin, Khaitan takes it all in his stride. By Pawan Kumar(ANI)


Source:, RBI Monetary Museum

I wish I have coins belong to the ancient and medieval times like Khaitan. Some friend offer me his ancient coin collection long time ago but I really don’t know how to check their value and authenticity. I also wish Kaitan Coin Museum dreams will be fulfill one day. Its not that hard to open a coin museum, I guess. The hard part is to make sure your coins are not missing or stolen by your visitor. One of my numismatist friend is going to India this month. Any of you have been going to India? Every romantic couples would like to visit Taj Mahal once, right?


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The most interesting street to explore by foot in Penang is Chulia Street or Lebuh Chulia (Malabar street). Chulia street get its name because of majority of traders come from Tanjore and to a lesser extent from Ramnad, both districts in Tamil Nadu. You can find multi-cultural character, antique building, budget hotel, antique shop and many money changer shop along Chulia street. You just need to start your walk from Penang Road. If you can find Pasar Chowrasta or Penang Road Mydin, just go straight until you see Oriental Hotel. You can see the signboard of Chulia Street from there. The walk will be about one kilometer long but it will be an exciting one. If you love antique and taking pictures.


You can start searching for your coin, banknote or antique stuff from that signboard post. On your right (since you’re heading to Chulia street), you can see one money changer and one antique shop. Just be sure to do your walk after 12pm since many money changer, coin shop or antique shop aren’t open before that time. The best day to do the walk is on working days, Monday to Thursday. Some Money Changer shop will be closed for a while on Friday afternoon. Most antique shop, coin shop and money changer will be closed on Sunday. It is best if you try to avoid walking on Friday until Sunday. If you want your hunting trip to be a rewarding one.


You can found almost ten money changer like this. Look for coin or banknote on display at their counter. If you want a best cheap price, don’t forget try to be their first customer. Start your walk as early as possible. As with my experience doing a coin hunting trip here, select your banknote or coin first before you want to bargain for their price. They love it if you want to buy many item in the early morning. You still can buy the item that you feel is cheap with good bargain and leaving the expensive coin or banknote. If you’re looking for world currency, world coins, world paper money, Straits Settlements coins or banknotes, Malaysia coin or banknotes, Malaysia commemorative coin (not proof coin), silver coins; this is the best place to hunt for them cheap.

The walk will bring you to Masjid Kapitan Keling Road or Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Kapitan Keling Mosque built in the 19th century by the India Muslim trader coming to Penang. The term ‘keling’ derived from the ancient Hindu kingdom on the Coromandel coast of South India. It was generally used to denote all those who came from there. As the Indians found it difficult to pronounce certain English words, the title “Captain” was somehow transformed into “Kapitan”. From there, the Kapitan Kelings (or Captains of the Kelings) came about. Beside the famous “nasi beratur” or “nasi ganja”, you can also found Money Changer shop along that road.


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The establishment of the Straits Settlements followed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, by which the Malay archipelago was divided into a British zone in the north and a Dutch zone in the south. This resulted the exchange of the British settlement of Bencoolen (on Sumatra) for the Dutch colony of Malacca and undisputed control of Singapore. Its capital was moved from Penang to Singapore in 1832.


Straits Settlements situated on the Malay Peninsula of Asia, was formed in 1826 by combining the territories of Singapore, Penang and Malacca. The colony was administered by the East India Company until its abolition in 1858. Straits Settlements was a part of British India from 1858 to 1867 at which time it became a Crown Colony.


The Straits Settlements coinage gradually became acceptable legal tender in the neighboring Federated as well as the Unfederated Malay States. The Straits Settlements were dissolved in 1946, while the coinage continued to circulate until demonetized at the end of 1952.





H – Heaton, Birmingham

W – Soho Mint

B – Bombay


100 Cents = 1 Dollar






The first coins issued for the Straits Settlements in 1845 were ¼, ½ and 1 cent denominations in copper. They were issued by the East India Company and did not bear any indication of where they were to be used. A second issue of the same denominations was produced in 1862 by the government of British India. These bore the inscription “India – Straits”.



In 1871, silver coins were issued in the name of the Straits Settlements for 5, 10 and 20 cents, followed by copper ¼, ½ and 1 cent the next year and silver 50 cents in 1886. Silver dollars were first minted in 1903.



A 3 page special issue of the Straits Settlements Government Gazette published in Singapore on 24 Aug. 1904, contained the following proclamation by then Governor, Sir John Anderson. From 31 Aug. 1904, British, Mexican and Hong Kong Dollars would cease to be legal tender and would be replaced by the newly introduced Straits Settlements Dollar.


The purpose of this action was to create a separate exchange value for the new Straits Dollar as compared with the other silver dollars that were circulating in the region, notably the British trade dollar. The idea was that when the exchange value had diverged significantly from that of the other silver dollars, then the autorities would peg it to sterling at that value, hence putting the Straits Settlements unto the gold exchange standard. This pegging occurred when the Straits Dollar reached the value of two shillings and four pence (2s 4d) against sterling.



Within a few years, the value of silver rose rapidly such as to make the silver value of the Straits dollar higher than its gold exchange value. In order to prevent these dollars from being melted down, a new smaller dollar was issued in 1907 with a reduced silver content. A parallel story occurred in the Philippines at the same time. The last ¼ cent coins were issued in 1916. Dollars were last struck for circulation in 1920, with 50 cents production ending in 1921. The remaining coins continued in production until 1935.



Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901)

The Government of Straits Settlements, was first authorised to issue currency notes by Ordinance VIII of 1897, which came into operation on 31 August 1898. These notes, although dated 1 September 1898, were not issued to the public until 1 May 1899. Both the Chartered Bank and Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank continued to issue banknotes, which circulated side by side with the official currency. All notes were freely exchangeable with the Mexican dollar or the various other silver coins that were legal tender in the Colony.



King Edward VII (1901 – 1910)

King Edward ascended the throne in January 1901. In the previous issue the 5-dollar note had been of almost the same size and design as the 10-dollar. To make recognition more simple it was reduced in size. The series dated 1 February 1901 were printed by Thomas de la Rue & Co. Ltd. of London. In 1903, a dollar-sized coin in silver was minted specially for the Straits Settlements, and this became the standard unit of value. All other silver dollars at that time circulation were demonetized by 1904. A step rise in the price of silver, however, soon forced the government to call int the first issue of this Straits dollar and to replace it with a coin of lower silver content.





King George V (1910 – 1936)

During this reign the range of currency notes was extended up to one thousand dollars for the convenience of inter-bank clearing transactions. In 1915, it was decided to make a complete change in the design of the 50, 100 and 1000 dollar notes. These denominations were first issued to the public in February 1920, October 1919 and May 1917 respectively. They were printed by Thomas de la Rue. A 10,000 note was first issued in October 1922. This was not available to the public, but was used exclusively in inter-bank transfers.


Source: wikipedia, Krause Publication


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Yesterday A reader of this blog asking me about a Malaya 1950 coin and how much their price would be. It is hard to determine the price of the coin without looking at the actual coin itself. You need to see the condition and grading the coin. A coin with high grade (Uncirculated) is a very hard to find for an old coin like this. Normally coin in possesion is in Very fine condition and not worth so much. Here is the price from Standard catalog for Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore 18th edition Book by Steven Tan for that reader reference.











Source: Standard catalog for Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore 18th edition Book by Steven Tan


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Have you done any treasure hunting before? Most people do treasure hunting for gold artifact. Do you know that you can do a treasure hunting using Google Maps? Google Maps have given the ability to virtually anyone to have eyes across the globe and conduct research into specific points of interest before launching a treasure hunting expedition. This has made it infinitely easier for treasure hunters to do extensive research previously impossible to do without physically going to the specific point of interest, and saved the real life treasure hunters much time and money, even providing for a new level of safety to be incorporated into treasure hunting expeditions.


I read many story about people doing their treasure hunting around this world. Yesterday, I found a story about Klaus Keppler who founds a kilograms of different kind of silver coins in a 10th century wreck ship, the Forbes. The British vessel sailed the seas under a commission from the British king, a kind of pirate with a royal permit. It ran aground on a reef off Belitung island, between Borneo and Sumatra, en route to India on Sept 9, 1806.




Treasure hunter Klaus Keppler has uncovered cannons and priceless china from ship wrecks in the ocean
by Christiane Oelrich
Updated: 01:21PM Wed, 29 Jul 2009


In the lore surrounding hidden treasures, the gods often see fit to subject the treasure hunter to a long quest before he finds the objects of his desire. Treasure hunter Klaus Keppler knows that only too well. For years, the owner of a salvage company has been looking for the wrecks of ships that had been carrying gold, silver or china. Now, after a long dry spell, he got lucky. Twice.

An old cannon


Keppler showing off a find


Salvage works being carried out aboard a wreck.

Keppler – who has recovered a 10th-century wreck and the Forbes, a British vessel that ran aground in 1806, off Indonesia – contentedly surveys his treasures in a Jakarta port storehouse, holding up a huge lump of silver coins.

“Hurry up, this thing is incredibly heavy,” the 70-year-old German urges a photographer but with a big smile on his face.

The divers of his salvage ship, the Maruta Jaya, have recovered many kilograms of silver coins from the Forbes as well as cannon, gold jewellery, crystal, silverware and 400 bottles of wine.

“Those gentlemen on board knew how to live well,” he says.The many different coins will sell well, he believes, spinning a large one between his fingers: “One coin can be worth between US$50 dollars and several thousand.”

This is even more so the case if the history of the artefact is known. Keppler hired a young man to scour archives around the world for information about the Forbes.

The vessel sailed the seas under a commission from the British king, a kind of pirate with a royal permit. It ran aground on a reef off Belitung island, between Borneo and Sumatra, en route to India on Sept 9, 1806.

Captain Frazer Sinclair and his crew survived. The Mampango reef was only charted five years later.

Upstairs in Keppler’s storehouse, four archaeology students measure, photograph and describe every recovered coin and enter the results in a databank.

“Everything gets documented,” Keppler says. Officials from various Indonesian ministries who must accompany every search trip make sure that no treasures are squirreled away.

The Indonesian state receives 50% of all revenues derived from the treasure hunts in its territory. While it is rumoured among treasure hunters that some officials are not adverse to cutting individual deals, the searchers also eye each other with mistrust.

“Eighty per cent are scoundrels and mountebanks,” Keppler says.

Apart from the revenue, Indonesia’s interest is limited, as is obvious with the second wreck Keppler found in a depth of 50 metres off Java island, says Horst Liebner, an expert on Malay culture and history.

“The Karawang wreck is from the10th century,” Liebner says. “In Germany, such a find would be a sensation, but in Indonesia, not a single archaeologist stopped by to have a look.

Liebner dated the wreck with the help of Chinese lead coins from the Ming dynasty, which fell in 947. Divers also recovered vases, ewers and plates. “It’s a time capsule,” he enthuses.

So far, the treasure hunters have not become rich. The flotilla of salvage ships, equipment, divers and storage all needed to be financed in advance, long before any promising finds were on the horizon. Therefore, investors attracted by a sense of adventure are welcome.

But occasionally there is a wreck that fulfills the treasure hunter’s hopes. “We checked out about 70 wrecks here, but only five of them are probably worth it,” Keppler says.

The money only starts coming in when a buyer is found. Keppler’s team is in negotiations with Chinese museums over the Karawang treasure, which he hopes will bring in €1.4 million (RM7 million dollars) with salvage costs amounting to €600,000. The Forbes might prove more profitable, netting €5 million to 10 million, with €400,000 in salvage costs.

“There are more than 30 million coin collectors worldwide,” says Keppler. But in the end, he is in it for the search – his eyes already set on future wrecks to be discovered.




I always wish one day I can make my treasure find using Google Maps. Just look at the open sea on the maps and wish that I can find that treasure. I want to know how it felt recovering kilograms of silver coins, cannon, gold jewellery, crystal, silverware , chinaware and other artifact treasure. Some says you need at least half a million Euro dollar to start a treasure expedition. Sometimes you don’t gain anything from that expedition. Almost the same thing with my coin hunting trip. Sometimes I come back from my coin hunting trip empty handed. Do you always browsing the world with Google Maps? Don’t forget to look at the open sea, who know one days this kind of treasure will be yours.


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One of the oldest coin found in Britain has been discovered after sitting on a shelf for a decade. The silver denarius Roman Republic coin dating from 211BC was found during an excavation in 2000 at Hallaton, Leics. But the coin sat in storage at a Leicester museum with 5000 other coins, a helmet and decorated bowl found at the dig. The Museum only realized about the coin when experts doing their catalogue for the Hallaton coin. The coins have been catalogued by Ian Leins, curator of Iron Age and Roman coins at the British Museum.

The coin, which would have been the equivalent of a day’s pay for a legionary, predates Britain’s previous oldest Roman coin by four years. Experts can tell the Hallaton coin is older as it does not feature a crescent shaped imprint visible on the Berkshire coin. It said the coin, which has the Goddess Roma on one side. The other side depicts mythical twins Castor and Pollux sat on galloping horses. The other coin found in Berkshire has a crescent between the heads, it is believed that the types with the issue marks are slightly later. The Hallaton coin is an early, anonymous type coin, which lacks a moneyer’s name and any issuer’s marks.Some archaeologists have however speculated that such Roman Republican coins found their way into Britain before the Roman conquest in 43 AD and were evidence of exchange through trade or diplomacy.


Helen Sharp, Hallaton Treasure project manager, said it was a big shock to discover they had such a significant find right under their noses.

She said: “The coin had been kept in storage for ten years in a low humidity room, just sitting there on a shelf.

“It was such a big surprise when we found out it is the oldest Roman coin in the country – it was dug up a decade ago. It is such a huge task to log and date coins, the hoard was so large. The coin was finally dated in 2009, but we didn’t realise it was Britain’s oldest until this week. It is really exciting that treasure discovered ten years ago can still keep surprising us.”

The coin is now set to be a star attraction of the collection being displayed at Harborough Museum, in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. alongside other coins that were excavated at a late Iron Age shrine of the Corieltavi tribe dating to the first century AD.


Photo by BBC: Malcolm Langford, Henry and Anni Byard.


Britain’s previous oldest coin was unearthed in Berkshire last year on the site of the UK’s oldest road the Roman-built Ridgeway, near Avebury. The coin found by retired electrician Malcolm Langford, who has been metal detecting for seven years. The age of the coin discovered when he took it, along with another Iron Age silver coin of Eppillus to the West Berkshire and Oxfordshire Finds Liaison Officer, Anni Byard. Anni immediately confirmed the Iron Age coin was only one of 11 that have been recorded in the UK and suspected the Roman coin, a Republican silver denarius, was quite rare


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Yesterday, the Japan times announced that a Japanese-Turkish research team has discovered a British-minted gold coin and a Japanese silver coin from a Turkish warship that sank 120 years ago off Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture. The Project that had been started since 4 January 2007 is a salvaging project with contributions from the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) in Bodrum, Yapı Kredi Retirement Partnership and the Turkish Foundation of Nautical Archaeology. One of their objective was to find the wreckage of Ertuğrul and completely float her to the surface. It is intended to exhibit her in the museum next to the Ertuğrul Monument in Kushimoto. U.S. and Japanese nautical archaeologists and historians join the excavation team.

Kyodo Photo: A £1 British coin and ¥1 silver coin

“Still there should be lots of gold coins” inside the ship Ertugrul, said Tufan Turanli, who heads the underwater archaeological team. The gold coin, dated 1856, measures 2.2 cm in diameter and weighs 8 grams. Both coins was retrieved at a depth of 12 meters. The team, which launched a three-year survey in 2008, has already discovered about 5,800 items from the wreck.


on 28 January 2008, the same team leads by Tufan Turanlı, director of INA, reached on the ammunition store section of the wreck in a dive within the second phase of the underwater excavation project. Three cannon balls, each 40 kg (88 lb), of the ship’s Krupp naval guns, tens of bullets and pieces of naval mines were recovered and safely brought to the Port of Kushimoto, where explosive experts of local police, Japanese Army and Navy examined them. The artifacts were later taken to Ertuğrul Research Institute for conservation. Tufanlı recalled that two Winchester rifles recovered earlier are on exhibition in the museum.


Photo by The Ertuğrul at anchor in the Bosporus Straits


Ertuğrul, launched in 1863, was a sailing frigate of the Ottoman Navy. While returning from a goodwill voyage from Japan in 1890, she encountered a typhoon off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture, subsequently drifted into a reef and sank. The maritime accident resulted in the loss of 533 sailors, including Admiral Ali Osman Pasha. Only sixty-nine sailors and officers survived and returned home later aboard two Japanese corvettes. In February 1891, a cemetery was established for the 150 sailors recovered dead at the calamity, and a memorial next to it was built near the lighthouse in the town of Kushimoto, Wakayama. In 1974, a “Turkish Museum” was established, in which a scale model of the ship, photographs and statues of the sailors are on exhibition. The event is being commemorated every five years on the day of the tragic accident in Kushimoto with the participation of high-level officials from Turkey and Japan.

Discovered in 6 January 2007 by two metal detectorists David Whelan, 60, and his 35-year-old son Andrew through a farmer’s field near Harrogate, in northern England, who reported it to their local finds officer, the hoard has since been valued at more than £1million by the Independent Treasure Valuation Committee. The most important Viking treasure to be discovered in 150 years has been jointly acquired by York Museums Trust and the British Museum. It will now go on joint display at the two venues.

The Vale of York hoard, unearthed by a father and son team of treasure hunters in a field and dated at more than 1,000 years old, includes many precious metal objects including 617 coins, a gilt silver vessel, a rare gold armring, ingots and chopped-up fragments known as hack silver. The objects, which the Yorkshire Museum will share with the British Museum , are said to have been amassed from Afghanistan, Ireland, Russia and Scandinavia, underlining the global reach of seafarers during the medieval period. The hoard was probably buried by a wealthy Viking leader during the unrest that followed the conquest of the Viking kingdom of Northumbria in AD 927 by the Anglo-Saxon king Athelstan (924-39). It is being regarded as the most significant find of its kind in since 1840.


For David Whelan and his son Andrew, the ’metal detectorists’ who unearthed the find, it has proved a treasure hunters’ dream come true. They will share its valuation — £1,082,000 — with the landowner. They recalled that their expedition in fields around Harrogate in January 2007, had started badly when they were turned away from two farms. They were left with a site they believed to be unpromising because all they had previously turned up there were buttons. Almost immediately they unearthed the hoard.


Andrew said: “My father got a strong signal and a cup tumbled out after a couple of scoops of earth. There was a coin sat on the top of this bundle. We knew then it was something big and we were shaking with excitement as we lifted it out”.


The pair have won the praise of conservationists for swiftly realising the value of their find and leaving it virtually untouched for experts to carefully unwrap. They declared their treasure to their local finds liaison officer in Leeds.

Much of the hoard, which contains 67 objects, was preserved inside the gilt silver vessel, made around the middle of the 9th century, close to where the present-day Franco-German border runs. It was probably intended for use in church services and was believed to have been looted by Vikings from a monastery. The artefacts were extraordinarily well-preserved because they had kept in a lead container. The hoard also contains coins relating to Islam and the pre-Christian religion of the Vikings.

Andrew said: “Being keen metal detectorists we always dreamt of finding a hoard but to find one from such a fantastic period of history is just unbelievable.

“The contents of the hoard we found went far beyond our wildest dreams and hopefully people will love seeing the objects on display in York and London for many, many years to come.”

The York Museums Trust in York and the British Museum acquired he find with the assistance of the National Lottery Fund. It will go on display in York on September 17 before moving to London. One of the coins, which bears the Latin inscription, Rex Tiotius Britanniae, dating to 927, is the earliest indication of Britain being under one ruler, at a time when the country was split between Viking and Anglo-Saxon control.

Lee Clark of the York Museums Trust, which will share ownership of the hoard with the British Museum, said: “The size and quality of the material in the hoard is remarkable, making it the most important find of its type in Britain for over 150 years.

“It is the largest and most important Viking hoard from Britain since the hoard found at Cuerdale in Lancashire in 1840.” Jonathan Williams, Keeper of Prehistory and Europe at the British Museum, said: “This find is of global importance as well as having huge significance for the history of England and Yorkshire.”



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Yesterday, I am looking for any news regarding US Mint suspension on sales of silver coins and bullion coins. The U.S. Mint has “temporarily” suspended sales of almost all of its gold uncirculated and proof coins, along with nearly all of silver uncirculated coins because of the limited availability of blanks. Unprecedented demand and a shortage of blanks becoming a reason for the chronic shortage of gold and silver coins authorized by the U.S. Mint. Nowadays, look like everyone is looking for silver and gold as an investment. Some of my coin friends already e-mail and phone me asking if I have any silver coins stock for sale. While searching for that story, I found a news about a rare Roman coins that is worth to read.



Rare Roman Coins Acquired for British Museum and Derby with Art Fund Help
Saturday, July 25, 2009

LONDON.- Two very rare gold coins of the little known Roman emperor Carausius (AD 286-93), found in the North Midlands in 2007, have been acquired by the British Museum and Derby Museum and Art Gallery. Both feature an image of the emperor Carausius, who lead a breakaway ‘mini-empire’ of Britain and Gaul in the late third century.


The first coin is a unique piece struck in London which has been acquired by the British Museum thanks to the generosity of funders including £43,500 from independent charity The Art Fund, the British Museum Friends and the Bottoms Bequest. The second coin was struck early in Carausius’ reign at Rouen and has been acquired by Derby Museum and Art Gallery, once again with grants from The Art Fund (£30,000) as well as the Victoria and Albert Fund, the Headley Trust, the Friends of Derby Museum and Art Gallery and Enlightenment – Collecting Cultures. The British Museum coin is on display in the Roman Britain gallery (Room 49, Case 14); the Derby coin will go on display in the near future.

The coins were found in spoil created by construction work by Derrick Fretwell. They were reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and declared Treasure in 2008. Gold coins of Carausius are extremely rare, until now only twenty-three have been found. The last example found was in 1975 in Hampshire and it is quite possible that we will have to wait for over thirty years before another one sees the light of day.

Carausius was a Menapian (from modern Belgium). In the AD 280s he was a leading general in the Roman army, possibly with authority over the Roman Fleet (“Classis Britannica”) that patrolled the English Channel and North Sea. The fleet was commanded from Boulogne. One of its major functions was to defend Britain and Gaul (France) from Saxon raiders; it also probably escorted barges that took British grain to the Roman army on the Rhine. Carausius fell foul of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian, supposedly because he allowed the Saxons to raid and only intercepted them afterwards, keeping the stolen loot for himself! Rather than hand himself over, Carausius declared himself emperor of Northern Gaul and Britain and set up his own mini-empire.

The earlier of the two coins comes from Carausius’ mint at Rouen. Carausius only managed to maintain control of Northern Gaul for a few years and coins from Rouen are very rare. This is only the tenth gold coin recorded for the mint. It shows the emperor shaking hands with Concordia with the inscription “in harmony with the army”. This coin was probably struck to pay Carausius’ followers a ‘bounty’ on his accession, a practise carried out by all emperors. The second coin comes from the mint of London which struck many coins throughout Carausius’ reign, though this is a unique type. It shows Carausius wearing a helmet decorated with an animal design with an inscription that praises the emperor’s courage (virtus). The reverse trumpets ‘Imperial Peace’, something that Carausius tried to achieve by gaining the approval of the central emperors on the Continent – he even struck coins in the names of Diocletian and Maximianus to curry favour with them. Carausius successfully defended Britain against the central empire; however, he did not survive a coup d’état by his chancellor Allectus, who was to rule Britain from 293 to 296. The Roman emperor Constantius I finally retook Britain in 296, killing Allectus and bringing an end to Carausius’ breakaway realm.

We cannot be sure why these coins were buried, but whatever the reason the finder failed to recover them. A Roman soldier might expect to earn twelve gold coins a year before deductions were made for his expenses. The wheat he needed to make bread for a year would have cost almost 2 gold coins. For one gold coin, someone could have bought almost 100 bottles of wine or about 50 litres of olive oil. However, ten gold coins would have been needed to buy a pound of white silk.




While I am in Penang a few years back, I heard how people found buried treasure in old building and houses. Most of the owner of this treasure is Chinese who afraid that their belonging confiscated by Japanese during world war 2. Maybe that is the reason why buying coins and banknotes in Penang is far more cheaper then other places in Malaysia. Do any of you knew any such story happen in your place? Please share them in here.

I welcome everyone to comment on my post. Just make sure your comment is related to my post, more then 3 words long and do not spam me with your link. I don’t mind any language used but English is the main language in my blog.

I found a news a few month ago about Archbishop’s treasure found in river. The treasure found by two diver, brothers Gary and Trevor Bankhead, in the River Wear in Durham. A haul of 32 artefacts, including gifts from Pope Paul VI and a commemorative medallion presented to the bishop for the Queen’s coronation in 1952. They had been in the possession of Michael Ramsey, the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, who spent part of his retirement in the northern city where he served as bishop.

The underwater survey commenced in April 2007 and took two and half years to complete. The objects, some solid gold, have been discovered by amateur divers Trevor Bankhead, 40, and his brother Gary, 44, a fire service watch officer, over the past two and a half years. They conducted 300 dives and believe there are no objects left on the river bed after their last find. It is their belief belief the items could have been put into the water deliberately as a “gift” to the city by Lord Ramsey. The dives were carried out under licence from Durham Cathedral which owns both banks of the stretch of river.


It is not known how Mr Ramsey’s belongings came to be in the river, but there is no record of his former home, on South Bailey, being burgled. One theory is that he may have cast the items into the water himself at various times, having a reputation for eccentricity before his death 21 years ago at the age of 83. Another suggestion is that they may have been stolen before being discarded by thieves for some reason as they crossed Prebends Bridge. The former Bishop of Durham Michael Ramsey lived in the city after retiring as Archbishop in 1974. He died in 1988.


Their first find was an ornate silver trowel presented to the Archbishop for laying the foundation stone of an Indian church in 1961. The brothers have since retrieved over 30 other items linked to Ramsey, along with hundreds of medieval and Saxon artefacts. Among them are gold, silver and bronze medals struck to commemorate the second Vatican council, which must have been presented to Ramsey, who was the most senior cleric in the Church of England from 1961 to 1974, when he met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in 1966. It was during the same visit the Pope gave Ramsey his episcopal ring which the Archbishop wore until the day he died and is now kept at Lambeth Palace. Other items discovered include a solid silver coin from the Greek Orthodox Church and a solid gold coin, likely to have been presented when Ramsey met Nikkyo Niwano, president of the Japanese Buddhist movement, in 1973.


Photo by Micheal Ramsey

What a great treasure find by this brothers. Some will eventually go on display at Durham’s 11th Century cathedral. Even before the discovery of the items, the cathedral was planning an exhibition relating to Ramsey’s life in 2010, a new stained glass window will also be dedicated to him.

Source: BBC News, and wikipedia.  


Ancient coin thrown into sea

A group of sailor will be throwing ancient China coin into sea. A news reported by China newspaper Xianhua that Chinese clipper sailor which participated in the next two legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, are going to scatter ancient coins of 1405, which Zheng He brought to many countries in Ming dynasty, into sea. The Clipper yachts, which arrived in Qingdao from February 20 to February 23, will leave for California on March 2. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, held every two years, is the largest amateur yacht race in the world. This is the third time that the Clipper race came to Qingdao, host city of the Beijing Olympics sailing events.

Photo by eBay Singapore seller: markzz22: Yong Le Tong Bao ancient coin


“We are going to scatter about 70 coins of Ming Dynasty, called Yong Le Tong Bao, pasted with one yuan coins released in 2009, into the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean in the next two legs of the Clipper race.” said Zhang Feng, a civil servant of Qingdao city, who will participate in the 6th leg of the Clipper race from Qingdao to California, then to Jamaica.

Another Chinese Clipper sailor, Zhang Yanzhi, will do the same thing at the 7th leg from Jamaica to New York, then to Hull Humber of Britain.

“The reason that we will scatter the ancient coins into sea, which Zheng He had brought to many countries, is that we want to tell the world that China is back to adventure at seas.” Zhang Feng said.


Photo by Wikipedia: Zheng He monument

Zheng He, a famous voyager in Ming Dynasty, led a Chinese fleet to Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Africa, collectively referred to as the travels of the Western Ocean, from 1405 to 1433. When the Chinese settlers under admiral Zheng He’s (also known as Cheng Ho) travel to Melaka, he also brought with them their money – silver and gold ingots and tens of thousands of square holed copper cash, and these latter began to percolate out of the Chinese settlements and into the land of the Malays.

Anyone dare to dive and collect all the ancient coin thrown into sea?

Source: China People’s Daily online, Wikipedia


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In 1405 Sultan of Mallaca, Parameshwara sent a mission to the Ming emperor of the Yung Lo period in China, who duly acknowledged him as the true ruler of Malacca and placed him formally under Chinese protection. Malacca took over from the crumbling Majopahit state as the dominant power of the southern region of southeast Asia. Trade flourished, however, between Malacca and China, and the business led to the establishment of Chinese trading depots in Malaccan territory. The traders brought their families, their retainers, their workers, and their slaves, and in no time (several decades) there was a large population of Chinese.

The Chinese settlers under admiral Zheng He’s (1405-1433; also known as Cheng Ho) also brought with them their money – silver and gold ingots and tens of thousands of square holed copper cash, and these latter began to percolate out of the Chinese settlements and into the land of the Malays. As the 15th century progressed the expansive Ming dynasty reached a high point and began to stabilize, and then contract. Overseas trade diminished, and contact with the overseas Chinese trading communities stop as well.


Chinese cash are usually made of copper, but there’s not much of the red metal in Malacca.There was an acute shortage of Chinese copper cash coin during that time. The local Chinese making tin cash coin as an alternative to china copper coin. So the copies were made of locally abundant tin. And copies is exactly what they are; the producers used year titles of the Northern Sung emperors three centuries back. This usage served a dual utility: for the originals of these coins, though 300 years old, were still the most common items in the East Asian money mix, and besides, it would be some what impolitic to copy the coins of the current dynasty.

It is also noted that none of the Mallaca tin cash coin can be found in China. They can only be found in Mallaca because of that time, mercant trader only bring back goods that they can sale in their country such as spices, nutmeg, elephant tusks, rhinoceros horn, medical product and exotic animals. If they bring back Mallaca tin cash coin to China, the coins would probably be treated as frogeries because they were not made of copper.

Here are some of the Chinese Tin Cash Coin used during that time:


Double Cash-Obverse

Obverse: Zheng He Yuan Bao.
Reverse: Fu Lai within an oblong counterstamp.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 31.5 mm.
Weight: 10.3 grammes.
Composition: Tin (78%) Lead (22%)
Mint: Malacca mint.


Double Cash-Obverse

Obverse: Yuan Feng Tong Bao.
Reverse: Chai within a square counterstamp.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 29 mm.
Weight: 8.2 grammes.
Composition: Tin (78%) Lead (22%)
Mint: Malacca mint.

Double Cash-Obverse

Obverse: Xi Ning Yuan Bao.
Reverse: Chai within a round counterstamp.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 30 mm.
Weight: 8.1 grammes.
Composition: Tin (78%) Lead (22%)
Mint: Malacca mint.
Condition: Scarce


Single Cash-Obverse

Obverse: Yuan Feng Tong Bao.
Reverse: Blank.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 22.5 mm.
Weight: 3 grammes.
Composition: Tin (76%) Lead (24%)
Mint: Malacca mint.

All the one cash coin are unifaced and they are divided into square and round holes and their weight are between 1.5 grammes-the lightest and 5.3 grammes-the heaviest. The double cash coins have square and round holes but they are divided into one counterstamp and two counterstamp on the reverse. The weight of the double cash coins are between 5.8 grammes-the lightest and 10.9 grammes-the heaviest. Normally the square hole type of tin cash coins has the counterstamp of the chinese character (Cai) and the round hole type of tin cash coin has the counterstamp of two chinese character (Fu Lai). It is believed that both the “Cai” and “Fu Lai” are the company trade names that produced the square and round holes tin coins.

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Data source: Mallaca collection of coinage book, anythinganywhere

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The Malacca Sultanate was from 1400-1511. There were eight sultans before the Portuguese came in 1511. During the 111 years of Malacca Sultanete, the merchants who traded in this region always used a common currency for their barter trade; Gold dust, silver bars, tin ingots and blocks money. Merchant from Ming Dynasty bring their own currency, chinese copper cash coin were used in the surrounding areas like Sumatra, Indonesia and Nusantara. these currency was accepted for barter trading by everyone in the region.


Chronology of Malacca Sultanate :

Parameswara ( Iskandar Shah) 1400 – 1414
Megat Iskandar Shah 1414 – 1424
Seri Maharajah Muhammad Shah 1424 – 1444
Seri Parameswara Dewa Shah (Raja Ibrahim) 1444 – 1445
Sultan Muzaffar Shah (Raja Kassim) 1445 – 1456
Sultan Mansur Shah (Raja Abdullah) 1456 – 1477
Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah 1477 – 1488
Sultan Ahmad bin Mahmud Shah 1488 – 1511

Early sultanate coinage:

Some book, suggest that pitis coinage issued during the reign of Sultan Muzaffar should be the Malacca early coinage. Other author doubted the uncertainty of Sultan Muzaffar early coinage due to the questionable reading of the last cipher of that latter date on whatever record was available to the compiler of the dynastic list. The coins are well struck and somewhat resemble the contemporary coppers of the sultans of Madura in southern India. Like all tin coins of the region, they are referred to as “pitis.” Tin coins had been issued not too much earlier by Sumatran Pasai.

Muzaffar Shah-Obverse

Muzaffar Shah-Reverse

Obverse: Muzaffar Shah Al-Sultan (in Arabic script).
Reverse: Nasir Al-Dunia Wa’l Din (Arabic). Meaning The helper of the world and of the religion of Islam.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 319 mm.
Weight: 2.3 grammes.
Composition: Tin (82%-83%) Lead (17%-18%)
Mint: Malacca mint.

Hearing of Malacca’s great wealth coming from Asian traders, the Portuguese king sent Admiral Lopes de Sequeira to find Malacca, to make a friendly compact with its ruler and to stay on Portugal’s representative east of India. The first European to reach Malacca and Southeast Asia, Sequeira arrived in Malacca in 1509. Although he was initially well-received by Sultan Mahmud Shah trouble however quickly ensued. The general feeling of rivalry between Islam and Christianity was invoked by a group of Goa Muslims in the sultan’s court after the Portuguese had captured Goa. The international Muslim trading community convinced Mahmud that the Portuguese were a grave threat. Mahmud subsequently captured several of his men, killed others and attempted to attack the four Portuguese ships, although they escaped. As the Portuguese had found in India, conquest would be the only way they could establish themselves in Malacca.

In April 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships. The Viceroy made a number of demands – one of which was for permission to build a fortress as a Portuguese trading post near the city. All the demands were refused by the Sultan. Conflict was unavoidable, and after 40 days of fighting, Malacca fell to the Portuguese on 24 August 1511. Although Malacca seems to have been well supplied with artillery, but the combination of Portuguese firepower, determination and fanatical courage prevailed. A bitter dispute between Sultan Mahmud and his son Sultan Ahmad also weighed down the Malaccan side.

The sultan then retreated to Kampar in Sumatra where he died two years later. He left behind two sons named Muzaffar Shah and Alauddin Riayat Shah II. Muzaffar Shah was invited by the people in the north of the peninsula to become their ruler, establishing the Sultanate of Perak. Meanwhile, Mahmud’s other son, Alauddin succeeded his father and made a new capital in the south. His realm was the Sultanate of Johor, the successor of Malacca.

Photo by:
Data source: Mallaca collection of coinage book, wikipedia


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At the start of the 16th century a new European nation went adventuring on the high seas. The Dutch, who had fought a very long war for independence against their Spanish overlords, had finally established themselves and proceeded to build themselves a great trading economy. Not the least bit reconciled with their former masters, the Dutch went into direct competition with them in India and southeast Asia, employing the military option wherever necessary. The Netherlands East Indies (N.E.I) are included all Dutch territories in Java, The Moluccas Islands, Malacca and Sumatra. The Dutch who expanding their influence in the Far East combined with the forces of the Sultan of Johore and captured the Malacca from the Portuguese on January 14, 1641. In this 150 years of Dutch East India Company (V.O.C., Verenidge Oostindische Compagnie) have exclusive monopoly power on trade.



The first Dutch coinage of the V.O.C for Malacca was issued in 1641. All those earlier Portuguese coins and other circulating currency were retained for trading purposes. In fact, coins for use by the V.O.C in the Netherlands East Indies (N.E.I) were struck in the following Provinces, most of them in gold and silver. Holland (HOLL), West friesland (WESTF), Zeeland (S+ZEEL or ZEL), Utreht (TRAI), Gelderland (GEL), Overijsel(TRANSI) and N.E.I for Province of Groningen. The following are the common coinages of Dutch we see in market circulation:- Half Doit (HOLL, ZEEL, WESTF, GEL,) One Doit,, Half Guilder Silver Rider Quarter Stiver, Half Stiver, Bonk One Stiver, Bonk One & Two Stivers, Batavia Quarter Crown, Batavia Half Crown.


The Dutch overseas companies started playing around with striking coins to use in their overseas operations as early as 1602, but these were pretty much patterns or trials made in very small numbers, hardly used if ever, and extremely rare today. A few years after the Dutch took Malacca a coin shortage was recognized as being in progress throughout the Dutch East Indies, and the authorities at Batavia (modern Jakarta in Indonesia) produced some local products in an attempt to ameliorate the situation. These emergency coins were struck in silver and tin in several denominations, but were disallowed and suppressed by the home office back in Holland. The tin coins are said by Saran Singh to have circulated in Malacca, so are pertinent to this story. Mr. Singh also mentions that the Portuguese tin bazarucos of Malacca were called in and recoined with Dutch designs shortly after the territory changed hands, but that none of the Dutch coins have survived.



With the center of operations now being Batavia, the importance of Malacca declined, and it became an outpost rather than a key player. Despite some playing around with the idea of issuing coins during the 17th century, the VOC’s governors found it more convenient to use Spanish cobs in trade. VOC coinage didn’t really get off the ground until the 1720s, when production of the well known copper VOC duits began. These proved to be very popular throughout the islands and Malaya. Struck in large quantities, they are today among the most common and least expensive of 18th century coins. Struck by seven mints in the Netherlands, one can collect them by date with at least a theoretical possibility of completing a set. Though they were indeed used in Malaya, the vast majority of specimens available to collectors come out of the ground in Indonesia. Low grade pieces with corrosion are normal. Uncirculated of otherwise high grade specimens are rare, as are the off metal versions in silver, gold, etc., struck for contemporary collectors.


A series of silver coins – crowns and fractions – was also struck during the 18th century. These were not used very much, the Spanish dollar being preferred, and they are not so easy to find these days. Meanwhile, as all this colonial activity was going on, a number of native kingdoms were in operation on the Malay peninsula, and Thailand was active in the north.

Here are some of the coin used during Dutch East Indies occupation in Malacca:


1 Stiver (Tin)-Obverse



1 Stiver (Tin)-Reverse

Obverse: Logo of the Dutch VOC above the date
Reverse: Counterstamp of Holland crown shield beside is a rectangular counterstamp (I.S) means 1 Stiver
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: Irregular shape (Approx 30mm- 32 mm.)
Weight: 15.2 grammes.
Composition: Tin (81%) Lead (19%)
Mint: Malacca mint. Condition: Rare


1 Stiver (Tin)-Obverse



1 Stiver (Tin)-Reverse

Obverse: The date above the (G;y) logo.
Reverse: Logo of the dutch VOC above the counterstamp (I.S) means 1 Stiver
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 28.5mm- 29.5 mm.
Weight: 12.7 grammes.
Composition: Tin (81%) Lead (19%)
Mint: Malacca mint. Condition: Rare



2 Stiver (Tin)-Reverse



2 Stiver (Tin)-Obverse


Obverse: The date above the (G;y) logo.
Reverse: The letter I between the Logo of the dutch VOC above the counterstamp (2.S) means 2 Stiver
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 34.5mm- 35 mm.
Weight: 26.6 grammes.
Composition: Tin (83%) Lead (17%)
Mint: Malacca mint.

Condition: Very Rare

Photo by:
Data source: Mallaca collection of coinage book, anythinganywhere, Melaka Century Currency

Southern Indochina and Malay Archipelago since early times were under strong influence of India, which strongly influenced flat coinage of this region, and originated first forms of native primitive money. Succeed by Chinese presence in the region, Chinese ingots came into circulation, and developed new forms of ingot currency. Earlier ingots, flower money, served the prototype for “Namo” coins because of Indian Hindu symbol “na” shown on the coins.

This tin currency are used during 14-15 century around Parameswara (Sultan of Malacca) period. Most of the tin blocks are either in square or round in shape and all have flower motives on the top surface. The bottom has a hole approximately parralel to the axis. The hole is in the centre of bottom face at an angle to the face of the bottom of the “tampang”. A stick was inserted, probably while the tin was molten; then when hardened, the tampang money could be easily removed from the mould.


Each tampang ingot money normally weight 1 LB 15 OZ (900 grammes) or sometimes 1 LB 10 OZ (750 grammes). The lightest of this tampang money is approximately 564 grammes and the heaviest is 879 grammes. The reason this tampang money loss some weight maybe because the of the holes beneath them. Some of tampang tin ingot money in Perak (upper north states in Malaysia) found, the holes beneath the tampang has been filled.

Here is some of Mallaca Tampang Tin ingot money:

Obverse:Four pointed petal flower.
Reverse: Normally it is either a square or a round block of tin.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: Top 44.5 mm-45.5mm, Bottom 63 mm – 65 mm.
Height: 34 mm -36 mm.
Weight: 777.5 grammes.
Period: 14-15 century.
Composition: Tin.
Condition: Scarce.

Obverse: A complicated design in the centre of a round tampang.
Reverse: Normally it is either a square or a round block of tin.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: Top 49 mm-49.5mm, Bottom 57 mm – 58 mm.
Height: 31 mm -33 mm.
Weight: 611.7 grammes.
Period: 14-15 century.
Composition: Tin.
Condition: Very rare.

Obverse: A four pointed petal flower with for dots-one on each side of the tampang.
Reverse: Normally it is either a square or a round block of tin.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: Top 46 mm, Bottom 54 mm – 56 mm.
Height: 29.5 mm -30 mm.
Weight: 607.6 grammes.
Period: 14-15 century.
Composition: Tin.
Condition: Scarce.

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I found many information about Malacca Portuguse tin coinage story. I will share most of them in here today with everyone. If any of the information I found is not correct, please email me with the correct data. I will divided this melaka coinage story into 6 post for easy viewing of the coinage. Tin Animal Money is early money believed to be first used by the royal courts of Malay Peninsula in the 15th century. These Tin Animal Money later evolved into a form of currency used in Perak, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. The most common shape was the crocodile money, others include tortoises, elephants, fish, crickets, beetles, and others. Another shapes of money were developing as well, and besides of varieties of primitively formed tin ingots, various animal shaped ingots appeared in early 18th century. However, some authors dates first animal shaped ingots, supposed originated in Malacca, by early 15th century.

The form of animal shaped ingots was originated both, from Hindu (e.g. elephant), and from China (e.g. tortoise). Besides having a monetary function, these ingots carried a religious value. It was common practice for Chinese miners to guarantee that the new tin opening would be lucky by making an animal sacrifice before indulging in thecustomary celebration [Doyle]. Animal shaped ingots were widely produced in Perak. A variety of ingot money (fighting cock ingot) was circulated in Kedah and Perlis in the middle of the 18th century. Another variety of ingots appeared based on the pagoda and pyramid series in Pahang. It was shaped in so called “tin hat” shape so that it included a hollow pagoda under the tin carcass. This form of ingots is the first known to be originated in Malay Sultanates and carried a legend. According to Saran Singh, first known tin hat shaped ingot appeared in 1819.

Tin Animal Money shaped of Tortoise discovered at reclamation developments.


Tin animal money of Fish shaped with Chinese character Seng Cai growing wealth.


Tortoise Tin Money of the 15th century.


Tin clamp money of the 15th century.


Animal Tin Money shaped of FISH decorated with pattern and embossed Chinese.


Animal Tin Money shaped of TORTOISE decorated with pattern and embossed China character.


Animal tin money shaped of CROCODILE discovered at reclamation developments .


Animal tin money shaped of standing rooster, weighted around 35 grams.


Animal tin money with crystallize form grow on the surfaced in patches.


Source: Picture by, data by Melaka Century Currency, Classification of ingot money.


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I am looking for some information about Melaka Portuguese coinage for this past few days. I bought an old Malacca Portuguese coinage from a flea market recently without any spesific detail about them. The seller only told me that this coin is a Melaka-Portugis /Portugal coinage found in Melaka shore recently. As you see in the picture, the coin still have a trace of sea sand on them. This has bring me to a long hours searching over the internet for their history and origin. I don’t collect tin cash before but this old coin still in the very fine condition with all the detail can be seen. The looks and the price tempted me to buy them.

After further investigation I found out that this is a Malacca Sebastiao coin, dated 1557-78. It made from tin dinheiro with flanking 3 arrows on the reverse and armillary sphere diagonal Left-Right on the obverse. While searching for information about this coin information. I found many information about Malacca Portuguse tin coinage story. I will share most of them in here today with everyone. If any of the information I found is not correct, please email me with the correct data. I will divided this melaka coinage story into 6 post for easy viewing of the coinage.

I found this in a website: The History of Melaka Century Currency

  • Malacca was captured by the Portuguese on August 24, 1511, under the command of Governor Alfonso D’Alburguerque, for 130 over years. From the occupation of Malacca by the Portuguese in 1521, it was administered as part of the territory of Goa in Portuguese India.
  • Gold and silver coins were struck in Malacca by the mind set up by Governor Alfonso D’Albuquerque of India right from the first year of the occupation, i.e. 1511, during the reign of King Dom Mnuell. Among the initial currency issues were the commemorative Catolico and the Meio Catolico, both minted in gold and, the third commemorative in silver, the Malaques, named after Malacca.
  • There were two separate coinages in Malacca during the reign of King Dom Joao III; the De Castro issue and the Malacca Mint issue. The De Castro issue was struck during the governorship of Dom Joao de Castro, the 4th Viceroy of Indis (1545-1548) was in gold as well as in tin. The gold coins were the Escudo de Sao Tome and the Quarter Escudo de Sao Tome, minted in Lisbon and Goa for circulation in India and the ten Portuguese territories. The tin coins were the Bastardo, Soldo and Dinheiro which were also minted in Lisbon for circulation in Malacca. But, those minted in Malacca issues of Bastardo, Soldo and Dinheiro are known to any, where it was minted, where? But, the local minted in Malacca, its quality and workmanship are really poor!
  • The coinage of King Dom Sebastiao, the tin coins were the distinctive bastardo, Soldo and Dinheiro. On the Bastardo, the armillary sphere was replaced by crossed arrows and the letter “S B”. The Soldo had either double arrows a or triple arrows and the letters “B A”, for the Dinheiro, there were at least two issues, one with the armillary and triple arrows; on the other sailing ship replaced by the sphere.
  • During the reign of King Dom Felipe II (1598-1621) there had been no official record of any coins minted at or for Malacca market until Mitchner’s No. 3155, the Half Tanga 1615 M A the only silver piece known by us. Also there is no distinctive tin coins appear to have issued by the MalaccaMint during the reign of King Dom Felipe III of Portugal, only the silver one, They were only in four denominationa, the (i) Half Tanga (ii) the Tanga (iii) the Double Tanga (iv) the Quadruple Tanga. This Quadruple Tang was struck between the years 1633-1636 at the malcca Mint or may be at the Goa Mint specially designed and issued for Malacca. All denominations of silver Tanga of Malacca with the mintmark of “A M” or “M A” of the Malacca Mint!

Malacca Portuguese tin coin Bastardo 1511-1641


Obverse :
Armillary Sphere with Ecliptic Circle falling from left to right surround by Legend & Dmpr De Pvs Or Die Mala For D(Om) M(Anoel) P(Primero) R(Ei) De Pv(Rtugal) S(Enh) Or D(A) I(Ndia) E Mala(Cca), Translated-(Dom Manoel The First, King Of Portugal And Lord Of India And Malacca) within a bead Circule Round The Outer Edge Of Legend.
Reverse :
Cross of the order of the knights of christ surrounded by two circules of breads and and the legent “crvx xpi nostre spes unica” translated – (cross of christ our only hope – of salvation)
Diameter :38 MM
Thickness : 5 MM
Weight : 48 Grammes
Composition : Tin


Portuguese Goa lead Bazaruco in 1600s

Obverse : The Cross Of The Order Of Christ
Reverse : The Armilitary Sphere
Diameter : 11 MM
Weight : 0.8 Grammes
Composition : Tin


Portuguese Malacca tin coin in 1500s



Portuguese Malacca tin coin during occupation 1511-1641



Portuguese Malacca tin coin during occupation 1511-1641


Silver Tanga under the reign of Philip IV was King of Spain from 1621


Melaka Portuguese silver Tanga dated 1640 discovered in Melaka River

Source: Picture by, data by Melaka Century Currency



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A Young woman in Ludlow become the the first person to be convicted of failing to hand in suspected treasure coin in Britain. Kate Harding, 23, was prosecuted under the Treasure Act after she ignored orders to report the rare find to a coroner. She found a 700-year-old silver piedfort marking Charles IV’s 1322 coin in her garden discovered 14 years ago as she worked in the garden with her mother. When her mother’s past away last year, she approached museum experts with the coin who identified it as a piedfort, but she did not inform the coroner.

Photo by Kate Harding outside the court


This is a landmark case in UK for Treasure Act 1996, treasure finder fail to report Treasure. Under the Treasure Act 1996, treasure is defined as any single object at least 300 years old which is not a coin but has a precious metal content of at least 10 per cent. The Act gives a finder 14 days to inform the local coroner of potential treasure and creates an offence of failing to carry out that duty where this is not followed.

Photo by BBC News: The silver piedfort


Photo by dailmail.UK: The silver piedfort


The silver piedfort marked Charles IV’s ascension to the French throne in 1322. The exact use of piedforts is unknown. They are generally thicker than coins and were not used as currency. Experts have suggested they were used as guides for mint workers or as reckoning counters for officials. Only three others have been found in the UK. One found in 2007 was bought by the British Museum for £1,800.

Ludlow magistrates heard how Miss Harding had ignored calls and letters from Ludlow Museum advising her to report the piedfort to the district coroner once it had been identified last February. Museum staff then notified Anthony Sibcy, the coroner for South Shropshire, who informed police. Miss Harding initially claimed she had lost the piedfort, the court heard. Defending Miss Harding, Brendan Reedy said she had failed to notify the coroner because of ‘ disorganisation’ on her part and that the artefact had a sentimental value to her. Miss Harding, who lives with her boyfriend on the outskirts of Ludlow, admitted having an object that is believed to have been treasure and not reporting it to the coroner. She faced up to three months in jail or a fine, or both, but walked free from court on Wednesday with a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £25 of the £300 costs.


The court only fine her with a small fee. Maybe this action by the court is just a warning to all treasure hunter out there who found a treasure but will not report it. Some people really gain a lots from treasure that they find. She found that coin in her house 14 years ago but the Act already stated any suspected treasure need to be reported. Treasure found maybe an important artifact to that particular country. But this young woman isn’t a treasure hunter. She look like a victim for the authority effort to stop metal detector treasure hunter in the country. What is your say about this?

Source:, BBC News


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A group of treasure hunter unearthed 178 Henry I coins scattered across a remote patch of farmland near Knaresborough, North Yorkshire worth £40,000. The 15 members of the West Riding Detector Group struck silver with the largest hoard of the coins ever discovered in the North of England. The coins were declared official treasure on Wednesday by the North Yorkshire County Coroner and will now be sent for valuation before being sold to a museum. The proceeds will be split between the group and the landowner whose field the hoard was discovered in. The group discovered the hoard between April 2008 and April 2009.



Peter Spencer, a member of the group, said: “Usually when you are detecting you find bits of old cartridge case or worthless metal, but that day every time you heard a bleep it was another coin.”


“We weren’t even supposed to have an outing that day and it was organised at the last minute, but we’re all pretty pleased we went.”


Delivery driver Julian Szulc, 49, said: “It was like winning the Lottery.”


“I have been detecting for 10 years and this is something you can only dream about.”


“I think we might get about £40,000 for them, which is a brilliant amount, but it is about more than the money for us.”


Peter Spencer said: “There were 178 coins from the reign of Henry I, most of them were pennies, but a few were cut half-pennies.”


“It was tremendously exciting. Hoards of Norman coins are very far and few between. Detectors find things on a daily basis so in a year I would see maybe seven or eight individual Norman coins, but a hoard of this size is the only one that I have ever found in England which contains just one type of penny.”


Mr Spence said the coins, which date from about 1132, would today have a face value of between £7,000 and £8,000.



Jeffrey Warden, one of the finders, said: “It’s a special feeling – it’s like winning the lottery. We knew within minutes we had found something special. I have been doing this 27 years and it’s the best thing I have found.”


The find, known as the Knaresborough Area Hoard, was the centre of a hearing in Harrogate yesterday.Following the recommendation of an expert from the British Museum, coroner Rob Turnbull classified the coins as treasure. They will now be officially valued and any museums interested in obtaining them will have six months to come up with funds. Several institutions have expressed an interest, including the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.




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One of the oldest shipwreck site was found near the town of Salcombe by divers from the South West Maritime Archaeological Group. One of the historic find in the Shipwreck site including a 3,000 year old Bronze Age trading vessel which is the oldest shipwreck ever found in Britain. Investigation and recovery work on the boat’s cargo was carried out by archaeologists from South West Maritime Archaeological Group (SWMAG) between February and November 2009, but the find was only made public this month at the annual International Shipwreck Conference in Plymouth.

Photo: A diver searches for sunken treasure using an underwater metal detector.


Photo: A golden bracelets, was part of a 900 B.C. cargo discovered in May 2009.


Photo: Golden bracelets, called torques.

So far, 295 artifacts with a combined weight of 84 kilograms have been retrieved by SWMAG at the shipwreck site. The Bronze Age treasure was found in the Salcombe region, close to the shore and in just 26 to 33 feet (8 to 10 meters) of water. Three golden bracelets found in the most recently identified Salcombe shipwreck site gleamed enough to be noticed. While the new found wreck yielded several golden bracelets, called torques, the previously discovered site included even rarer treasures, which date to between 1300 and 1100 B.C. Once worn as a bracelet, the braided-wire torque is incredibly rare, with the closest known example coming from France, according to Ben Roberts of the British Museum.

Photo: Hundreds of copper and tin ingots found at shipwreck site.

But the large quantity of metal ingots at the site resemble gravel cobbles, making them very hard to distinguish in undersea rock gullies. Shaped into pellets convenient for shipping, copper and tin ingots were the raw material for making the metal which defines the Bronze Age. The Salcombe shipwreck’s 259 copper ingots likely came from overseas, possibly from mines in central Europe or what is now Spain, according to the study team. This metal ingots would have been used to make bronze, which was the key product of the period. The bronze would in turn have been used to fashion all from tools to weapons and jewellery.

Sadly none of the ship’s structure remains. Most likely it has been rotted away over the centuries. But experts have speculated that it was probably a “bulk carrier” about 12 metres long by almost two metres wide, and made out of long timber planks or a wooden frame with animal hide stretched across it. It would have been crewed by about 15 men and powered by paddle. A narrow row boat might sound like an exposed and treacherous way of crossing the English Channel, but it’s thought that intrepid Bronze Age mariners would have used vessels like this to criss-cross the waterway with some frequency.

Source: National Geographic Daily News, Photo courtesy South West Maritime Archaeological Group, Independent News UK.



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One of Scotland most important hoard discovery of the century, a hoard of Iron Age jewellery found by a treasure hunter in Stirlingshire has gone on display in Edinburgh. A news by BBC reported, the four gold Iron Age neck ornaments, or torcs, date from between the 1st and 3rd Century BC and are said to be worth an estimated £1m. They were found in a field by safari park manager David Booth, he found the hoard just seven step away from his car and he just bought and using his metal detector for the first time; “a beginners luck”. He found the ‘torcs’ buried just six inches beneath the surface in a field near Stirling.


Photo: David Booth with his finds


Booth only buy his £240 gadget and detect knives and forks in his own kitchen as practice. But just one hour into his first outdoor foray and only seven paces from where he had parked the car he became the Scotland most famous finder. The find was in five pieces; three intact necklets and two fragments of another torc, all gold and silver alloy with a touch of copper. Two of the pieces are ribbon torcs, twisted carefully from sheet gold with flattened ends. These are Scottish or Irish in origin. The fragments are from a South-west French style annular torc, which would have been an enclosed circle with a hinge and catch. But the piece that is really getting experts excited is a looped terminal torc with decorative ends, made from eight golden wires looped together and decorated with thin threads and chains. All the pieces date to between 300 and 100 BC. The Stirling find appears to reveal links between local tribes, traditionally seen as isolated and other Iron Age people in Europe.


Photo: the site (Yellow bucket mark Booth found the hoard) with timber-frame building


Further excavations have been carried out in the field where the find was made. No further gold has been discovered but archaeologists have found a timber-frame building, and they believe the site could have been some kind of shrine. Meanwhile, the future of the gold has yet to be decided. It is currently under the care of the Treasure Trove Unit, which has lent it to the museum so the public can get an idea what the find is like. Finders have no ownership rights and must report any objects to the Treasure Trove Unit, but they may receive a reward equal to the value. The items were unveiled at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh until 10 February. The Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel will value the latest discovery.


Source: BBC News,,, msnbc.

Do You know what is the worlds first coin? Lydian third stater, or trite, minted sometime around 600 BC in Lydia, Asia Minor (current-day Turkey), a country in close geographic and cultural proximity to the Greek colonies in Asia Minor Is the world 1st coin. It’s made of electrum, an alloy of gold and silver called “white gold” in ancient times (50-60 percent gold with these coins). One of the many fascinating aspects of this coin is the mysterious sunburst above the lion’s eye.


The first metal coins are regarded by some as having been invented in China. The earliest known Chinese metal tokens were made ca. 900 BC, discovered in a tomb near Anyang. These were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese money, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. Most numismatists, however, regard these as well as later Chinese bronzes that were replicas of knives, spades, and hoes as money but not as coins because they didn’t at least initially carry a mark or marks certifying them to be of a definite exchange value.

Coins originated independently in Anatolia, with most numismatists regarding Lydia as the birthplace of coinage. The Greeks soon adopted the Lydian practice and extended it to commerce and trade, with coinage following Greek colonization and influence first around the eastern Mediterranean and soon after to North Africa (including Egypt), Syria, Persia, and the Balkans.

The first Lydian coins were made of electrum, an alloy of silver and gold. Many early Lydian coins were undoubtedly struck (manufactured) under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens than true coins, though because of their numbers it’s evident that some were official state issues, with King Alyattes of Lydia being the most frequently mentioned originator of coinage.

Most of the early Lydian coins have no writing on them, just images of symbolic animals. Therefore the dating of these coins relies primarily on archeological evidence, with the most commonly cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, also called the Ephesian Artemision (which would later evolve into one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world).

A small percentage of early Lydian coins include writing, called a “legend” or “inscription.” Another famous early electrum coin with a legend is from nearby Caria, Asia Minor, with the legend reading, “I am the badge of Phanes.” Nothing is known about who Phanes was, but one logical assumption is that he was a wealthy merchant.

The Lydian’s invented a way to verify if gold was pure or not, they used a black stone that was like jasper and later became known as the touchstone. The goldsmiths would rub the gold object against a set of 24 needles containing varying amounts of the 3 metals: gold, silver, and copper. The 24th needle of course was pure gold, thus creating the system to show that 24 carats is pure gold, (carat is a word derived from the Greek word Keration.)

Source: rg.ancient info,, wikipedia

Do you know what is the world first banknote? I found a story about the first money, jiaozi banknote. It started when people used paper money as a circulating medium after a shortages of metal for coins. In ancient China coins were circular with a rectangular hole in the middle. Several coins could be strung together on a rope. Merchants in China, if they became rich enough, found that their strings of coins were too heavy to carry around easily. To solve this problem, coins were often left with a trustworthy person, and the merchant was given a slip of paper recording how much money he had with that person. If he showed the paper to that person he could regain his money. Eventually from this paper money jiaozi originated.


In the 600s there were local issues of paper currency in China and by 960 the Song Dynasty, short of copper for striking coins, issued the first generally circulating notes. A note is a promise to redeem later for some other object of value, usually specie. The issue of credit notes is often for a limited duration, and at some discount to the promised amount later. The jiaozi banknote nevertheless did not replace coins during the Song Dynasty; paper money was used alongside the coins.

The successive Yuan Dynasty was the first dynasty in China to use paper currency as the predominant circulating medium. The founder of the Yuan Dynasty,Kublai Khan, issued paper money known as Chao in his reign. The original notes during the Yuan Dynasty were restricted in area and duration as in the Song Dynasty, but in the later course of the dynasty, facing massive shortages of specie to fund their ruling in China, began printing paper money without restrictions on duration. By 1455, in an effort to rein in economic expansion and end the new Ming Dynasty ended paper money, and closed much of Chinese trade.

I try to find a new picture and story of jiaozi banknote, world first banknote but I cannot found any.

Source: wikipedia


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Do you know which country has the smallest banknote? I am posting this post a long time ago and doing this edited post to tell you this two is still the smallest banknote I can find. What I found out there is two banknote that been said as a world smallest banknote. One from a personal website While another one is from a Guinness Worlds Records 2008 website. Most of my search via google bring me into a website with other smallest thing in this world. So here is the story of the smallest paper money in this world.




From Tomchao website, he put Morroco 50 centimes as a smallest banknote. Small denomination coins were in short supply during WWI. Morocco issued postage size 50 Centimes, 1 Franc and 2 Francs cardboard notes as temporary substitutes for coins. This 50 Centimes banknote only measuring at 41mm x 32mm. The banknote is in red color and issued in 1944.



Photo by:


Guinness Worlds Records 2008 put this Romania 10 bani issued by Romania ministry of finance issued in 1917 as the worlds smallest national currency. Romania 10 bani banknote printed area measured 27.5 mm x 38 mm. The banknote color is green and you can see the year issued with the word Romania. My blog reader, Alex from Romania ( inform me that this banknote is not really a banknote ,it’s a paper coin. It’s a divisionary note (100 bani=1 leu ),and the guy from the note is King Ferdinand (1914-1927). King Ferdinand succeeded his uncle on the latter’s death (Carol I of Romania died without surviving issue) as King of Romania on 10 October 1914, reigning until his own death on 20 July 1927.


At first, I do think Romania 10 bani bill is the smallest banknote if looking for the size given. After thinking about it for a while, based on printed area, Morroco 50 centimes could be the world smallest banknote. I also wish one day I can put this banknote in my collection. Which do you think is the worlds smallest banknote? Do you have any other banknote that smaller then this two? Please, don’t afraid to comment and


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I am looking for Polymer banknotes history like how people start to make polymer banknotes. Found some info in wikipedia but I think this old story from is more suitable to what i am looking for. I am not a fan of Polymer banknotes because most of the time the design and the price not that attractive to me. I have meet most of this guy in their shop at Amcorp Mall before and their book World Polymer Banknotes- a standard reference is still the best books about polymer banknote.




Monday August 15, 2005

Durable plastic money


Polymer banknotes have been around for almost a quarter of a century, with more than three billion bills circulating in 26 countries today. Malaysia first joined the plastic money club with a RM50 denomination. Now, three Malaysians have put the country ahead of the polymer pack. After eight months of research, three Malaysian banknote collectors wrote, compiled and designed a collector’s tome, World Polymer Banknotes – A Standard Reference.


The trio – Peter Eu, Ben Chiew and Julian Chee – claim the book is the first reference in its category which documents and records the history, development and listing of world polymer banknotes.




“It’s timely as there has not been such a publication on polymer banknotes of the world,” says Eu, 35, a decade-long collector of these banknotes. Chiew, also 35, started the hobby eight years ago while Chee, 32, got the bug only two years ago. In fact, it was the shared passion that brought the Malacca High School alumni together, first as collectors and then, business partners.


Interest in polymer banknotes has come out, seemingly from nowhere, over the past few years. It is the swelling ranks of collectors that convinced the trio of the need for such a book, that introduces as well as promotes the hobby.


Why collect polymer banknotes?


Eu started it as a hobby because he felt “polymer banknotes are more durable, colourful as well as exciting.” “Polymer notes are easier and more affordable to collect,” says Chiew. Even though collectors have to pay a certain premium than the face value of these currencies, the premium is not that high. Besides, many of these polymer banknotes are still legal tender compared to paper currencies, of which some may not be legal tender but still have numismatic value.


Collecting polymer currencies can be an educational journey, if not an appreciation of the artwork. “A collector can learn about the country and prominent icons. Children, too, can find it an invaluable lesson. They can enhance their knowledge of the world,” Chee says. Banknote enthusiasts also make new acquaintances in their search for rare, interesting or “missing” banknotes to complete their collections.


One can start to collect through exchanging with other collectors, via the Internet or ebay. “Flea markets in the Klang Valley can also be a place to look out for these notes,” says Chee, who cited Amcorp Mall in Petaling Jaya as a location where dealers and collectors can be found.


Polymer banknotes are considerably new in Malaysia. In 1998, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued a RM50 polymer banknote. It was a commemorative issue in conjunction with the XVI Commonwealth Games. Only half a million were issued. “Nine out of 10 Malaysians probably have not seen the RM50 polymer banknote,” says Eu, who thinks that “polymer banknotes will be the future of currency.”


Benefits of polymer banknotes


Last year, BNM released a new polymer RM5 banknote which all of us are familiar with.


“Compared to paper banknotes, the polymer banknotes are twice as expensive to produce, but last four to five times longer. As a result, they are replaced less often which leads to lower production costs. They can more durable and won’t fade with handling. Hence, they can be washed and won’t get damaged in the washing machine,” he says.


Polymer banknotes are clean throughout their life. Impermeable to water, sweat or liquid, they don’t absorb moisture, odour or get stained. The final over coating (with a protective varnish) also protects the banknote from excessive ink wear.


Polymer banknotes have better security. These banknotes can incorporate new and advanced security features unavailable to paper banknotes such as transparent window and holograms. The transparent window is a key security feature of a polymer banknote.


A notable history


In the late 1970s and early 1980s, du Pont pioneered this evolution of technology in currency with its Tyvek polymer, a material that was jointly developed by du Pont and American Banknote Company. It was later discovered that the printing ink does not bond to the Tyvek material and after handling a few times, the ink on the notes smudges and wears off.



The first three countries to introduce such banknotes were Haiti, Costa Rica and Isle of Man.


In the late 1980s, the Reserve Bank of Australia developed and perfected the technique with Guardian polymer, and introduced plastic banknotes in 1988. Today, all countries that issue polymer currency use this version.


Currently, Australia, New Zealand and Romania have fully converted to polymer banknotes.


Brunei also plans to fully convert to polymer banknotes except for big denominations involving B$500, B$1,000 and B$10,000.


World Polymer Banknotes – A Standard Reference (1st edition 2005/2006) is available from MPH, Kinokuniya and other major bookstores at RM39.90. It can also be purchased from the website,


The 208-page reference book lists more than 500 banknotes with 60 banknotes illustrated in high-resolution images. It is educational for both collectors and non-collectors as it includes the currency history, data of each country, description of the artwork of each banknote and information of the currency.



Source: the star-lifestyle-15 August 2005



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In 1933, 445,000 gold Double Eagle coins were minted. At this time, during the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt took the U.S. off the gold standard. People were ordered to turn in their gold and no more gold coins were to be issued for circulation. All of the 1933 Double Eagles were ordered to be destroyed. Some of these coins escaped the melting. Two were given to the Smithsonian Institute for the U.S. National Numismatic Collection. In the 1950’s the Secret Service confiscated eight more of these 1933 Double Eagles.

The true story may never be known as to how they left the mint, but a coin dealer sold at least nine of them and one ended up in the collection of King Farouk of Eqypt. 40 years later, the coin showed up in New York in the possession of a coin dealer. The Secret Service seized the expensive coin and a legal battle began in court. During the several years of litigation, the expensive collectible was stored in the Treasury vaults at the World Trade Center, but after the lawsuit was finally settled in 2001 the coin was moved and later auctioned off on July 30, 2002 for $6.6 million, plus a buyer’s fee of 15% for a total price for the world’s most expensive coin $7,590,020.

In 2004. ten more specimens of the gold Double Eagle coins were discovered among the effects of the coin dealer who sold the previous specimens. One of his heirs sent all ten to the U.S. Mint to be authenticated and the Secret Service seized them. They now reside in Fort Knox while a new legal battle is fought over their ownership of these copies of the most expensive coin ever sold.


This record has already been beaten by The Neil/Carter/Contrusi 1794 flowing hair dollar, sold for $7.85 million to the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation of Sunnyvale by Steven L. Contursi.


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Lot 580: 10 RUPIAH 1974, PATTERN. Brass-Clad Steel. KM-38(pn). Issued coins in different theme (National Saving Program). Theme : HINDU PRAMBANAN TEMPLE at Central Java. Plain edge. Weight 3.78 gm. Several small stains; otherwise Almost Uncirculated. VERY RARE.
Limit price :   Rp.  2,000,000


Javan rupees including this Madura star countermarked example:priced at $150-$200++This priced at $4500++:

“BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY, FORT MARLBRO, 2 SUKUS AH 1197 (1783 AD). KM-271! Sch-941 (RR). Silver. From the name of the British Fort Marlborough in Benculen (Bengkulu), at the West Coast of Sumatra. Rev. leg. in Jawi script : “”Uang Kompani Duwa Suku 1197 (AH)””. Plain edge, Struck at Calcutta. Weight 12.73 gm! diameter 25 mm. Very Fine. EXTREMELY RARE.”

Also quite a number of gold massa and mas (10th through 18th centuries), some very specialist Bangka tin mine tokens (ca. 1800)

along with the Bangka sycee

Looks like somebody sold their collection….

They have some postcards including this interesting ‘coins of the East Indies’ example from 1909:



* the paper on both looks to be same as the paper on my specimen on both notes. This would point to all three being forgeries from the same source.
* the obverse of the 1 gulden is crude and the circle around the 1 is overinked, and similarly many of the lines are too fat
* the ‘1s’ on the back I think is a fantasy. The note is supposed to have a watermark of 1s and lines, but these are over printed not true watermarks.
* I am not sure what the reverse of the 1000 gulden is supposed to be, but the one above is odd
* my KUKI says that the 1000 gulden is made from ‘kertas bergaris’, which is I think ‘ribbed’ paper
* the lion on the 1000 gulden is a sad specimen.
* there are various small differences between the two 1000 guldens in the printing. So they are not from the same plates.

Clearly both the above notes are fake. They are being sold at €1600 and €400 respectively.

The seller may be selling them in good faith, he told me of the 1000g:

“I collect notes all 20 years,mostly from the Netherlands and colonies,because I was working 15 years in holland and I like them very much.This note was one of my colleague( in Holland),when he wants to by this tipe note in UNC condition he solded this note to my friend(he is also collect notes) hier in Hungary.I buyed from him 4 years ago.Solong is this note is my property.”


The Standard Catalog Of World Coins entry for this type:
1991    67,000,000   –   0.10   0.20   0.50   1.25   1992    70,000,000   –   0.10   0.20   0.50   1.25   1993    120,000,000   –   0.10   0.20   0.50   1.25   

1994    300,000,000   –   0.10   0.20   0.50   1.25   

1995    591,880,000   –   0.10   0.20   0.50   1.25   

1996    –   –   0.10   0.25   0.60   1.25   

1997    150,000   –   0.10   0.25   0.60   1.25   

1998    150,000   –   0.10   0.25   0.60   1.25   

Exhibit C:

My purchase of all the coins, plus the 1999-2002 (aluminium) 50 rupiah coins for $3.75

Exhibit D:

The 1997 coin for $9.99

“This Coin 50 Rupiah year 1997 is the Rarest among Indonesia Republic Coins since the first minted.And its really really rare.”


Exhibit E:

my reply from the seller, when I questioned if it was really worth $9.99 (this was before he found a buyer)

I do hope you don’t mind I explaint about my opinion re.” 50 rupiah is the rarest among Indonesian coins”,what I mean is coins as legal tender.This explanation doesn’t mean I want to argue about it but at least I could give you the information about the actual situation in the market and the difficulty to get those 2 type of coins. Second thing I do hope you will not misunderstand at my limitation of my English language.
Here the explanation :
First : I am pretty sure that 50 rupiah is the most dificulty to get or at least the most I could say that 50 rp as rare as 1 sen 1952.
This my reason : I started curious about 50rp1997 was in 2002,so what I did was going to the bank axchanged the circulated 50rp97 and I found only 2 pcs in every 1000 pcs circulated that year 2002,I did that many times that the everage random only 2pcs in every 1000pcs…..that in 2002.Then I did do that until 2007.Thre was anouncement from governmnet (as usual) that in everycertain period the government withdraw certain money,like coin that the government melted them after they think the value is not representative anymore with the present value.(like now government start withdrawing 100rp coin year 91 up to98). Let me continue,……After the government anouncement,I started again to do what I did in 2002 (as far as I know,that time no one of Indonesian numismatist reize that,might be there is….possibility only 1 or 2 person
…perhaps!!).I was in a hurry going to the bank and exchange to 50rp coins. In 2007,I found only 1 pcs in every 1000 pcs.It didn’t last long because most of 50rp had withdrawed by government to melted down. Then 1 or 2 of my friend (indonesian numismatists relize then followed what I did re 50 rp97).In a few months they give up and they only got few of them.Then in 2008,I can not find anymore.Well,Might be at present I could find e few peaces but it would be very very difficultto find.
Second….if we base on the total minted which 1 sen 1952 was minted with total 100.000 while 50rp97 was minted 150.000 and also much alder……yes You are right that 1 sen 52 is the rarest……but that coin(1sen1952) the government didn’t melt them down. So my consideration base on that background and the fact,I still beleive that 50rp1997 is the rarest.


How much is this coin really worth? Is the 1997 (150,000 minted) really worth the same as the 1995 (592 million minted). Clearly not. Will the next edition of the Standard Catalog of World Coins have a new value for this coin? Maybe. If so, that may appear to be the ‘true value’, and if you are a dealer who obtained 100 of these coins at face value in 1997, you may be quite happy selling them at say $5 each. If people want them, and that’s what it says in the book, I guess that is what they will go for.  And how about the 1998 (same mintage). Is this as scarce? Maybe the people searching bank rolls haven’t even noticed yet. Or maybe they are still scarce, but for some reason not so scarce, more went into criculation.

Clearly these coins are substantially scarce, with the majority of their everyday users treating them with the contempt that would seem to befit a coin worth half a cent, and substantial numbers melted down. The scarcest decimal Netherlands Indies coin, aside from the initial 1854 1/20 guilder coins, is the 1883 quarter guilder, valued in the Standard Catalog of World Coins at $200 in BU (which is lower than the strangely overvalued, and much more recent, 1933 grapes mint-mark half cent (5 million minted), with a BU value of $300 – six times higher than 1921 with only 4 million minted (here the ‘it says these coins are worth $100 in my book’-syndrome drives pricing to an extent – these coins sell below book, but above what they should)), thanks to a mintage of 800,000.

So what will these coins be worth in 50 years time? I would guess more than the inflation-adjusted $1.25, but then with the 1952 1 sen (100,000 minted) still available for around $2 in BU, who’s to say?

Like everything else value is a reflection of supply and demand. How many dealers have got stacks of these stored up? Who knows. Time I guess will tell.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 03:38:45 AM by thelawnet »


Very interesting post. Thank you! This sort of situation occurs more often and it’s a nightmare for KM’s coin pricers (I am one, to be exact, I also price this particular coin. However, the last word on pricing is with KM, not me).If you subscribe to the above quoted statement, the problem is in type collectors versus date collectors. To type collectors, the date is irrelevant. Therefore, if one date is scarcer than another, their demand for this date will drop until all coins of the same type are priced equally. Typically, date collectors reside in the country the coin was meant for. Therefore, the more people in this country collect coins, the more you will see date prices diverge. Also, prices of older coins diverge more by date than prices of coins still in circulation.Second: sloppy statistics and no stats on coins destroyed. Undoubtedly, the mintage figure of 150 000 comes from an oficial source, but what does it mean? These figures are usually the number of coins produced in the calendar year. However, were all coins dated in that year? It seems likely that dies are used until they are either worn or as soon as they are needed, not until 31st December or from 1st January. This may explain why your correspondent (who seems serious and well informed) says nothing about 1998, which has the same mintage according to KM.

More important, I don’t think f(price) = (supply,demand), but f(price) = (catalogue price quote). If I price a coin at 10 dollars, dealers will want $10. If they can’t move it for $10 the price will not drop, but they will no longer stock the coin. A collector who can’t find the coin will not drive up the price, but keep hunting. This is called market failure: markets are too thin (not enough supply and demand) to form a price; the catalogue makes the market.

So how do I operate as pricer? I keep a large data base of coins offered in the area I price. I have no sales of the 1997 coin, but the latest 1998 offers I have average at about $0.60 for unc. In view of the mintage figure, I would have concluded that the price for 1997 is the same and the type is overpriced. Now, with this information, I need to reconsider.

Your source say he finds one or two copies in a batch of 1000 coins. According to mintage data, there are about 1 million copies of the type struck, so there are around 1500 in circulation with the date 1997. That doesn’t make it a rare or even a scarce coin. The sale of $10 confirms this. Based on mintage figures, I would have expected an occurrence of 6/1000, though. Therefore, the coin may very well be harder to find than the mintage figure indicates.

So now, the problem is, should I assume that Indonesians have started collecting coins on a significant scale to make a worldwide difference or should I continue to price the type as if the market is dominated by type collectors? Market indicators are mixed and unreliable.

What do you think?




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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo « Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 04:58:51 PM »  

Quote from: Figleaf on January 29, 2009, 02:36:21 PM

Very interesting post. Thank you! This sort of situation occurs more often and it’s a nightmare for KM’s coin pricers (I am one, to be exact, I also price this particular coin. However, the last word on pricing is with KM, not me).

If you subscribe to the above quoted statement, the problem is in type collectors versus date collectors. To type collectors, the date is irrelevant. Therefore, if one date is scarcer than another, their demand for this date will drop until all coins of the same type are priced equally. Typically, date collectors reside in the country the coin was meant for. Therefore, the more people in this country collect coins, the more you will see date prices diverge. Also, prices of older coins diverge more by date than prices of coins still in circulation.
The problem with type collecting is that the types are not necessarily what the catalogue says they are. I count six distinct Netherlands Indies 1/10 guilder types, and if you include mintmarks and mintmark variations there are 13 different coins, even ignoring the date. The catalogue lists only four types. Much better to have them all. 


Second: sloppy statistics and no stats on coins destroyed. Undoubtedly, the mintage figure of 150 000 comes from an oficial source, but what does it mean? These figures are usually the number of coins produced in the calendar year. However, were all coins dated in that year? It seems likely that dies are used until they are either worn or as soon as they are needed, not until 31st December or from 1st January. This may explain why your correspondent (who seems serious and well informed) says nothing about 1998, which has the same mintage according to KM.
I’m not sure how long you have been maintaining this section. Did you source the mintage figures?

I tend not to trust them 100% simply because there are too many gaps (look at the bimetallic 1000 rupiah), and it seems slightly curious that 1997 and 1998 should both have mintages of exactly 150,000.

When I bought my 50 rupiah there was little competition, as shown by the fact that I was able to buy a dozen of them for $3.75 (30 cents each).

The face value, in US$ terms, of these coins is very low. For instance, the 1991-1998 100 rupiah is catalogued at $0.60 in UNC, $1 in BU (though given the age of the coins, they all tend to be brilliant, assuming they are unirculated). These coins are worth $0.01 as currency. Though they are no longer produced, mintages range from 41 million to 800 million. Given their 1 cent value it does not follow to me that they are worth any more than the UK 1p coin, which is catalogued at $0.20 in UNC (no BU value is listed). The cost of acquiring these coins is 1 cent, so they are really only worth 1 cent + dealer’s markup. If $0.20 is the value of an unc. UK 1p (a price which reflects the fact that you can acquire these coins at face, or not waste the time and buy them from a dealer instead), then I’d say that’s true of a $0.01 too.

If you look at the 1000 rupiah bimetal, this is catalogued at $3.50 and $5 in UNC/BU, with no other values listed. These prices are pretty outlandish, these coins are worth $0.10 FV, so perhaps $0.30/$0.50 would be more appropriate. Obviously they are appealing to collectors in ways that other Indonesian coins are not because they are bimetallic, but given the numbers minted this should really affect supply, not pricing – in other words more collectors buying them should mean higher supply, meaning the dealers collect more profit by selling more for ($0.50 – $0.10), not higher prices.

But when the seller whose correspondence I quoted listed a year set (6 coins) of these for sale, I was underbidder at $6.10 against the selling price of $6.60.

And the winning bidder was an active Indonesian dealer. I was surprised – I thought ‘this guy must be crazy, paying $6.60 for $0.60 worth of coins’.

When a similar lot was listed by the same seller, I upped my bid, figuring it was worth overpaying against face in order to complete my collection. But I didn’t win that lot either, and it sold for $10.51 to the same dealer that won the previous lot.

I didn’t really realise what was going on, but last week an Indonesian poster here:

decided to show off his collection of rare date coins.

The coins? Some Indies coins, the 50 sen 1954 and the 50 and (a very worn looking) 1000 rupiah 1997.

So it seems that the 1000 rupiah type sets were going so high because of the 1997. Who knows how much the dealer would have been willing to pay for this coin as a normal sale. My guess is that the others are worth face, but this coin is worth $10 or more in Indonesia.

FWIW, the mintage figures listed in Krause are:

1993: 5 million
1994: 6 million
1995: 19.9 million
1996: –
1997: –
2000: –

The last ebay sales were at $1.80 for 2 1996s and $2.13 for 4 1996s.


More important, I don’t think f(price) = (supply,demand), but f(price) = (catalogue price quote). If I price a coin at 10 dollars, dealers will want $10. If they can’t move it for $10 the price will not drop, but they will no longer stock the coin. A collector who can’t find the coin will not drive up the price, but keep hunting. This is called market failure: markets are too thin (not enough supply and demand) to form a price; the catalogue makes the market.
If a dealer buys 1933 1/2 cent grapes MM at half of book value, but then cannot make a profit on resale, it is true that he will not stock them. But if he can easily buy them at face for pennies, he will take what he can get. The Paper Money catalogue has gross overpricing on recent issues due to the fall of the rupiah (many years ago now, but still), but this does not inhibit sales, people just pay a little over FV, rather than the ludicrous catalogue prices.


So how do I operate as pricer? I keep a large data base of coins offered in the area I price. I have no sales of the 1997 coin, but the latest 1998 offers I have average at about $0.60 for unc. In view of the mintage figure, I would have concluded that the price for 1997 is the same and the type is overpriced. Now, with this information, I need to reconsider.
I would have thought the same, but the availability data does not bear this out.

Currently on ebay a dealer has a BU roll for sale:

$1.75 each

An Indonesian seller has 3 used examples for $1

And there’s one for sale starting at €1

No 1997s. The average coin dealer sells so many low valued world coins he’s probably not going to even notice that he’s never handled one, and wouldn’t realise if he did.


Your source say he finds one or two copies in a batch of 1000 coins. According to mintage data, there are about 1 million copies of the type struck,
One billion I think you mean.


so there are around 1500 in circulation with the date 1997. That doesn’t make it a rare or even a scarce coin. The sale of $10 confirms this. Based on mintage figures, I would have expected an occurrence of 6/1000, though. Therefore, the coin may very well be harder to find than the mintage figure indicates.
150,000 / 1,000,000,000 is 1 in 7,000. Which is a pretty thankless task to find – if you have to sort through 100 rolls of 100 coins to find 1 of these, I think you deserve more than $1 for doing so.

But as we’ve said the mintage figures are unreliable. It seems Indonesian numismatists were not finding these coins even 10 years ago. Maybe of the 150,000 many were never released into circulation. And maybe the numbers are not even accurate anyway. Why are the 1998s so easy to find when they too are apparently 1 in 7,000 coins?

And anyway, scarcity is a relative concept. Is the 5,000,000 mintage 1933 grapes m/m half cent scarce, as indicated by Scholten? My experience would be that it is not, they come up for sale regularly. They form about 5 in 1000 for all coins of this type.


So now, the problem is, should I assume that Indonesians have started collecting coins on a significant scale to make a worldwide difference or should I continue to price the type as if the market is dominated by type collectors? Market indicators are mixed and unreliable.

What do you think?
There are a number of factors here. If Indonesian collectors have decided that these coins are scarce, they become more desirable and the price rises. The market for Indonesian paper money is much more liquid and the popular notes rise in price much faster than certain scarcer issues. Money follows money. So I’d say that if Indonesian collectors identify 1997 50 and 1000 rupiah coins as scarce, even if they are not, the price will rise and so will demand, people hunting for the ‘hot’ coin.

A good example of this is the Irian Barat 100 rupiah bank note. This is catalogued in the Standard Catalog at $45 VF, $110 in UNC. Yet these notes in KUKI are $500. Suddenly they are hot, desirable, and part of a short set of five Irian Barat notes. Are they rare? Not so much. But not common so that somebody has 100 of them to sell. So when they come up for sale in UNC occasionally, they fetch $500-$1000 to Indonesian collectors. Even if you had a few, you could sell them bit by bit.

Yet in 2005 7 of these notes were sold at Stacks from a US diplomat’s long-time collection, and realised low prices. A lot of 4 in grades from VF to CU sold together for $60. That was their value in the US to US collectors. Would they sell for that price now? Maybe not. The dealers know they are worth more – this UK dealer has had one for £495 ($1000 when she first listed it) for a while now.

Has this driven the price up outside Indonesia? Yes, definitely. I know that I cannot go back to 2005 and buy CU notes for $50. So when I had the chance to buy one in VF for $70, I jumped at it. Market forces at work, my realisation that I would never again pay the 2005 price means I’m happy to pay for much more, but still less than what collectors would pay.

This only works because of a genuine shortage of supply combined with a collector perception of desirability. Other scarcer notes you can pick up for a fraction of the price.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 05:02:06 PM by thelawnet »


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  The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo) « Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 11:49:52 PM »  

It’s a case of supply & demand.The price will stay low,even though it may be scarce,because there is a lack of demand for that particular coin.As soon as the demand for a coin increases,then the price can shoot straight up accordingly.

Occasionally,you can buy them cheap knowing in hindsight that the price could have gone up a few years later.

This was definitely the case when I bought my example of the Chatham Islands $5 coin for double the face value.Now,it is worth way over NZ$100.Some dealers are still pricing that coin too low at NZ$120 or NZ$150.I reckon it should be worth NZ$200 minimum,due to its scarcity.




thelawnetAC/DC Numismatist.
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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo « Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 12:17:03 AM »  

Quote from: Figleaf on January 29, 2009, 02:36:21 PM

So how do I operate as pricer? I keep a large data base of coins offered in the area I price. I have no sales of the 1997 coin, but the latest 1998 offers I have average at about $0.60 for unc.
Can you provide a bit more information about your database? Do you compile it manually or do you have some automated tools? On big coins, the price is probably the last auction price. For instance, the Batavian Crown, a handsome chunk of silver, of which 6 specimens survive, is listed in KM as:

Coin Mintage VG FINE VF XF UNC BU   
1645 Rare – – – – – – –
Note: D.A.P. Coins private sale 3-89 XF $32,000

A search on ‘’ shows three recent sales:, an aXF lacking eye appeal at $28,000 in September 2006

and the DAP coins example listed above in June 2003 at $70,000

and then the same coin sadly entombed in a plastic slab and sold in the overhyped ‘Millennia Collection’ for $115,000 in May 2008

But Indonesia 50 rupiah coins are not sold at public auctions, so where do you get your prices?



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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo « Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 12:37:25 AM »  

The data file is in Excel. I get fixed price lists from a number of dealers and see some auction catalogs. I put them in semi-automatically: I have made a macro, where I put in the seller’s data. The procedure is:

a) create a new line by hand
b) copy down the data for the coin from the previous offer by hand
c) run the macro for seller data
d) add grade and price or price formula by hand

Prices are maintained in dollars. If the offer is in another currency, the original amount is multiplied by a conversion rate through a formula created by the macro. I can therefore check both the original price, which is in the formula and the dollar equivalent.

The method is labour-intensive, so it’s hard to keep up with incoming information. One advantage is that I buy from the dealers offering fixed price lists, so I can allow for strict or less strict grading and a tendency to price high or low. In addition, I try to weed out old data superseded by new sales, which is even more labour-intensive.

Another remaining problem is that most types usually come in two or three first level grades, while KM wants four. I therefore have to extrapolate to calculate missing price levels.

Clearly, this is no scientific undertaking. In spite of this, I can’t think of a more objective method.




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thelawnetAC/DC Numismatist.
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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo « Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 01:15:23 AM »  

Quote from: Figleaf on January 31, 2009, 12:37:25 AM

The data file is in Excel. I get fixed price lists from a number of dealers and see some auction catalogs.
The dealers’ prices are just that – prices. The value is when they’ve sold it at that price.  I have noticed that many dealers seem to sell over catalog price, whereas auction prices for common items are in most cases at or below catalog value.


I put them in semi-automatically: I have made a macro, where I put in the seller’s data. The procedure is:

a) create a new line by hand
b) copy down the data for the coin from the previous offer by hand
c) run the macro for seller data
d) add grade and price or price formula by hand

Prices are maintained in dollars. If the offer is in another currency, the original amount is multiplied by a conversion rate through a formula created by the macro. I can therefore check both the original price, which is in the formula and the dollar equivalent.

The method is labour-intensive, so it’s hard to keep up with incoming information. One advantage is that I buy from the dealers offering fixed price lists, so I can allow for strict or less strict grading and a tendency to price high or low. In addition, I try to weed out old data superseded by new sales, which is even more labour-intensive.
When you say you buy from them, I guess you mean other coins, not necessarily the ones you are pricing. So if a dealer prices seems to price 25% too high, you can reduce the prices by that amount?


Clearly, this is no scientific undertaking. In spite of this, I can’t think of a more objective method.
One thing I have considered is archiving ebay results. Ebay is a very interesting market. It is more efficient than most, and accurate up to items costing at least a few thousand dollars. For certain items, such as the scarcer Netherlands Indies paper money, prices are actually higher than other outlets. For instance, this JP Coen series 1000 gulden was listed at Bowers & Merena in October:

It’s very presentable (Fine) for its age, and has the JF van Rossem/LJA Trip signature combination. It arracted zero bids  at $240 starting price + BP

This similar note, albeit gVF, fetched $610 starting at $0.99 with 36 bids:

These higher denomination notes are scarce, and undoubtedly the B&M note would have sold on ebay, as there are plenty of people wishing to buy it.

Of course prices can wobble a fair bit. A few months back a seller acquired a number of VF-XF 1958 brown  5000 rupiah notes. The first ones to  be sold fetched $25 or more. By the time he had listed a few of them, demand was (temporarily) satiated, and prices fell, so I was able to pick one up for $8. So even ebay is not a perfect market. But it is good.

Anyway, I haven’t quite got around to writing the code yet, but it’s quite simple to build such a database.


Nethelands Indies coins (and paper money) sold by date:

and then spider each page with images and save the title to a database for searching purposes. Unfortunately ebay’s completed items search only shows the last 15 days, hence the need to archive.  There’s a company called Terapeak, which sells more complete past auction results, but unfortunately ebay kills the auction pages after 90 days, so that’s the most you will get. It isn’t really sufficient when you want to know the price something sold for, and the last time it sold was last April.

There are still some variables of course. Sellers with a good track record fetch higher prices. US and British sellers tend to fetch higher prices. Some sellers are selling foreign material, but refuse to ship outside their own country. These get lower prices. If a seller is selling an uncirculated coin for $2 + $1 shipping and another sells it for $1 + $4 shipping, is the value, $1, $2, $3, or $5? Equally, if a seller is selling many items at the same price, the individual items will get better prices because of postage savings (this really only matters in the $1-$10 range).

I actually have my own database in the form of my Auction Sentry archive, which keeps track of the sold price of all the items I’ve viewed (note, I would not recommend this program, as I have found that AuctionDefender looks to be better, but I am tied into Auction Sentry), but it does not save the old pages, so it’s not always possible to see condition.

Do you btw have a list of good dealers for Indies/Indonesian items?

« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 01:17:11 AM by thelawnet »


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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo « Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 01:58:45 AM »  

Yes, I don’t know which coins sold and which didn’t, but if they’re not sold, the dealer will list it again (unless the coin is offloaded to a colleague). You can’t negotiate on fixed price lists.

Pricing is not a science, it’s an art. If I see a surprisingly low price and notice it came from a sloppy grader, or a surprisingly high price coming from a dealer who’s generally too expensive I ignore the data if I can, or adjust it to the best of my knowledge if info is scarce.

I don’t think eBay is a reliable source of prices. For one thing, I expect that rational prices would include a risk premium deduction for certain coins, as so many are fakes. Examples are coins coming from sellers in China, Indonesia, Russia and Roman coins from Balkans based sellers. For another, both buyers and sellers can be naive (to put it politely). Consider the rijksdaalder coarse hair you just bought. That transaction should not be counted when pricing for a catalogue. Neither should the price of “New York pennies” count as a price for a VOC duit. Yet another consideration is the scam artists, who post pictures of different coins or don’t deliver. In 2007 (I think), a scammer operating from Germany offered a large number of Monaco euro sets. The price for the sets went down quickly, but none were ever delivered and the scammer just collected the money. That severe price dip should not be recorded. Then, there are the people who price the coin very low and ask a high amount for postage to minimize eBay fees. They distort pricing. The list goes on …




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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo « Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 02:37:57 AM »  

Quote from: Figleaf on January 31, 2009, 01:58:45 AM

I don’t think eBay is a reliable source of prices. For one thing, I expect that rational prices would include a risk premium deduction for certain coins, as so many are fakes. Examples are coins coming from sellers in China, Indonesia, Russia and Roman coins from Balkans based sellers.
You would think so, but that is not the case in my experience. People pay big $$$ because there are so many people looking at ebay. More buyers means more sales. The competition cancels out the risk factor. Also sellers that are honest will get better prices. And fake coins can be identified from pictures. There is a fake coin database at

I personally have completed hundreds of transactions with Indonesian sellers and have received only a tiny number of fakes. Most fakes I see actually come from Malaysia and Singapore.


For another, both buyers and sellers can be naive (to put it politely). Consider the rijksdaalder coarse hair you just bought. That transaction should not be counted when pricing for a catalogue. Neither should the price of “New York pennies” count as a price for a VOC duit.
I agree on both counts. Yet these are the exception rather than the rule. There are equally plenty of dealers offering fixed prices because they lack knowledge. I went through the list of IBNS dealers for Netherlands Indies paper money. Most dealers had diverse catalogues of world money and priced at catalogue price + markup through lack of knowledge. Yet, there were a number of notes that I knew would sell for double on ebay, or on the market in Indonesia (where prices are higher than in Europe).

For instance, how many dealers have copper bonks for sale?

The results of this auction (albeit that the photo is poor):

are much more informative than a dealer coming across one, listing it for sale at the catalogue price and selling it.


Yet another consideration is the scam artists, who post pictures of different coins or don’t deliver. In 2007 (I think), a scammer operating from Germany offered a large number of Monaco euro sets. The price for the sets went down quickly, but none were ever delivered and the scammer just collected the money. That severe price dip should not be recorded. Then, there are the people who price the coin very low and ask a high amount for postage to minimize eBay fees. They distort pricing. The list goes on …
It does depend on what you are looking at. And while Indies/Indonesia coins are not particularly liquid, the paper money market is much more so, and certain items fetch a similar price (higher than catalog) over and over on ebay. If you have six sales in a year of the same item at a similar price, I’d say that is the correct price. The market dictates the value.

Want to know how much KM8.1 Irian Barat 25 sen 1962 is worth (no price listed in catalog)?

Here’s an answer:



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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo) « Reply #9 on: August 12, 2009, 03:33:40 AM »  

“or on the market in Indonesia (where prices are higher than in Europe)”

Good Morning Thelawnet,
Why do you suppose the prices are so much higher in Indonesia? I agree they are out of line, but can not figure out why.
The one public coin dealer I have found here in Bali has, for example:
Netherlands East Indies 1945-p 1/2 cent graded XF (is listed at .50 USD in Standard Catalog of World Coins). The local dealer has them at set price of $15.00 USD.
All of his examples are priced just as high.
I wonder if he moves very many at this price? Other web sales are listed at around .60 USD if I remember right.



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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo) « Reply #10 on: August 12, 2009, 06:49:10 AM »  

Quote from: thelawnet on January 29, 2009, 03:36:21 AM

Like everything else value is a reflection of supply and demand. How many dealers have got stacks of these stored up? Who knows. Time I guess will tell.
Indeed a very interesting post.. Why Indonesian coins/banknotes price is higher in Indonesia? I dont know.. simple market mechanism perhaps? There also more demand as more newbie collectors comes up. I think you can’t judge or analyze the price based on ebay. People on Indonesia tend to buy collection on dealers and stores. Internet still not a very populer way to buy things here, you know.. poor internet connections, expensive bandwidth cost..

I found Tiger 1957 XF sold at $71 on ebay.. on stores it would cost 150 to 170$.. and people still buy it..

On Java Auction 2009, i saw two ugly Tiger 57.. Vf.. poor colour, probably washed, opened at 100$.. they sold at 130 and 140 not including 15% fee..



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  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo « Reply #11 on: August 12, 2009, 07:43:37 AM »  

As a general rule, supply of coins is the best and prices of coins are highest in the coin’s own country. British coins are simply more expensive in Britain than in the Netherlands and vice versa. The most obvious reason is that people tend to collect the coins of their own country, so demand is concentrated. That also means that the time it takes for a mediocre British coin in Britain to sell is significantly shorter in the Netherlands. Dealers know this and price the coin accordingly.

However, these examples show really wide price differences. Nothing can explain a price of $15 for a 50¢ coin. I stand by that price of 50¢. I have a number of observations from dealers’ stock lists. One reason may be a shallow coin market: limited access to the net, few dealers, no good price references. Another may be that people tend to collect coins of their own country by date, those of other countries by type. Therefore foreign collectors will refer to the cheapest date and indigenous collectors to the most expensive date.


« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 08:30:54 PM by Figleaf »


An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

thelawnetAC/DC Numismatist.
Senior MemberOffline

Posts: 245

  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo) « Reply #12 on: August 14, 2009, 07:06:12 PM »  

Quote from: fishfly on August 12, 2009, 03:33:40 AM

“or on the market in Indonesia (where prices are higher than in Europe)”

Good Morning Thelawnet,
Why do you suppose the prices are so much higher in Indonesia? I agree they are out of line, but can not figure out why.
The one public coin dealer I have found here in Bali has, for example:
Netherlands East Indies 1945-p 1/2 cent graded XF (is listed at .50 USD in Standard Catalog of World Coins). The local dealer has them at set price of $15.00 USD.
All of his examples are priced just as high.
I wonder if he moves very many at this price? Other web sales are listed at around .60 USD if I remember right.
Well this coin is incredibly common, and it may be that this dealer sells to fools, in essence. There are companies in the West doing the same, marketing common crap for high prices, though this usually comes through print advertisements, but depending on the type of store (mall location?) they could get people walking in thinking ‘this is old, this must be worth something’.

I get the impression that the coin market in Indonesia is actually quite slow, with little interest from collectors. I’ve come across a dozen or so blogs and websites on Indonesian numismatics, and they all focus on banknotes. I buy coins from ebay sellers in Java, and I can win with below-catalog prices on most of the decimal Indies coinage. The prices are certainly lower than Western sellers selling on their websites. Even at Java Auction (, where the realised prices for banknotes are frankly ludicrous, you can find scarce patterns as well as other coins selling for less than they would fetch on a 7 day auction ebay, let alone a standalone seller such as Rondomons.



thelawnetAC/DC Numismatist.
Senior MemberOffline

Posts: 245

  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo) « Reply #13 on: August 14, 2009, 07:24:26 PM »  

Quote from: borgx on August 12, 2009, 06:49:10 AM

Indeed a very interesting post.. Why Indonesian coins/banknotes price is higher in Indonesia? I dont know.. simple market mechanism perhaps? There also more demand as more newbie collectors comes up. I think you can’t judge or analyze the price based on ebay. People on Indonesia tend to buy collection on dealers and stores. Internet still not a very populer way to buy things here, you know.. poor internet connections, expensive bandwidth cost..

I found Tiger 1957 XF sold at $71 on ebay.. on stores it would cost 150 to 170$.. and people still buy it..

On Java Auction 2009, i saw two ugly Tiger 57.. Vf.. poor colour, probably washed, opened at 100$.. they sold at 130 and 140 not including 15% fee..
I don’t understand Java Auction. I’m not sure if people like to buy there for cultural reasons, but I have been offered notes from Indonesian sellers at a fraction of the Java Auction price.

Here are some items that sold in Holland in April:

5 gulden silver certificate 1846 XF, €200
Java Auction lot 661 – XF, €320 (equivalent) – starting bid, not sure final price

10 gulden silver cert 1846 UNC (Nice example) €280
Java Auction 662 only AU €390 (start bid)

1000 gulden 1926 Fine  €300
Java Auction 703 VG-Fine €353 (start bid)

Obviously the final bids may have been higher.

I think the arbitrage opportunity is decreasing, compared with 5 or 6 years ago, where you could buy items for perhaps $100 in the US or the UK that command $1000 prices in Indonesia – this is because more auctions are online, and so are more Indonesian collectors.

I’m actually quite surprised there were several banknote lots at $35,000+ in the Java Auction. Evidently a rich man’s game – and maybe it is just that, a status symbol for rich people.



Samuel TanNew MemberOffline

Posts: 47

  Re: The uncertain concept of value and rarity – Indonesia 50 rupiah coin (komodo) « Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009, 02:36:51 AM »  

Figleaf your statement regarding the local market price is higher is correct if the country as many local collectors. I was living in (West) Germany and The Netherlands briefly, that was the case. but I was born and start collecting in Indonesia. They don’t have collectors over there, I know it. The poor worry about to meet their needs, the rich will collect big paper money to feet their greeds, not coins. I was an odd ball. But then internet business came, dealers can sell direct to the “Foreigners” at higher price. the don’t know the market price, so they try to ask for much higher price. Their culture ask highest price first, then negotiate. They succeeds, people pays. You have to deal with their way. They know that foreigner or tourist will pay top dollar for common coins, they can’t get to it. I am planning to go to Indonesia in the next months. I am a local person, I know I can get a reasonable price. And I am a collector, I will do it for love not profit (I am talking about coins of course . Lets swap, no money changing hands, no over priced based on KM catalog. Give me your list, I will see what I can do. I can’t guaranteed rare coins but we are talking about common coins. Most newer Indonesian coins are common, remember they have 4th largest populations in the world, they got to mint a lot.
Samuel Tan


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The Riouw archiphelago History collections


The Riau Archiphelago

Postal History and Related Collections


Created by

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private Limited Edition E-Book In CD Rom Edition





Until this day not many Indonesian scholar made study of the Riouw Archiphelago,especially the Postal History.

I am starting to collected the postal history of Riouw Arciphelago almost 50 years and the basic RIOUW overprint stamps which issued during 1960-11970  co0mplete,also the postmark from all area near complete.

The ealiest postmark during Colonial time very difficult ot founf,I have the earliest RIOUW postmark date  17.3.1901,

After made stuidy ,Ihave found more informations , many early Riauw archiphelaho manuscript bought by Malaysian beacaus emany related with the Malay kingdom in that country.

I  understand that this study still lack many 9nformations,that is why I hope corrections and added info from the scholar and another reader.

Jakarta March 2012

Dr Iwan suandy,MHA



Riau Islands Province

Riau Islands Province
Provinsi Kepulauan Riau

—  Province  —


Motto: Berpancang Amanah Bersauh Marwah (Malay)
(With trust as foundation, and dignity as the anchor)


Location of Riau Islands in Indonesia

Coordinates: 0°54′N 104°27′E / 0.9°N 104.45°E / 0.9; 104.45Coordinates: 0°54′N 104°27′E / 0.9°N 104.45°E / 0.9; 104.45




Tanjung Pinang


• Governor



• Total

8,201.72 km2 (3,166.70 sq mi)

Population (2010)[1]

• Total


• Density

210/km2 (530/sq mi)


• Ethnic groups

Malays (35,6%), Javanese (22,2%), Chinese (9,3%), Minangkabau (9,3%), Batak (8,1%), Buginese (2,2%), Banjarese (0,7%) [2]

• Religion

Islam (79.34%), Protestantism (11.17%), Buddhist (6.65%), Roman Catholicism (2.28%), Confucianism (0.2%), Hinduism (0.09%)

• Languages

Malay , Chinese , English

Time zone

WIT (UTC+07)



Riau Islands Province (Indonesian: Provinsi Kepulauan Riau (Kepri or Kepulauan Riau) is a province of Indonesia, consisting of the Riau Archipelago, the Tudjuh Archipelago, and the Lingga Islands.

Originally part of the Riau Province, the Riau Islands were split off as a separate province in July 2004, with Tanjung Pinang as its capital, located at south of Bintan island.





, from the scope of history, cannot be separated from its main regency that is Riau islands.

 Based on the decree of delegation of the Republic of Indonesia, the province of central Sumatra on may 18, 1956 joined the republic of Indonesia, and Riau island were given the status as level II autonomy region which is led by a regent as head of the region who supervised 4 (four) districts, that are:

  • Tanjung Pinang District, which covered sub district of South Bintan (incoming East Bintan, Galang, West Tanjung Pinang and East Tanjung Pinang now).
  • Karimun District which covered sub district of Karimun, Kundur and Moro.
  • Lingga District which covered sub district of Lingga, Singkep and Senayang.

Tujuh Island District which covered sub district of Jemaja, Siantan, Midai, Serasan, Tambelan, West Bunguran and East Bunguran The islands of the Tudjuh Archipelago, located between mainland Malaysia and Borneo, were attached to the new province, although they were not geographically part of the Riau Archipelago. The major island groups are the Riau Archipelago south of Singapore,

the Lingga Islands


extending southward of the Riau Arch., parallel the Sumatran Coast, and

The Tudjuh Archipelago.


Batam has a majority of the province’s population


Other populated major islands include Bintan







also Galang island

Sizewise, however, the sparsely populated



Natuna Islands are larger. There are around 3,200 islands in the province.

Since Batam is part of a booming special economic region, it has experienced high population growth rates. The province’s population is at 1,685,698 as of 2010,[1] with more than 2/3 of the population under 30.[3]

(I also found the postallynused cover during Dai Nippon Occupation from

 Kijang Island Riau in 1944

and also the money order fragment with riu overprint stamps from

Tanjung Batu riau in 1958



The official language of the Riau Islands is Riau. The Riau Islands are considered the birthplace of the modern Malay language. It is the official standard for Malay, as agreed upon by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei











Today Riau is controlled by TNI

Kodam I/Bukit Barisan








From Srivijayan times until the 16th century,

Riau Arciphelago during srivijaya

. Candi Muara Takus can be reached in 118 kilometers from Pekanbaru. It was built by red bricks and sand.

The temple is believed to have built at around the 9th century AD when the power of the Sriwijaya Empire was at its peak.

Head on Riau Archipelago with Tanjung Pinang on Bintan Island as the capital city, there is Natuna Archipelago. It is a part of the vast province, which embrace all of the islands off the Riau mainland.



Riau was a natural part of greater Malay kingdoms or sultanates,


 in the heart of what is often called the Malay World, which stretches from eastern Sumatra to Borneo.


The Malay-related Orang Laut tribes


 inhabited the islands and formed the backbone of most Malay kingdoms from Srivijaya,


Sultan Malacca

Si Kitol dan Sultan Melaka ….

. Si Kitol adalah rakyat yang membelot dan memainkan peranan kepada kehancuran Melaka. Si Kitol lah yang berperanan  menabur fitnah dan memecah belahkan orang melayu mengakibatkan kemusnahan kerajaan Melaka yang dulunya terkenal di seluruh pelosok dunia..


dalam hal kejatuhan Melaka, bukan Si Kitol saja yang jadi penyebabnya. Sultan Melaka yang pada masa itu sangat lemah dan buta mata hati juga terlebih dahulu patut disalahkan. Kezaliman raja dan pengabaian terhadap rakyat oleh raja itu terlebih dahulu patut dikecam. Baginda tidak tahu menilai yang mana intan yang mana kaca . Raja yang tidak mempercayai kejujuran bendaharanya dengan mudah menerima fitnah tanpa mau terlebih dahulu untuk menyelidiki asal muasalnya   adalah raja yang tiada keadilan. Raja itu juga  tidak teliti apabila menggantikan pembesar-pembesar yang baik di Melaka dengan mereka yang rendah moral  dan menyalah gunakan kuasa  menjadi pembantu baginda adalah penyebab  kemusnahan baginda sendiri.

Bayangkan Raja Melaka langsung tidak peka pada perubahan di Melaka. Baginda terpengarug  dengan kemewahan dunia dan banyak beristirahat  di istana. Sedangkan di kalangan rakyat Melaka pengamalan Islam mereka semakin lama semakin pudar. Rusuh, fitnah, dendam, permusuhan dan pecah belah semakin menular di kalangan rakyatnya…..suara rakyat yang menentang  kezaliman baginda langsung tidak diindahkan kerena tenggelam dalam nafsu ‘rajanya’.

Akhirnya bila Melaka di ambang kemusnahan barulah baginda Raja sadar bahawa Si Kitol dan Raja Mendeliar telah mendorongnya melakukan banyak kezaliman. Orang yang baik, beriman, jujur dan taat setia seperti bendahara Tun Mutahir telah menjadi mangsa baginda. Baginda mula mengeluh mengatakan sepatutnya baginda teliti dan selidiki dahulu sesuatu perkara sebelum menetapkan  keputusan darinya. Ketika baginda menangis kesal di atas dosa-dosanya, sudah tidak apa lagi yang boleh baginda ubah. Nasi bukan sahaja menjadi bubur, tetapi turut basi dan tiada dapat dimanfaatkan lagi. Baginda hilang takhta dan kerajaannya. Kedua-duanya sekali.


. Sultan Mahmud Shah mengharapkan masa dapat diundur ke belakang agar baginda dapat menebus semula dosa-dosanya. Tapi apa yang berlaku baginda tetap terpaksa belayar ke Kampar melintasi selat Melaka dengan linangan airmata . “ Selamat tinggal Melaka. Negeri yang dulunya makmur kini terjajah akibat kesilapan seorang sultan” kata sultan Mahmud Shah.





 to the Sultanate of Johor

for the control of trade routes going through the straits.


Sultan Mahmud Shah of Malacca

Johor was founded in the early 16th century by the son of Sultan Mahmud Shah,


Sultan Abu Bakar

 the last Sultan of Melaka when the capital was captured by the Portuguese. At its peak, the Johor empire stretched to the Riau Archipelago.

 In the 18th century,

 the Bugis of Celebes



The Bugis are the most populous of four ethnic groups of southern Sulawesi, the island east of Borneo known during colonial times as Celebes. Late converts to Islam, the Bugis dominated maritime trade in the East Indies and were considered pirates by the invading Dutch. Wars with their colonial adversaries and later efforts by Indonesia’s government to encourage settlement in less populated parts of the country encouraged waves of Bugis migrations, and the Bugis diaspora can be found as far away as here and Malaysia.

Like other immigrant communities, the Bugis were resented for their economic success and failure to assimilate, and have been at the center of ethnic conflicts in Borneo, Timor and Maluku, forcing many to return to Sulawesi.



and the Minangkabaus of Sumatra


controlled the political powers in the Johor-Riau empire, but

 in the early 19th century,

Malay and Bugis rivalry dominated the scene. Even today, Johor, and Riau lie on the strategic sea route passing from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, through the Straits of Malacca.
In 1819,

Stamford Raffles capitalised on their inter-faction rivalry to acquire Singapore for the British.
As a result, the Johor-Riau empire was broken into mainland Johor, controlled by the Temenggong, and the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga, controlled by the Bugis.

 In 1886,



 Temenggong Abu Bakar elevated himself to Sultan. He was succeeded by his son,


 Sultan Ibrahim.



In 1914,


the British Adviser Campbell to administer Johor


until the Japanese Occupation in 1945. In 1957, Johor joined the federation of Malaya.

Read more info

Campbell served as its state’s General Adviser until his death in June 1918, and between June 1918 until December 1920, five General Advisers were appointed in succession, each of whom only took office for a few months. As the colonial government lacked a decisiveness in the state administration, Sultan Ibrahim attempted to extend his influence in the state administration. Hayes Marriot was appointed as the state’s new General Adviser in December 1920 and reorganised the state administration.[25]

Sultan Ibrahim took on the role of a ceremonial monarch from the 1920s onwards, and his duties were largely limited to gracing various opening ceremonies around the state. He occasionally expressed his views on the state administration and economic developments whenever he had grievances, which the British colonial government often took into account as a result of his political influence in the state.[26] He began to take time off to travel abroad from 1928, after he began to suffer from chronic gout and myocardial degeneration.[27] London was one destination which he often visited, and frequented the Colonial Office whenever he had grievances with the state administration.[28] As a result of his frequent complaints of maladministration of state affairs by the local British government, Sultan Ibrahim’s relations with each General Adviser became strained.[fn 1] Sir Cecil Clementi, who served as the Governor of the Straits Settlements as well as the High Commissioner of the Malay States from 1930 to 1934, remarked in December 1932 that Sultan Ibrahim was too independent in state affairs and proposed to the Sultan that he should approach Clementi in future under the capacity of the High Commissioner instead of the Straits Governor. Clementi’s proposals apparently angered the Sultan, who boycotted the Durbar in February 1934.[28]



Sultan Ibrahim was a close friend of Frank Buck and often assisted Buck in his animal collecting endeavors.

Early Malay nationalism took root in Johor during the 1920s as a Malay aristocrat, Onn Jaafar, whom the Sultan had treated him as an adopted son, became a journalist and wrote articles on the welfare of the Malays. Some of Onn’s articles were critical of Sultan Ibrahim’s policies, which led to a strained personal relations with the Sultan. In particular, Sultan Ibrahim expelled Onn from Johor after he published an article in the Sunday Mirror, a Singapore-based English tabloid and criticised the Sultan’s poor treatment of the Johor Military Forces personnel and the welfare of the Orang Asli. Onn became very popular after he continued to cover issues on Malay grievances, and Sultan Ibrahim invited Onn to return to Johor in 1936.[30] Sultan Ibrahim became an active patron of the state’s forestry department around 1930, and encouraged the state forestry department to designate some of the remaining virgin forests in the state as nature reserves, as Johor witnessed a reduction in timber supplies due to extensive logging in the past. Nature reserves covered about 15 per cent of the state’s land area by 1934, mainly in the northern regions of the state.[31]

Sultan Ibrahim’s relations with Clementi’s successor,


 Sir Shenton Thomas did not fare well as




Thomas attempted to form a centralised Malayan Union by bringing Johore and other Unfederated Malay States under the direct charge of the Straits Governor.[32]



As the Second World War broke out in 1939, Thomas introduced


the Pan-Malayan war tax scheme to fund for Britain’s war efforts. Sultan Ibrahim’s rejected proposals, and made a £250,000 cash gift to George VI of the United Kingdom on his 44th birthday in 1939 during his trip to Europe in 1939.[33] From 1934 to 1940 the Sultan’s name was associated with that of the cabaret dancer Lydia Cecilia Hill,[34] who was buried in 1940 at Eddington, Kent.[35]

They shaped the history of the state but, sadly, their names are forgotten.
These noted Johoreans are no longer mentioned on our school history books. In fact, I don’t remember reading about them when I was in school.
I was doing research on Bongkok Tanjung Puteri for last week’s column when I came across some names. I found that we did not lack strong, educated and wise advisers deeply rooted with nationalist pride.
One name was, in fact, mentioned by Sultan of Johor Sultan Iskandar at the launching of the Iskandar Development Region in November last year.
In his speech, His Majesty had asked that we do not forget Datuk Seri Amar DiRaja Abdul Rahman Andak. He had questioned why the project was named after him and not Abdul Rahman, who he said was the man who fought against the British administration in the 1900s.

Datuk Seri Amar DiRaya Abdul Rahman Andak fought against the British administration in the 1900s.

Born in 1850, Abdul Rahman was Johor’s first state secretary. He was among the first who had used Jawi as the official script in government letters.
Abdul Rahman received education in England in 1871 while accompanying a nephew of the then Sultan of Johor. He returned to Johor in 1878.
He successfully rose in ranks in the Johor civil service. He was the assistant state secretary when he was a member of the delegation, headed by the late Sultan Sir Abu Bakar, who visited the Queen in 1885, to the signing of the peace treaty with England.
Under the treaty, the British recognised Johor as an independent state and able to rule itself. The then Sultan of Johor accepted a British officer as a consultant, not an adviser.
Unlike other states in the Malay Peninsula, where the Sultan must listen to the adviser, the Sultan of Johor could ignore the consultant.
The flag of Johor was also flown higher than the British flag, to symbolise that the State of Johor took precedence.
Abdul Rahman also single-handedly created a milestone in the history of Malaya when he drafted the Johor Constitution, the first of its kind among Malay states. It came into effect on April 14, 1894.
Through the constitution, Johor became the first Malay state to adopt the constitutional monarchy system. It also became the first state to create the menteri besar position.
The Johor Constitution then became the fundamental point of reference for other state constitutions.
It played a major role for the Malays during their op position against the formation of the Malayan Union, which would see sultans of the Malay states losing their power as rulers.
Due to the success of the protest and to protect the sovereignty of their states, rulers began using the Johor Constitution as a model for their own constitutions.
Abdul Rahman was also responsible for putting in place a structured civil service system, which is still being practiced till today.
The British, however, considered Abdul Rahman an ob stacle to Johor-British relations. In 1905, Abdul Rahman had criticised the Johor Advisory Council, which led to the resignation of its members.
The British, in particular Sir John Anderson, Governor of the Straits Settlements, instigated the then Sultan to “retire” Abdul Rahman. He went into a self-imposed exile in England in 1914 with an annual pension of 1,000 pounds.
A British officer named DC Campbell filled Abdul Rah man’s position and it marked the beginning of British direct influence in the Johor government.
Abdul Rahman passed away on Sept 10, 1930, and was buried at the Muslim cemetery in Woking, London. He had married Gustel Reis and they had three boys named Henry, Mansour and Walter.
When I told a colleague in London to track down Abdul Rahman’s family, she informed me that she had just been asked about him by another friend who had seen a tomb with that name at the cemetery.
I am hopeful that we would all one day be able to read more about Abdul Rahman and his family on these pages.

LASTING LEGACY: Jalan Abdul Rahman Andak in Johor Baru


Japanese Occupation (1941-1945)

Sultan Ibrahim became a personal friend of



Tokugawa Yoshichika

during the 1920s. Tokugawa was a scion of the Tokugawa clan, and his ancestors were military leaders (Shogun in Japanese) which ruled Japan from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Read more info


The Japanese Occupation of the Malay Peninsula


Japanese Governor Marquis Tokugawa Yoshichika inspecting an army honour guard at the Istana (Palace), Klang, 1942.

The Japanese moved swiftly and harshly to re-establish law and order in the Malay Peninsula. The pre-existing British administrative machinery was kept largely intact, while the Malay Rulers retained a reduced role. Life was extremely difficult; the population faced a daily struggle for survival. Racial tensions were created by Japanese policies




When the Japanese invaded Malaya, Tokugawa accompanied


 General Yamashita Tomoyuki‘s troops














 and was warmly received by Sultan Ibrahim when they reached Johor Bahru at the end of January 1942. Yamashita and his officers then stationed themselves at the Sultan’s residence, Istana Bukit Serene and the state secretariat building, Sultan Ibrahim Building to plan for the invasion of Singapore.[36]

The Japanese established a military government in February, shortly after they settled down in Malaya. Tokugawa was appointed as its political adviser at the recommendation of Sultan Ibrahim. Relations between the military government and the monarchy were initially coordial throughout the Japanese occupation years, and Tokugawa briefly envisioned a plan for a united Malay Sultanate over the Malay Peninsula (including Pattani) with Sultan Ibrahim as its figurehead. However, as the Japanese began to experience economic difficulties and military defeats in the Pacific War from 1943 onwards, these plans were dropped and the military government channelled its efforts towards state agriculture. The Japanese continued the British policy of appointing a state adviser in Johor, and Sultan Ibrahim spent most of his time in his leisure activities.[37]

Sultan Ibrahim, on his part, became resentful of the Japanese military government during the later part of the occupation years. The Japanese gave orders to the Malay Sultans to contribute an annual stipend of $10,000 to support the Japanese war efforts, and public speeches which the rulers made were drafted by the prpoaganda department.[38] In particular, Sultan Ibrahim was once publicly rebuked for leaning on his walking stick before Japanese officers and humiliating him in the process.[39] Shortly before the Japanese surrendered in 1945, Sultan Ibrahim was expelled from his residence at


 Istana Bukit Serene

and was forced to reside at


 Istana Pasir Pelangi, the crown prince’s palace.[40]

Note: the Riau Archipelago comprises three main islands – Batam , Bintan and Bulan. Batam is just 20 kilometres from Sing apore and 415 km2 in size.




 Sultanate of Johor or Johor-Riau, based on Bintan island


The word Johor is taken from the Arabic word, ‘Jauhar’, which literally means ‘Precious Stones’. The name illustrates the influence of the early Arab traders who traded spices in Johor. The multifaceted culture and ethnic mix evident in Johor today can be traced back through the centuries when it was fought over by the Malays, Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch and British sometimes on grounds of religion but more often because of trade.

With the Portuguese capture of Malacca in 1511, the Malay kingdom re-established itself in Johor. The history of Johor from the late 1500s to the late 1600s is characterized by a series of succession struggles interspersed with strategic alliances struck with regional clans and foreign powers to maintain its political and economic hold in the Straits. In 1641 Johor in cooperation with the Dutch succeeded in capturing Malacca. By 1660, Johor had become a flourishing entrepôt, although weakening and splintering of the empire in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century reduced its sovereignty.

In 1819,

 the Johor -Riau Empire was broken into the mainland Johor, controlled by the Temenggong, and the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga, controlled by the Bugis. This is when the history of modern Johor began.

In 1855,


A postcard showing the palace which was built by Temenggong Abu Bakar in Johor Bahru, on the shore of the Tebrau strait, after he had moved the capital of the state of Johor from Singapore to Johor Bahru

British mediation and the new sultanate in Johor

The Johor sultans of the 16th and 17th centuries were direct descendants of the Melaka dynasty. However, this lineage came to an end

in 1699


with the assassination of Sultan Mahmud,


who had no heirs. He was succeeded by

 the Bendahara (prime minister), and the capital was moved to Riau-Lingga. Thus it was one of his descendants, Sultan Abdul Rahman, who was ruling the Johor-Riau-Lingga sultanate when the British established a free port in Singapore in 1819. Subsequently, British mediation, which favoured the Temenggongs, largely determined the lineage of the new sultanate of Johor

under the terms of a treaty between the British in Singapore




 Sultan Ali of Johor, the control over the State was formally ceded

to Dato’ Temenggong Daing Ibrahim,



with the exception of the Kesang area (Muar), which was finally handed over in 1877. Temenggong Ibrahim opened up Bandar Tanjung Puteri (later to become Johor’s present-day capital) in south Johor as a major town.

Temenggong Ibrahim was succeeded by his son,


Dato’ Temenggong Abu Bakar, who later took the title Seri Maharaja Johor. In 1866, he was formally crowned the Sultan of Johor. Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor(1864 – 1895) was the one who gave Johor its own constitution and developed its efficient administration system and constructed the Istana Besar, the official residence of the Sultan. Due to these achievements, Sultan Abu Bakar is known by the title “Father of Modern Johor”.

The increased demand for black pepper and gambier in the nineteenth century lead to the opening up of farmlands to the influx of Chinese immigrants, creating Johor’s initial economic base.


Chinese workers in a gambier and pepper plantation in Singapore, circa 1900

The Kangchu system was put in place.

The Kangchu system was a socio-economic system of organization and administration developed by Chinese agricultural settlers in Johor[fn 1] during the 19th century. The settlers organized themselves into informal associations (similar to the Kongsi organizations found in other Chinese communities), and chose a leader from among themselves. In Chinese, “Kangchu” (Chinese: 港主, Pinyin: Gáng Zhǔ, Teochew: Kaang6 Zhu8) literally means ‘lord of the river’, and was the title given to the Chinese headmen of these river settlements.[1][fn 2] The “Kangchu” leaders are also called “Kapitan“.

The term “Kangchu” became widely used during the 19th century, as Chinese immigrants began to settle in and around Johor state and set up gambier and pepper[fn 3] plantations. The social and economic welfare of the early Chinese settlers came under the charge of local Chinese leaders, who were responsible for running these agricultural plantations, which were situated along the river banks.[4]

The Kangchu system traces its origins from the 18th century when Chinese coolies settled in Penang and Riau and set up gambier and pepper plantations there. The sovereign rulers of Johor, Temenggong Ibrahim and his successor, Sultan Abu Bakar, took up the Kangchu system during the first half of the 19th century to provide a more organised form of administration as Chinese immigrants began to settle in the state in great numbers and developed the state’s agricultural economy. Variants of the Kangchu system also thrived in other parts of the Malay Archipelago, where gambier and pepper were extensively cultivated and where there were significant Chinese populations. The Kangchu and coolies who worked in the gambier and pepper plantations were mainly of Teochew origin, and were generally first- or second-generation Chinese immigrants.[5] In 1917, the British colonial government in Johor implemented an act which abolished the Kangchu system in the state, and the value for gambier declined during the early 20th century.[6]


Early years

The origins of the Kangchu system dates back to the mid-18th century, when early Chinese settlers in Penang[7] experimented in cash crop plantations with various types of crops, including pepper, gambier, betelnut and clove. The plantations were later abandoned by the late 18th-century, as Penang experienced wars from Buginese seafarers that resulted in many gambier plantations being destroyed; contributing to the decline in plantations was the growing popularity of the spice trade that reaped much greater profits.[8] At the beginning of the 19th century, these Chinese settlers began to look south to Malacca and Singapore, where gambier and pepper plantations had also been established.

In the late 1820s, Chinese settlers from Singapore also began to look towards Johor for gambier and pepper cultivation at the encouragement of Temenggong Abdul Rahman and his successor, Daing Ibrahim.[9] As more Chinese settlers established gambier and pepper plantations in Johor during the 1840s, Temenggong Ibrahim formed a bureaucracy made up of Malay officials to oversee administrative affairs upon the Kangchu.[10] He began issuing official permits, known as Surat Sungai (transliterated as “river documents”) in Malay, to the Kangchu (leaders of the settlers) which permitted them to establish these plantations along the river banks. In turn, the Kangchu were required to pay taxes from the profits generated by the gambier and pepper farms and the Surat Sungai, which had to be renewed after a specified period of time.[4]

[Mid to late-19th century

The first gambier and pepper plantations appeared in Southern Johor, notably Skudai. Lau Lib Keng, a Chinese settler based in Skudai, was the first person to receive a Surat Sungai, whereby the river banks of Skudai were leased to Lau for the cultivation of gambier and pepper.[11] More Chinese settlers came to Johor from the 1850s onwards, and forested areas in Southern Johor such as Tebrau, Plentong and Stulang were cleared for the cultivation of gambier and pepper.[12] By the time Temenggong Ibrahim’s son, Abu Bakar took office from his father in 1862, at least 37 Surat Sungai have been issued to various Kangchu, all of whom were collectively responsible for the operations of the 1,200 gambier and pepper farms in the state.[13] Most of these Chinese leaders were also members of secret societies, and communal warfare often broke out in Singapore between different dialect groups as a result of conflicting economic interests. From the late 1850s onwards, the Kangchu began to exert political influence in the state affairs by establishing close ties with Temenggong Abu Bakar. In 1865, Abu Bakar granted official recognition to the Teochew-dominated Johor branch of the Ngee Heng Kongsi after a Kangchu, Tan Kee Soon, raised a small army to subdue Sultan Ali’s forces, from whom Abu Bakar was facing considerable dissent but was unable to raise an organised army.[12] Abu Bakar nevertheless called for the Ngee Heng Kongsi to accept Chinese settlers of other dialect groups to prevent possible communal warfare as a result of conflicting economic interests.[12]



Chinese junks sailing in the Straits of Johor in 1879

The crop produce from these plantations were generally exported to other countries from Singapore with the assistance of Chinese merchants based in that city. From the 1860s onwards, many of these Kangchu chalked up debts and began to sell their property rights to these merchants or to larger business magnates (Kongsi in Teochew) based in Singapore,[1] who were known to the locals as Tuan Sungai (literally Masters of the River). The Kangchu then were often hired as supervisors or managers by the merchants to keep watch on the day-to-day operations of the gambier and pepper plantations. Temenggong Abu Bakar began to issue contract-style letters of recognition to these Kangchu; the letters were known by their Malay name Surat Tauliah.[14]

As the gambier and pepper plantations expanded in the 1870s, the more established Kangchu were entrusted with larger blocks of farms and made contracts with Chinese merchants from Singapore. The profits generated from harvests of these plantations formed the bulk of Johor’s economy,[1] and financed the development of Johor’s infrastructure. Abu Bakar’s relationship with the Chinese leaders was excellent, and he appointed many of them to political positions in the state. Of particular note, Abu Bakar appointed two Chinese leaders to the Johor State Council: a Kangchu from Chaozhou, Tan Hiok Nee, and a contractor from Taishan, Wong Ah Fook, who also owned gambier and pepper farms in Mersing in the 1880s.[15] As the land along the river banks in Southern Johor was already taken by the earlier waves of Chinese settlers, newer Chinese settlers began migrating northwards in the 1870s and established new gambier and pepper plantations further north; new plantations were established in Yong Peng, Batu Pahat, Benut, Endau and Kota Tinggi.[16] In particular, Abu Bakar actively encouraged Chinese settlers to establish plantations in Muar, shortly after the British Colonial Government ruled in favour of Abu Bakar over Tengku Alam Shah (Sultan Ali’s eldest son) and his family, and granted Abu Bakar control of Muar.[17]


At the end of the 19th century, Johor’s economy began to diversify from gambier and pepper plantations to other agricultural crops. Starting with coffee in 1881,[18] crops such as tapioca, tea, pineapple and rubber were introduced into the state. Coffee and tapioca was quickly abandoned in the 1890s when the value of these crops experienced a drop, while rubber was introduced and quickly established a strong foothold in Johor, as the world demand for rubber increased greatly around 1910.[19] Prices for gambier plunged between 1905 and 1906, and many Kangchu abandoned gambier in favour of rubber.[20] Further decline in the number of gambier and pepper plantations was fuelled by the colonial government’s suppression of traditional farming methods employed by the Kangchu for planting gambier and pepper; these method led to soil exhaustion and a depletion of forests which was used as firewood in small factories.[21] A few years before the Kangchu system was abolished, exports for both gambier and pepper plunged by a further 60% between 1912 and 1917.[22]

The British had long frowned upon the Kangchu because of their links with secret societies in Singapore as well as their indulgence in social vices such as gambling and opium smoking, activities which the British had been actively suppressing in Singapore and the Federated Malay States. As early as 1890, the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Cecil Clementi Smith had lobbied Abu Bakar to adopt the Societies Ordinance and ban the Ngee Heng Kongsi, but was promptly turned down.[23] Shortly after the British appointed an adviser to Johor, the British began attributing the high crime rates in the state to Chinese settlers loyal to the Kangchu. In 1915, the Johor state government, now effectively under the control of the British Colonial Government, passed the Societies Enactment which prompted the dissolution of the Ngee Heng Kongsi the following year.[24] The Kangchu system was officially abolished December 1917 in an enactment passed by the Johor state government, which was by then effectively administered by the British colonial government.[18]

Role of the Kangchu

The Temenggong of Johor (later Sultan of Johor) conferred upon the Kangchu with a large degree of administrative autonomy within the plot of land which each was granted.[25] These included the right to collect taxes on behalf for the Temenggong, as well as for the welfare needs among the Chinese coolies living within the plot of land. The Kangchu generally granted tax exemption for the basic consumption by workers within the settlement.[4] Some coolies took on new jobs such as shopkeepers and traders to serve the needs of other coolies within the settlement, and the Kangchu granted tax exemptions to these shopkeepers and traders on the sale of pork, opium and alcohol as well.[26] The Kangchu reserved a portion of the land for the construction of a settlement for the coolies, from which small towns were formed and became the administrative centre of the Kangchu. These administrative centres were generally established within the coolie settlements located at the foot of the river, and were known as Kangkar (literally “Foot of the river”, Chinese: 港脚, Pinyin: Gáng Jiǎo, Teochew: Kaang6 Caar8).[27][fn 4]

The Kangchu acted as the middleman in the bulk purchase of the settlement’s commodities through suppliers based in Singapore. In particular, opium was highly popular among the coolies, although frowned upon by the British who took strong measures to suppress its distribution. The Kangchu formed illegal opium syndicates which had links to Chinese leaders from Singapore and other Malay states in the north, particularly Selangor.[15] British contempt for the Kangchu was also fuelled by the coolies’ preference for gambling and prostitution, both of which were seen as social vices by the British colonial government.[4] The Kangchu maintained friendly relations with the Temenggong (later Sultan), and worked closely with the Ngee Heng Kongsi in administrative matters. In particular, the state government attempted to forge close relations with the Kangchu by the appointment of a Malay official who was conversant in Teochew and literate in Chinese characters, Mohamed Salleh bin Perang, as the liaison officer between the Temenggong and the Kangchu.[12] Several years later, in the early 1870s, the state government worked closely with the Ngee Heng Kongsi to draft the Kanun Kangchu which had legal clauses that defined the powers of the Kangchu in Johor. The Kanun Kangchu contained 81 clauses in total, and was implemented in 1873.[29]

Variants outside Johor

[edit] Singapore



Chinese coolies at the river base of Jurong River in 1860. The gambier and pepper plantation is in the picture background.

Chinese settlers began migrating from the Riau Islands to Singapore in the 19th century shortly before the founding of Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. The native Malays joined the Chinese in growing gambier, although they cultivated it for subsistence rather than for commercial purposes.[30] The number of gambier and pepper farms expanded greatly between 1819 and 1840, fuelled by the increasing demand for gambier by Chinese traders from China as well as pepper by European traders.[31] As land nearer to the town in the south was quickly used up in the 1820s, the Kangchu began to establish farms near the northern parts of Singapore, particularly stretches of land across the Straits of Johor from Jurong, to the west of Punggol in the northeast.[32] By 1851, there were about 800 gambier and pepper farms which covered 75% of Singapore’s land surface, of which 24,220 acres (98.0 km2) was dedicated to gambier while 2,614 was dedicated to pepper.[fn 5]

In the 1850s and 1860s, many Kangchu abandoned their plantations in Singapore as gambier produce declined due to over farming of the soil, and began to establish new gambier and pepper plantations in neighbouring Johor.[33] Nevertheless, many of these Kangchu settled down as merchants in Singapore and managed the gambier and pepper farms by proxy, mainly through the liaison body of the Ngee Heng Kongsi which had members in Singapore and Johor. Some of these merchants purchased the property rights of gambier and pepper farms from the Kangchu in Johor, who would then assume managerial tasks to ensure the smooth operation of the plantation and the settlement.[34][fn 6]

Unlike its counterpart in Johor, the Ngee Heng Kongsi (also called “Ghi Hin Kongsi” in Hokkien) was recognised as an illegal society in Singapore and its activities were actively suppressed by the colonial government.[36] Factionalism appeared within the Ngee Heng Kongsi in Singapore by the 1850s, as business leaders from various dialect groups were unable to agree upon key issues. In particular, relations between the Teochews and Hokkiens were hostile, partly because some Hokkien merchants competed with the Teochew merchants in the gambier and pepper trade, most of whom had established their bases in the Boat Quay area along the Singapore River.[37]

The existence of the Kangchu was not recognised by the British colonial government, even though they exercised a similar degree of autonomy as their counterparts in Johor.[4] Nevertheless, the Kangchu in Singapore had easy access to forested land in Singapore compared to their counterparts in Johor, as the British colonial government adopted a laissez-faire attitude to the Kangchu and imposed very little regulation on their agricultural activities.[28] However, the British were wary of the fact that many Kangchu in Singapore were members of the Ngee Heng Kongsi, which was illegal in Singapore and enjoyed monopoly rights over the regional opium trade. The British appointed a Chinese official among the Kangchu to oversee the social and economic affairs of the gambier and pepper plantations in Singapore and to act as the intermediary.[38]

Riau Islands

The first gambier and pepper plantations appeared in the Riau Islands in the 1730s


,[39] after the Buginese warrior and


second Yamtuan Muda of Riau, Daing Chelak,

 brought Chinese coolies from Malaya to Riau for the purpose of gambier cultivation, which was then widely used for medication among the locals.

 Another exodus of Chinese migrated to Riau in 1740


following unrest which erupted in Batavia, during which many Chinese were massacred.

Read more info



Since the foundation of Batavia, the Chinese have settled in and around the city. At first, they were used for building Batavia and the cultivation of the surrounding areas.

Very soon a lot of Chinese tradesmen entered the country, which eventually resulted in the dependency of the VOC on these tradesmen for trade with China. In fact, the prosperity of the VOC depended on Inter-Asian trade, so in fact they were mostly dependent on the Chinese tradesmen from Batavia who naturally had the best trade contacts. Both parties needed each other, so peace and order was required.

However, the Dutch in Batavia started to get more and more annoyed by the privileges the Chinese had; they were a bit jealous. The Chinese were virtually equal to the Dutch on the level of status and this was an important deal for the Dutch, who felt superior to the Chinese. Just the Dutch and the Chinese paid taxes and this made a lot of people angry…

One of the branches that were mainly under control by the Chinese was, for instance, the growth of sugar in the Ommelanden of Batavia. The bigger part of the work was done by large amounts of Chinese koelies, who were hired by Chinese entrepreneurs. This resulted in an enormous growth of the Chinese population in the area reigned by the VOC in and around Batavia. Right before 1740 approximately half of the population in and around Batavia was Chinese.

Even around 1690 they tried to limit the immigration from China. The koelies were legally excluded from everything. They can be compared to our ‘illegal aliens’ of this time. So, for the Chinese traders it became more and more favourable to hire koelies: it was not possible to earn taxes for illegal Chinese. A well known vicious circle that is still applicable! This way it was possible for an extensive army of completely illegal, exploited Chinese labourers to rise in the Ommelanden. They were so afraid of being handed over to the Dutch authorities, that they did not even make demands to improve their situation of living. Moreover, the Dutch (as corrupt as they were) simply participated in these practises up to the level of the Governor-General: this way everybody had cheap labourers and so an economical balance developed between the Dutch, the Chinese and the koelies.
And this went terribly wrong….

From 1720 on the sugar market slowly collapsed. The European markets became satisfied; moreover the competition from Brazil (which was cheaper) became bigger. Dozens of Chinese sugar tradesmen went bankrupt and with them the koelies. This way great unemployment arose and this almost automatically led to revengeful gangs of koelies who, without money or food, saw no other way out. Evidently nothing was done by Batavia to lessen the problems because that way their own corrupt practises would be discovered.

In July 1740 it was announced that all koelies from the Ommelanden would be transferred to the Dutch stations on Ceylon (Galle). The rumour that during the transfer the koelies would be thrown overboard was quickly born. True or not: the exploited Chines revolted. Large killing and plundering gangs roamed through the Ommelanden and they even tried to attack Batavia.

In the night of 8 October the run on Batavia could barely be rejected. Nobody dared to go in the Ommelanden anymore! That is when the rumour started that the Chinese in Batavia wanted to cooperate with the Chinese in the Ommelanden.

On 9 October, the houses of over 5000 Chinese living within the walls of Batavia were searched. This went completely out of hand: for three days in a row every Chinese was murdered. Even already captured Chinese and Chinese that were registered in ‘hospitals’ were killed. Even the government gave out a reward for every decapitated head… Order was reinstated after a few days by that same government. From that moment on the Chinese were allowed to live only in special districts. In Batavia that would be the Glodok district, where a lot of Chinese still live.

Very soon after the massacres they started searching the accountable : : for the first time the highest authorities from Batavia had to account for their actions at the Heeren XVII in Amsterdam! One of the responsible authorities Governor-General Valckenier died while he was taken into temporary arrest. Another responsible authority, the next Governor-General van Imhoff died in 1750.

And then the cover up came again.

It is estimated that 5,000 – 10,000 victims fell in three days. A preacher in Batavia even made it look like the massacre was carried out with Gods help… But even then there were people who protested and so the Heeren XVII were forced to take action.

In 1902 (during the pacification of Aceh!) even a pamphlet appeared: “The murder of 10,000 harmless Chinese was never punished. One of the most important people responsible, Governor-General Valckenier, died in prison and the Heeren XVII declared the trial that was run against him” abolished by death”.The case would be forever covered up.”


Chinese settlement in Riau continued into the 18th century, the majority of them coming from the Chaoshan area in Guangdong province, along with a sizeable minority from the southern parts of Fujian province.[40]

Gambier and pepper farming were mainly confined to the Bintan (formerly spelled as Bentan) and Galang Islands.[41] Similar to the Kangchu system in Johor, gambier and pepper plantations were established on grants of land by the Yamtuan Muda of Riau, who would issue land permits (Surat Sungai) to the Kangchu who would direct the operations of the plantation and workers within the settlement.[2] In the early and middle 19th century, many Chinese settlers and merchants from Riau relocated their businesses to Singapore, and established trading links between Riau and Singapore.[30] These settlers and merchants still maintained trading links with Riau, as the Kangchu from Riau often shipped their produce to Singapore for free trade to evade taxes imposed by the Dutch colonial government.[42] Like Singapore, competition for the gambier and pepper trade between the Teochews and Hokkiens in Riau led to communal tensions and sporadic violence in Riau during the 1840s and 1850s.[37] In the early 20th century, the Chinese abandoned gambier and pepper plantations in favour of other agricultural practices, as the worldwide prices for gambier experienced a drastic drop in value and many pepper plants fell prey to a disease plaguing the archipelago.[43]



The Kangchu system facilitated the growth of the gambier and pepper plantations and developed Johor’s and Singapore’s economies in the 19th century. The development of Johor’s inland towns were attributed to the efforts by the various Kangchu, who were responsible for drawing the settlement plan for the coolies living within the plantation they were working on, from which new towns were formed.[47] The Chinese immigrant population in Johor and Singapore grew in size during this period; Riau also experienced a similar growth during the 18th century. As a result of mass immigration by the Chinese into Johor, the Chinese quickly outnumbered the Malays in the state, although many Chinese coolies relocated to Singapore or other parts of Malaya as the gambier and pepper industry declined in the 20th century.[fn 7] Several towns and other places in Johor and Singapore, built upon sites of former gambier and pepper plantations, are named after former features of the Kangchu system, and are largely populated by ethnic Chinese.[50]

The Teochew dialect became the lingua franca among the Chinese in many parts of Johor and Riau, as the majority of the Chinese from these areas were of Teochew origin, many of whom were descended from the Chinese coolies who had worked in the gambier and pepper plantations.[51] The Teochews form the second-largest dialect group among Chinese Singaporeans, and many families can trace their family ancestry to immigrants who were Kangchu or coolies in these plantations

 Under the British Resident system, Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan Abu Bakar’s successor, was forced to accept a British adviser in 1914. D.G. Campbell was dispatched as the first British adviser to Johor. During the Second World War Johor Bahru was the last city in Malay Peninsula to fall under Japanese occupation. In 1948, Johor joined the Federation of Malaya, which gained Independence in 1957.




and were for long considered the center of Malay culture.[4]






Tanjungpinang has famed from long ago. Because it strategic position in Bintan Island as center of Malay culture and residing in commerce stripe. Tanjungpinang history can’t be apart from Johor – Riau Malay Kingdom history.
Name of Tanjungpinang based from a cape which grow by palm tree. The palm tree is a guideline to seaman who will be step into Bintan river, which in it there are center of Bintan Kingdom in Bukit Batu.


Existence of Tanjungpinang is progressively recognized on Johor Kingdom, in Sultan Abdul Jalil Syah governance. He command Laksemana Tun Abdul Jamil to opened a new commerce area in Sungai Carang, Bintan Island. Sungai Carang become a crowded commerce area which latest known as “RIAU”. Tanjungpinang have important role as buffer area and gateway to “RIAU”.


Governmental expertise during the period, made Riau become big commerce area, and even compete with Malaka which is mastered by Portuguese and finally mastered by VOC.Governmental expertise during the period, made Riau become big commerce area, and even compete with Malaka which is mastered by Portuguese and finally mastered by VOC.
In a few story tale, merchant which at first will trade to Malaka then turn to Riau, and even Malaka people buy rice and cloth to Riau because Riau represent peaceful commerce area that have competitive price with Malaka.
Beside as commerce center, Riau is known as capital of Riau-Johor Kingdom. Several times the capital was moved from Johor to Riau and also on the contrary. Kingdom of Johor-Riau have wide region which covered Indragiri and some area in Sumatra peninsula, and also Johor, Pahang and Trengganu in Malaysia peninsula.


Existence of Tanjungpinang is progressively reckoned even Riau war on 1728 until 1784 between Riau and Dutch in period of Raja Haji, the fourth vice roys of Riau-Johor Kingdom.









The war that happened during 2 year, tired of his top on 6th of January 1784 with victory on Riau-Johor Kingdom side, marked with


destruction of Dutch Commando ship “Malaka’s Wal Faren”



and insist on Dutch to step back from Riau territorial to Malaka.
After some month of the event,


Raja Haji

and Riau troops attack Dutch base in Malaka, but in the war in Malaka, Riau was defeated and Raja Haji as Comando has passed away.
Tanjungpinang also known as


Dutch residency with David Rudhe was the first resident. The Placement of Dutch residency is related to domination of Riau by the Dutch. And Tanjungpinang become Dutch military base in Malaca Strait.


The decline of Riau-Johor Kingdom

was progressively reality since London treaty in 1828, between Dutch and United Kingdom.

The treaty represent about division of power region, where Riau-Lingga regions is under Dutch authority and Johor-Pahang and some of Malay peninsula regions under United Kingdom authority. The treaty caused dissension in Riau-Johor Kingdom, and afterward the kingdom recognize as Riau-Lingga Kingdom. And Singapore when at the time was under Dutch authority is convert to change with Bengkulu when at the time was under United kingdom authority.

Since Dutch hold the power to Riau-Lingga Kingdom region, and its interference in governance, it made the decline in Riau-lingga Kingdom. Till this top happened on 1911, the Riau-Lingga Kingdom Sultanes was discharged by Dutch resident. But Sultane at the time didn’t want to sign the dismissal letter and leave Riau-Lingga Kingdom to Singapore. Since that time Dutch abolished Riau-Lingga Kingdom and it’s the end of Riau-Lingga Kingdom. And Tanjungpinang remain as Dutch Residency.
Tanjungpinang also have became center of Japan region governance in Riau Archipelago. And later return again holded by Dutch, until 1945. Indonesian Independance in 1945 terminating of Dutch authority in Riau Archipelago. And In 1949 Dutch transfer of sovereignty of Riau Archipelago to Indonesia Government.
Tanjungpinang became the capital of Riau region based on law No.5 in 1948. and besed on Law no.19 in 1957 Tanjunginang became the capital of Riau Province, but in 1960, the capital of Riau province was shifted to Pekanbaru, and Tanjungpinang became to capital of Riau archipelago regency.
In 18 October 1983, based on governmental regulation no.31. Tanjungpinang specified as administrative town. And based on law no.5 in 2001, Tanjungpinang became autonomous City. And now, Tanjungpinang has became the capital or Riau Island Province.


The territory of Siak on the east coast used to be part of the Sultanate of Malacca (1400-1511)



Sandwiched between the states of Negeri Sembilan and Johor, Melaka is by comparison a small state with an area of only 1,651 square kilometers on the Western Peninsular of Malaysia. The states is divided into three districts, Melaka Tengah or Central Melaka, the District of Alor Gajah to the north and the District of Jasin to the south. However, almost all the interesting and historical sites are located in Central Melaka and mostly in the town area.



According to the legend, Malacca was founded in 1396 by Prince Parameswara from a dying ancient kingdom of Srivijaya. Parameswara came to Temasik (Singapore), killed the ruler who paid tribute to Siam (today’s Thailand) and reigned there for five years until the Siamese drove him out. Parameswara was out hunting one day and while resting under a tree, one of his dogs cornered a mouse-deer and in defense, the mouse-deer kicked the dog smartly on its nose. Amazed by the bravery of the mouse-deer’s and he believed what he saw as a good omen, he decided to build his empire on that sacred land and named it after the tree he was resting under, which was the Melaka Tree (Phylianthus emblica).


Originally a Hindu, Parameswara convert to Islam and took the name Sultan Iskandar Shah. Inevitably, Islam became the official religion. At that time, Malacca was nothing more than a small village beside a river, but under his rule, the kingdom flourished and its influence spread to the neighbouring countries of Sumatra and Indonesia.



In the past the city was geographically positioned along East-West trading route, at the busiest and narrowest point of Straits of Malacca. It was a major port along the spice-route, and its harbor bristled with the sails and masts of Chinese junks and spice-loaded vessels from all over world. Also was traded: silk and porcelain from China; textiles from Gujarat and Coromandel in India; camphor from Borneo; sandalwood from Timor; nutmeg, mace, and cloves from the Moluccas, gold and pepper from Sumatra; and tin from western Malaysia. The strong wind was always blowing from the right position for the sailors and Malacca was a safe place to be, when the sailors came ashore.  No wonder that they took this city for provision. Malacca became important for all who wanted to rule the Strait of Malacca. And…that Strait was so important for the spice-route. That’s why Malacca had since 1400 so much occupiers and could grow to a world wide trade center.



The state experienced a unique culmination of cultural and historical influences from Malay Sultanate (1400-1511), Portuguese colonial (1511-1641), Dutch colonial (1641-1795), English colonial (1795-1942, 1945-1957) and Japanese occupancy (1942-1945).


Under Alfonso de Albuquerque, Malacca was conquered by the Portuguese in 1511. The Portuguese came to the East to capture the spice trade. The Portuguese failed to maintain the glory and prosperity of Malacca because of restrictive policies, competition and wars. The Portuguese ruled Malacca from 1511 to 1641. On the incline of the hill  (St. Paul’s Hill) they built a  fort: “A Famosa”. Later this was extended, so that the hill was surrounded by the wall of the fort. Inside these walls were two palaces, a castle, a meeting room for the Portuguese Council and there were five churches. Unfortunately, the only thing that’s left is the “Porta de Santiago”, a gate without a wall that leaded to the fort.


Drawing shows A Famosa or Porta de Santiago built by the Portuguese


After a siege of 7 months the conquered the fort in 1641. At that time Malacca wasn’t so rich and prosperous anymore. After the conquest, the Dutch could start rebuilding the fort and occupied it largely as a military base, using its strategic location to control the Straits of Malacca. Where the Portuguese had concentrated on the construction of fortification and churches, the Dutch on the other hand planned Malacca well, built comfortable brick houses (along Heeren Street and Jonker Street), protestant churches and large administrative buildings such as the Stadthuys.


and in its succession of the Sultanate of Johor (1511-1721).

After the fall of Melaka in 1511,


the Riau islands became the center of political power of the mighty


But history changed the fate of Riau as a political, cultural or economic center when European powers struggled to control the regional trade routes and took advantage of political weaknesses within the sultanate. Singapore island, that had been for centuries part of the same greater Malay kingdoms and sultanates, and under direct control of the Sultan of Johor, came under control of the British.

The creation of a European-controlled territory in the heart of the Johor-Riau natural boundaries broke the sultanate into two parts, destroying the cultural and political unity that had existed for centuries. The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 consolidated this separation, with the British controlling all territories north of the Singapore strait and the Dutch controlling territories from Riau to Java.



The independent Sultanate of Siak Sri Indrapura (1725-1946) expanded, making smaller states un the northeastern coast of Sumatra (Langkat, Deli, Serdang, Asahan, Tanah Putih) recognize her suzerainty. At its climax it bordered on the Sultanate on Aceh in the North, while Pelalawan and Indragiri (to the Sultanate of Riau) in the South separated it from the Sultanate of Jambi. Siak accepted the protectorate of the Dutch East Indies in 1858 and was terminated in 1945


The Stadhuys showing Christ Church in the middle, 1807

In 1795,

when the Netherlands was captured by French Revolutionary armies, Melaka was handed over to the British by the Dutch to avoid its capture by the French. Although the British returned the city to the Dutch in 1808, it was soon given back to the British once again in a trade for Bencoleen in Sumatra.


From 1826,

 the English East India Company in Calcutta ruled the city until 1867, when the Straits Settlements ( Melaka, Penang and Singapore ) became a British Crown colony. The British continued their control until the Second World War and the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945.

Following the defeat of the Japanese, the British resumed their control until 31st. August 1957, when anti-colonial sentiment culminated in a proclamation of independence by His Highness Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister

It is written the history that in glory of

Riau Lingga kingdom


when it took over the famous Johor kingdom, most parts of Riau islands territory were in the authority of kingdom of Riau Lingga. It is mentioned that the glorious time of Riau can be depicted by the incoming flow of international commerce since there were so many foreign traders lived in Bandar Riau. Furthermore, it was explained also about the prosperity of this Riau territory, especially at the time his young majesty King Ali held the power. Riau had experienced rapid development. Such historical meanings had implicated the economic situation in this territory nowadays.

The Regalia

Of the Regalia two have been preserved: a keris and a ritual fan:





From Riau Lingga, 19th century

(Museum Nasional Jakarta, inv. no. E28)



Jogan (Ritual Fan)

H.: 54,8 cm. From Riau Lingga, 19th century

(Museum Nasional Jakarta, inv. no. E13)

 The keris demonstrates the close link between the Riau Lingga Sultanate and the Bugis princes and follows closely Bugis models.The Fan is part of the pusaka of the Sultan. Its “leaf or mountain shape evokes the symbolism of the kayon or gunungan of the wayang drama. [….] The Malay text is written in Arabic characters and states that the kings of Melayu (the name of a kingdom that was situated in present Riau) are descended from Iskandar Zulkarnaen (Alexander the Great † 323 B.C.), who descended from Bukit Siguntang (a hill in the western part of Palembang, 27 m.).” [i][2] 
Sultans of Riau Lingga (Residing on Lingga) [ii][3]

Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan Besar of

Lingga, Riau and its Dependencies

Abdul Rahman I


Muhammad II


Mahmud IV


Sulaiman II


Abdul Rahman II


The flag of the sultan himself, his pennon and two-pointed gonfanon were all white:




Apart from the keris and the fan no royal emblem is known from the 19th century sultans of Riau Lingga. A picture of the last sultan shows him with a headdress decorated with a crescent and five-pointed star from which a lily-shaped ornament rises. The crescent and star symbolizes “Head of State” as the crescent is the islamic emblem of state, and a star the emblem of a (muslim) ruler. Generally the crescent and star is thought to be the symbol of Islam.


Sultan Abdul Rahman II of Riau Lingga (1883-1911)

The crescent-and-star appears in white on a red flag ascribed to the state of Riau-Lingga.[iii][4] This may have been the flag of the last years of the existence of the state or the flag of a movement for the autonomy of Riau.


The flag of the royal boat was divided per pale white and green, in the first a green cross saltire:


The male members of the royal family had a yellow flag.

The flag of the chief commander or Pangeran Laksamana was white with a red bordure at the mast, the upper- and the lower side:



His pennon was red his gonfanon triangular white with a red bordure.


Viceroys of Riau Lingga (Residing in Riau)
 The Vice-Regal house of Riau claims descent from the rulers of Luwu, on Celebes. Leaders of the powerful Bugis maritime and military community, they came into prominence during the rise to power of Sultan ‘Abdu’l-Jalil Rahmat Shah. He is better known to history as Raja Kecil, the putative posthumous child of last Malacca Sultan of Johor, Sultan Mahmud II. He ruled over Johor from 1718 until 1722 when, allying themselves with his rivals, the Bugis princes captured the port of Riau and the whole Kingdom of Johore. He took refuge to Siak and the Bugis restored the Bendahara dynasty. The settlement of the debt of honour to the Bugis included a joint system of government of the Bugis conquerors and the descendants of Bendahara Dynasty until 1787. The Bugis leaders received the titles of Yang di-Pertuan Muda (deputy ruler or Viceroy) and Raja Tua (principal prince), enjoying the second and third highest offices in the realm. Although the latter title and office fell into disuse, the Viceroyalty prevailed until the merging of sovereignty of the two Royal dynasties in 1899.The Bugis developed not only the port of Riau but also that of Selangor (north of Malacca).

Yang di-Pertuan Muda of Riau

‘Ala ud-din Ri’ayat








‘Ali I






‘Ali II




Muhammad Yusuf


The Bugis were a constant threat to the Dutch. Their leader, Daeng Kamboja, made Lingga his base and, from October 1756 till July 1757, besieged Dutch Malacca. In February 1757, help arrived from Batavia and the Bugis were forced to abandon the siege.In 1784 – to restore Dutch supremacy in the Strait of Malacca, and to prevent English occupation the Dutch attacked Riau and, on 29 October 1784, the Bugis were defeated. The resulting treaty ended Johore’s independence, and a Dutch fort was established at Tanjung Pinang (Riau). In the Malay Peninsula, Johore, Selangor, Perak, Trengganu and Pahang became Dutch territories. For the time being the VOC was truly dominant in the Straits. 
The Bugis of Selangor and Rembau conquered parts of Malacca in January 1784. To reconquer Malacca an expedition to Selangor and Riau was conducted by Jacob Pieter van Braam of the Amsterdam Admiralty, who commanded a fleet of six ships of the line of 60 cannon each and two frigates of 40 cannon each. He arrived in Batavia on 9 March 1784 and on 29 May he landed on the beach of Malacca. The ensueing battle ended with a victory of Van Braam and the death of Haji the Yang di-Pertuan Muda of Riau.  On 14 July he set sail to Selangor and, with the help of the Sultan of Siak (Yahya Abdul Jalil Mazaffar Shah 1781-’97), conquered the ruler of Selangor, Ibrahim (1778-1826). On 23 October negotiations were openend with the successor of Raja Haji, Raja Ali. When these negotiations had no satisfying results Van Braam attacked on 29 October. Raja Ali fled and by treaty of November of the same year the Bugis were forbidden to return. [iv][5]The flags of the Bugis forces captured by Van Braam were sent to Holland and were exposed in the Hall in The Hague. There 27 of them, captured at the battles of Tulu Cattapang, Selangor and Marseh were drawn by Engel Hoogerheyden. This drawing, with the legend ‘VEROVERDE VLAGGEN TE TOELOE CATAPANG DOOR HET ESQUADER VAN DEN COMMANDEUR VAN BRAAM 1784’ is in the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam. Amongst them was the banner of Raja Haji and the flag of Raja Ibrahim of Selangor. Some of these flags are in the collection of the Legermuseum in Delft.[v][6] 


Chart of the flags captured by Van Braam in 1784

Coll. Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. nr S.0585 (04).

 In the head of the chart are the white and red ensigns of the Admiralty of Amsterdam squadrons of the Dutch fleet. The other flags are from the Bugis navy.The flags, which are depicted reversed (that is that the mast-ends have to be on the right instead of the left) are of three or four categories. The first two flags are triangular with a text in arab script. These may be the flags of the raja’s themselves. Ten other flags show the dhu’l fakr or Sword of Islam. These may have been the flags of the admirals, emirs or commanders of the Bugis squadrons. Thirteen flags are plain or decorated simply. These may have been the flags of the rear-admirals or captains of Bugis ships. A fourth category is the 1 Í 5 oblong flag. This may have been the flag of the commander of the fleet.



Two banners, probably from the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Selangor and the Yang di-Pertuan Muda of Riau. The inscriptions in arab lettering are not yet deciphered but may give a clue to who were their owners.

 Whatever the banners of Raja Haji or Raja ‘Ali may have been, the banner of Raja Ja’afar was quite different. It was probably granted in 1813 when green and yellow flags were also granted by Raffles to the Mangkunegoro and the Paku Alam on Java. Another possibility is that the flag was granted in 1818 when a contract between the Dutch Government and the Sultan of Riau Lingga was concluded.The flag of the Yang di-Pertuan Muda of Riau was yellow with a green bordure at the mast-end and the upper- and lower side:


His pennon was divided horizontally of green and yellow and his gonfanon with two points the same as his flag.


The flag of the vice-royal boat was green with a white cross saltire:






Seal of the Yang Dipertuan Muda Riau IX

Raja Abdullah Ibni Raja Jaafar Ibni Raja Haji Fisabilillah

The legend of the seal reads: “Al Watik Baladun Al Aziz Al Ghaffar Sultan Alauddin Syah Ibni Al Marhum Raja Jaafar 1273-Hijri” (1857 AD). And on the circumference: ONDERKONING VAN RIOUW (Viceroy of Riau)

Residentie Riouw en Onderhoorigheden

The Singkep tin Matschapy 1889

Koelies graven de ertsgrondlaag af in de groeve Ajer Poetih Singkep Tin Maatschappij Riouw


Op Singkep was sedert 1889 de Singkep Tin Maatschappij werkzaam. Deze onderneming besloot in 1933 tot algehele overdracht van het bedrijf aan de Gemeenschappelijke Mijnbouwmaatschappij Billiton, een in 1924 aangegane joint venture van het Gouvernement en de Billiton Mij. Ook op het kleine Singkep vond technologische vernieuwing plaats met de, op de foto afgebeelde, hydraulische ontginning als resultaat. Wel moest de ertsgrondlaag nog door koelies worden afgegraven. (P. Boomgaard, 2001). Koelies graven de ertsgrondlaag af in de groeve Ajer Poetih, Singkep Tin Maatschappij, Riouw


Resident Riouw Visit Sultan of linga riouw


Sambu Island during DEI


The Dutch office  in sambu Island

In the back of above picture


Residentie Riouw en Onderhoorigheden





 Under Dutch direct rule the emblems of the Kingdom of the Netherlandswere valid in the residence.After Japanese occupation but also after the proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia on 17 August 1945, the Dutch Government tried to restore Dutch Rule in the Indies as well as on Sumatera. For that reason some troops of the Royal Dutch Indies Army (KNIL) were stationed on Sumatera. Most succesful were the KNIL-troops in Medan, Padang and Palembang. In Riau the VIII Infantry Battalion KNIL was stationed. The arms of this Battalion were:Arms:Vert, a sword per pale Argent, its hilt Or, charged with a vulture Sable, keeping a garland of branches of olive in his claws proper, and in base the cypher VIII Sable.The arms were adopted by resolution Clg 7492/GS/35 of 11 November 1946 and became obsolte after the dissolution of the KNIL on 20 July 1950.


Provinsi Riau
 On 15 April 1948 Riau became a part of the Province of MiddleSumatra  with the name of Karesidenan Riau. With the extinguishing of Sumatera Tenga in 1957 the Karesidenan Riau was upgrated into a province. For this province an emblem was adopted:Arms:Vert, a keris per pale charged with a Bugis sailing vessel in full sail on waves of the sea, surrounded by a garland of rice and cotton, in base the name RIAU in red lettering; and a chain of 90 shackles Or in orle.ð See illustration in the head of this essay. [vi][7] 


Karimun regency in the beginning was a small town with the name of Tanjung Balai Karimun and with its status as a sub district town with the area of only 275 sq km. Tanjung Balai Karimun, from the scope of history, cannot be separated from its main regency that is Riau islands.



Based on the decree of delegation of the Republic of Indonesia, the province of central Sumatra on may 18, 1956 joined the republic of Indonesia, and Riau island were given the status as level II autonomy rnegion  which is led by a regent as head of the region who supervised 4 (four) districts, that are:
* Tanjung Pinang District, which covered sub district of South Bintan (incoming East Bintan, Galang, West Tanjung Pinang and East Tanjung Pinang now).
* Karimun District which covered sub district of Karimun, Kundur and Moro.
* Lingga District which covered sub district of Lingga, Singkep and Senayang.
* Tujuh Island District which covered sub district of Jemaja, Siantan, Midai, Serasan, Tambelan, West Bunguran and East Bunguran.


Karimun district, later were abolished based on the decree of governor, head of the level I region of Riau dated August 9, 1964 no. Up/247/5/1965.


Based on such stipulation, as of January 1, 1966,

all administrative territory of the district in the Riau Islands regency was abolished. Along with the spirit of regional autonomy,


Along with the spirit of regional autonomy, then on October 12 law no. 53, 1999 was stipulated which stated that Karimun regency together with kundur and moro regency were merged to one regency with the name of Karimun regency, with position at the same level with other regencies in Indonesia.         




After the European powers withdrew from the region, the new independent governments had to reorganize and find balance after inheriting 100 years of colonial boundaries. Before finding their current status, the territories of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Borneo struggled and even came into military conflict against each other, and the Riau islands once again found themselves in the middle of a regional struggle.

The strong cultural unity of the region with Riau in the heart of this region never returned, and the line drawn by the British in 1819 remained, dividing the area into three new countries in 1965: Singapore, the Malaysian federation in the north, and Indonesia in the south.

Some level of unity returned in the Riau region for the first time after 150 years, with the creation of the Sijori Growth Triangle in 1989. But while bringing back some economical wealth to Riau, the Sijori Growth Triangle somewhat further broke the cultural unity within the islands. With Batam island receiving most of the industrial investments and dramatically developing into a regional industrial center, it attracted hundreds of thousands of non-Malay Indonesian migrants, changing forever the demographic balance in the archipelago.

Today the name of Riau merely refers to this administrative region of Indonesia, a free trade zone heavily supported by Indonesian, Singaporean and international investments.

There have been various attempts at both independence and autonomy for this part of Indonesia since the founding of Indonesia in 1945.[5]

Administrative division

This province is divided into 5 regencies:

and 2 cities:


  1. ^ a b Central Bureau of Statistics: Census 2010, retrieved 17 January 2011 (Indonesian)
  2. ^ Kepulauan Riau, Keberagaman Identitas dalam Kesatuan Kultur. 6.
  3. ^ BPS: Jumlah Penduduk Provinsi Kepulauan Riau Menurut
  4. ^ The Riau Islands and economic cooperation in the Singapore Indonesian border zone Karen Peachey, Martin Perry, Carl Grundy-Warr, Clive H Schofield, University of Durham. International Boundaries Research Unit, illustrated, IBRU, 1997, ISBN 1897643276, 9781897643273, pg. 6-10
  5. ^ paper on the Riau Independence movemen




is one of the most important islands in Riau Archipelago, due to its thriving economy and proximity to Singapore. Tanjung Balai Karimun is a medium-sized town, with a large Chinese community and shops selling a large variety of imported items. The town is linked by both sea and air.


 Terkulai resortand Soreh resot


are resort islands nearby which are popular with holidaymakers.


Terkulai and Soreh are resort islands nearby which are popular with holidaymakers.





is one of the most important islands in Riau Archipelago, due to its thriving economy and proximity to Singapore. Tanjung Balai Karimun is a medium-sized town, with a large Chinese community and shops selling a large variety of imported items. The town is linked by both sea and air. Terkulai and Soreh are resort islands nearby which are popular with holidaymakers.

Karimun regency in the beginning was a small town with the name of Tanjung Balai Karimun and with its status as a sub district town with the area of only 275 sq km. Tanjung Balai Karimun

  • .

Karimun district, later were abolished based on the decree of governor, head of the level I region of Riau dated August 9, 1964 no. Up/247/5/1965. Based on such stipulation, as of January 1, 1966, all administrative territory of the district in the Riau Islands regency was abolished. It is written the history that in glory of Riau Lingga kingdom when it took over the famous Johor kingdom, most parts of Riau islands territory were in the authority of kingdom of Riau Lingga. It is mentioned that the glorious time of Riau can be depicted by the incoming flow of international commerce since there were so many foreign traders lived in Bandar Riau. Furthermore, it was explained also about the prosperity of this Riau territory, especially at the time his young majesty King Ali held the power. Riau had experienced rapid development. Such historical meanings had implicated the economic situation in this territory nowadays.

then on October 12 law no. 53, 1999 was stipulated which stated that Karimun regency together with kundur and moro regency were merged to one regency with the name of Karimun regency, with position at the same level with other regencies in Indonesia.












Siantan Tarempa [Flickr]

20 tahun lamanya tidak melihat kampung halaman ditanah kelahiran, 20 tahun lamanya tidak mengunjungi sanak saudaran ditanah kelahiran. Akhirnya liburan kemaren saya mendapatkan kesempatan untuk mengunjungi tanah kelahiran saya yang telah lama saya tinggalkan. Tarempa … itulah nama sebuah tempat dimana saya dilahirkan lebih kurang 24 tahun yang lalu, saya hijrah ke Tanjung Pinang saat usia saya masih 4 tahun, kemudian sebelum menginjakkan kaki ke bangku sekolah dasar saya sempat pulang sebentar… tapi hanya transit untuk mengunjungi kampung halaman ibu saya di



Semenjak saat itu saya tidak pernah pulang lagi untung menjenguk sanak saudara disana.

Sebelumnya mungkin kita pernah mendengan dengan sebutan Pulau Tujuh, gugusan kepulauan yang berada di Kepulauan Riau. Nah… salah satu dari kepulauan itu adalah Kepulauan Anambas yang terkenal dengan beberapa daerah seperti Siantan a.k.a Tarema, Jemaja a.k.a Letung dan Payaklaman a.k.a Matak. Klo mau saya jelaskan satu persatu gugusan pulau tujuh ini … mungkin hingga thesis saya selesai, belum tentu saya akan dapat merampungkan cerita tentang Ke-tujuh kepulauan itu. Saya hanya akan membahas tiga daerah dari kepulauan Anambas ini saja, Tarempa, Letung dan Matak. Baiklah … cerita ini akan saya ceritakan melalui perjalanan saya sehari-hari disana. Dimulai ketika proses keberangkatan hingga akhirnya saya harus pulang lagi ke Tanjung Pinang.

Perjalanan menuju Tarempa dapat ditempuh dengan 2 cara. Cara yang pertama adalah menggunakan transportasi laut. Kapal Pelni yang berangkat setiap 2 minggu sekali dapat kita gunakan. Alternatif kapal lainnya adalah Kapal Perintis yang memiliki 2 rute, sehingga waktu keberangkatannya tidak tetap. Perjalanan menggunakan kapal biasanya memakan waktu selama 18-20 jam. Cara yang kedua tentunya menggunakan transportasi udara, dengan menaiki pesawat dari Tanjung Pinang atau Batam. Pesawat dari Tanjung Pinang hanya menuju bandar udara Natuna sedangkan pesawat dari Batam dapat menuju bandar udara Natuna dan Matak. Mo lewat jalan darat? …. jangan pernah berharap yah

Liburan kemaren kebetulan saya menggunakan kapal Pelni yang berangkat dari pelabuhan Kijang menuju Tarempa. Rute dari kapal pelni ini dapat menempuh seluruh perjalanan di pulau tujuh. Setelah 15 jam perjalanan kapal memasuki perairan Jemaja Letung, disini kapan tidak dapat berlabuh dipelabuhan. Kapal pelni ini hanya berlabuh jangkar dilaut, penumpang yang akan turun diharuskan menaiki kapal motor kecil alias pompong. Tepat 3 jam setelah berangkat dari Letung, kapal pelni berlabuh di pelabuhan Tarempa. Kebetulan sampe sana pukul 23.00 wib, jadi sampe rumah langsung K.O.


Tarempa from Mountain [Flickr]

Kepulangan saya kekampung halaman ini bertepatan dengan acara sukuran dalam rangka terbentuknya Kabupaten Kepulauan Anambas. Dahulunya daerah ini hanyalah sebuah kecamatan dibawah kabupaten Natuna. Pembentukan kabupaten baru ini disambut gembira oleh seluruh lapisan masyarakat disana, sehingga diadakanlah acara sukuran. Nantinya akan saya cerita lebih lanjut tentang syukuran KKA ini.

Kehidupan masyarakat didaerah ini dimulai pada pagi hari, ada juga kegiatan dimalam hari tetapi tidak terlalu ramai. Hal tersebut dikarenakan sebagian besar penduduk bermata pencarian nelayan. Setelah sholat subuh saya pun keluar rumah untuk menghirup udara pagi yang segar, setelah menoleh kiri dan kanan, ternyata didepan rumah ada pasar ikan. Pasar ikan ini sangat ramai dipagi hari, karena hampir seluruh warga datang untuk membeli hasil tangkapan para nelayan yang masih fresh.


Perahu nelayan yang sedang parkir [Flickr]

Mungkin orang-orang disana pada bingung … nih anak pagi2 udah bawa kamera dan yang difoto malah pasar dan tukang ikan . Saya sempat dibilang wartawan … hehe , maklum orang-orang mungkin sudah tidak mengenali saya lagi. Hari ini misi yang harus dijalankan adalah mengunjungi seluruh rumah sanak saudara saya. Boleh dibilang, keluarga saya adalah keluarga besar. Ayah saya memiliki 9 saudara dan ibu saya 11 bersaudara. So, saya memiliki banyak paman dan bibi. Belum lagi saudara dari kakek dan nenek saya, alias saudara-saudara sepupu saya. Klo boleh dibilang, mau kemana aja di Tarempa ini masih ada hubungan saudara. Karena banyaknya saudara-saudara saya, saya sudah hampir tidak ingat kepada mereka semua. Hanya yang beberapa saja yang masih saya kenal. Mungkin inilah nasib dari seorang anak rantau yang jauh dari keluarga. Setiap ada acara kumpul-kumpul keluarga besar saya tidak dapat mengikutinya. Begitu juga dengan pernikahan sepupu saya pada waktu bulan Juli lalu



Midai island















“We have to advise that this man was discharged from this estate on 29th April 1948 ,for using riffle bullete for shooting wild pig” from manager of graham estate.




Driwan Vietnam War Cybermuseum:”The Vietnam Refugee Pulau galang Camp After Vietnam War 1980″(koleksi camp refugee Vietnam pulau galang)

Posted on March 28, 2011 by iwansuwandy













Showroom :

The Driwan’s  Cybermuseum


(Museum Duniamaya Dr Iwan)


Please Enter



(Driwan Vietnam War  Cybermuseum)Showcase:

The Vietnam War Document


Postal History



Post Vietnam War














How to travel to Vietnam refugee Galang Island Camp

Galang Island : the Vietnamese Safe Haven


Get There

To reach this island, take a ferry to any of the Batam’s six ferry terminals. Batam’s Hang Nadim airport serves domestic flights from many cities in Indonesia. See: To get there for Batam island. The Vietnam refugee camp is located in Sijantung village on Galang Island some 50 kilometers from Batam Center.

The Galang Island where the vietnam refugee camp were built


The Map Of Galang island vietnam refugee


The Picture at Vietnam Refugee Camp at Galang Island,:

1.Front Gate

2.The house of refugee


3.The Church of vietnam refugee


4.The Maria Cave


5.The Ex Boat of the vietnam refugee








Image Gallery



1) no info

1.January until march not yet info


In this month, Indonesia Police Mobile Brigade Kompi-06 West sumatra Padang Panjang have joined the “Halilintar”operation at Pulau Galang in order to keep the stabilty situation during the Vietnamese Refugees processing the island near Riau Island and Singapore, live temporary at the  refugee Camp “ Vietnam Refugee Galang Island Camp”.look at the order to the police by te command chief  staf  of halilintar operation below(given by the man to me)

3.Since June and July 1979, many Vietnamese refiugee, thousands with small boats flee from Vietnam, they were called “Boat People” many died in the sea due to Boat crash due to many mans in small boat.

As a humanity , Indonesia  give an Island of Galang where the processing by United nation were made.look at the Vietnamese Refugee Galang Island Camp picture below:

Vietnam Refugee Camp, Galang Island


3) no info


4)April 1980


(1)The Operation of Indonesia Armed Forces (Police were in Armed Forces that this time) were  called “HALILINTAR OPERATIONS”  , from  the Mobile Brigade-man I have found Postal History, document and memorabilia :


April.12th 1980

Order from the Command of Halilintar operations, The Chief Staff Navy General(laksmana Pertama) TNI(Indonesia National Army) Kunto Wibisono with  the “Panglima”(Chief) of Halilintar Operation  Command(Komando Operasi Halilintar) issued at Tanjung Pinang Riou 12 April 1980.(D)

the order


the list of the policeman tasforce at Galang Island Vietnam refugee camp


The hansigned of comander in chief Brigade Mobile Padang Panjang Leutenan Fadjar Prihantoro(now He Inspektuer General Police ,the chief Of Aceh Police Departemen,read the recent info about him,he at right


BANDA ACEH, 4/1 – KAPOLDA ACEH BARU. Kapolda Aceh yang baru, Irjen Pol Iskandar Hasan (kanan) melakukan salam komando dengan Kapolda Aceh lama, Irjen Pol Fajar Prihantoro (kiri) usai upacara lepas sambut di Mapolda Aceh, Banda Aceh, Selasa (4/1). Irjen Pol. Fajar Prihantoro yang bertugas selama delapan bulan di Aceh itu akan menempati posisi Kabarharkam di Mabes Polri. FOTO ANTARA/Ampelsa/ss/pd/11



hallo general Fadjar are still remember me,greating and salute from Dr Iwan suwandy)


Bp Hadjar prihantoro profile now as the chief of Aceh Police departement


(b) Postal History

(2.1)Military cover from the Command of halilintar Operation to the command of Mobile Brigade Police Second Leutenant fajar Prihantoro, this cover sent via courier.(PH)

cover one


cover two

(2.2) Official Military Covers send via courier, from Komando(command) Satuan Pengaman (stability unit) and Perawatan (care) Pengungsi (Refu-gee) Vietnam Pulau(Island) Galang to WA(deputy) Dan (Commandant) Ki (Compi) 0-6 SB(Moblie Brigade west sumatra) at Tanjung Pinang. With the sign of the Deputy H.Prihantoro when he have given this cover to me.(D)

Money Order To Vietnamese Pulau galang Refugee

Inconu Vietnamese Pulau galang refugee postally used cover

The Postal History 1979


5)-9) no info

10) October 1979

(1) October 4th 1979

(a)Vietnamese refugee Pulau galang emblemed cover send postally CDS Tandjung Pinang 4.10.79 rate 60 Rupiah  to  his wife Padang Pandjang west sumatra .(PH)





(b) Return to sender registered covers I have send to the Police Pos Command of Vietnamese Pulau galang, with  Sial Sdh berangkat (They have departured)




(c)Official letter sheet Vietnamese refugee Pulau galang (M)

(d)The Sticker of Vietnamese Refugee Pulau galang.




11) November 1980

No info

12) December 1980

(1)     December,8th.1980

The  civil homemade cover send with Military stamps 1976-1980 ,  2×12 (?) from Tinh Ha Son Binh to Than Pho Ho chi Minh.



1. The wedding double happiness dragon  cover



the picture of brideman


2. Postally used Vietnam Aerograme  hundred years anniversary postal stationer of Ho Chi Minh



the end @ copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011





The Japan Leader Historic Collections


Japanese Leader


Created By

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA


This is the sample of E-BOOK in CD-ROM,The complete CD exist but only for premium member








Uchimura Kanzo(1861-1930)

Uchimura Kanzō

Uchimura Kanzō

Uchimura Kanzō in 1918


March 26, 1861(1861-03-26)
Tokyo, Japan[1]


March 28, 1930(1930-03-28) (aged 69)
Tokyo, Japan




Writer, Christian evangelist

In this Japanese name, the family name is “Uchimura”.

Uchimura Kanzō (内村 鑑三?, March 26, 1861 – March 28, 1930) was a Japanese author, Christian evangelist, and the founder of the Nonchurch Movement (Mukyōkai) of Christianity in the Meiji and Taishō period Japan.  Early life

Uchimura was born in Edo, and exhibited a talent for languages from a very early age; he started to study the English language at the age of 11. In 1877, he gained admission to the Sapporo Agricultural College (present-day Hokkaido University), where English was the main language of instruction.

Prior to Uchimura’s arrival, William S. Clark, a graduate of Amherst College, had spent the year assisting the Japanese government in establishing the college. While his primary role was to teach agricultural technology, Clark was a committed lay Christian missionary who introduced his students to the Christian faith through Bible classes. All of his students converted and signed the “Covenant of Believers in Jesus”, committing themselves to continue studying the Bible and to do their best to live moral lives. Clark returned to the United States after one year, but Uchimura felt his influence through the small Covenant group that was left behind. Under considerable pressure from his senpai (先輩, a term for senior peers), Uchimura signed the Covenant during his first year at the College at the age of 16 and went on to receive baptism from a Methodist missionary in 1878.

Dissatisfaction with the mission church, however, led Uchimura and his Japanese supporters to establish an independent church in Sapporo. This experiment turned out to be a precursor to what is now called the Nonchurch Movement. Through Clark’s teaching and example, this small group believed that they could practice and live an authentic life of faith without depending on an institution or clergy.

Overseas career



Tombstone of Uchimura Kanzō. It is inscribed “I for Japan, Japan for the World, The World for Christ, And All for God.”

Uchimura departed for the United States following a brief and unhappy first marriage in 1884. He was first befriended by Wister Morris and his wife, a Quaker couple, who helped him find employment shortly after his arrival in Pennsylvania. The Quaker faith and pacifism made a lasting impression upon Uchimura. He and his Sapporo friend Nitobe Inazō were influential in the establishment of the Friends School in Tokyo as a result of his sojourning in the Philadelphia area.

Following eight months of stressful work at a mental hospital in Elwyn, Pennsylvania, Uchimura resigned and traveled through New England, entering Amherst College in September 1885. Julius Hawley Seelye, the president of Amherst College, became his spiritual mentor, and encouraged him to attend the Hartford Theological Seminary. After completing his second bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in general science at Amherst, he enrolled in Hartford Seminary, but quit after only one semester, disappointed by theological education. He returned to Japan in 1888.

Japanese religious leader



Nakada Juzi, Uchimura Kanzō, Kimura Seimatu

After his return to Japan, Uchimura worked as a teacher, but was fired or forced to resign in several instances over his uncompromising position toward authorities or foreign missionary bodies that controlled the schools. The most famous such incident was his refusal to bow deeply to

 the portrait of Emperor Meiji

 and the Imperial Rescript on Education in the formal ceremony held at the First Higher School (then preparatory division to the Tokyo Imperial University).

read more about imperial rescript on Soldier and sailor bwlow

Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors

Daily formal reading of the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, at the IJA Engineering College, 1939

The Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors (軍人勅諭, Gunjin Chokuyu?) was issued by Emperor Meiji of Japan on 4 January 1882.

It was the most important document in the development of the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy.

[edit] Details

The Rescript was intended to be the official code of ethics for military personnel, and is often cited along with the Imperial Rescript on Education as the basis for Japan’s prewar national ideology. All military personnel were required to memorize the 2700 kanji document by heart.

The initial draft was written by Nishi Amane, an Army Ministry bureaucrat and scholar of western philosophy. It was extensively edited by Inoue Kowashi.

The Rescript was presented to Army Minister Yamagata Aritomo directly by Emperor Meiji in person in a special ceremony held at the Tokyo Imperial Palace. This unprecedented action was meant to symbolize the personal bond between the Emperor and the military, making the military in effect, the Emperor’s personal army. Coming shortly after the Satsuma Rebellion, the Rescript stressed absolute personal loyalty of each individual member of the military to the Emperor. The Rescript also cautioned to military personnel to avoid involvement with political parties or politics in general, and to avoid being influenced by current opinions in the newspapers, reflecting Yamagata’s distrust of politicians in particular and democracy in general. The Rescript also advises military personnel to be frugal in their personal habits (reflecting back to the samurai tradition), and respectful and benevolent to civilians (reflecting on European traditions of chivalry). However, a clause that the military was subordinate to civilian authority did not make it into the final draft.

The Rescript also contains a number of Confucian themes including “proper respect to superiors,” and also draws upon Buddhist influences in that “The soldier and the sailor should make simplicity their aim.”

A famous precept in the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors states that “duty is heavier than a mountain; death is lighter than a feather.”


 Realizing that his religious beliefs were incompatible with a teaching career, he turned to writing, becoming senior columnist for the popular newspaper, Yorozu Chōhō. Uchimura’s fame as a popular writer became solid as he launched a series of sharp criticism against industrialist Ichibei Furukawa over one of modern Japan’s first industrial pollution cases involving

 Furukawa’s Ashio Copper Mine.

 read more about this mine history below


Welcome to Ashio!! In Ashio,visitors are amazed by its natural beauty and long history.
Do you know the Ashio copper mine? Once, it was the biggest copper mine in Japan.In the early Meiji Era (1868~1912), the town took a lead in Japanese modern industry.There are a lot of industrial heritages here. Surely, Ashio is the cradle of Japanese modern industry and a good place to learn about industrial heritages and enveironmental problems.Here many people pay attention to the natural environment destroyed by smoke damage from the refineries.
This guide book is made in order to introduce “Ashio”. It is a town like a museum, so you can enjoy it wherever you visit.
I ‘d like you to use this book not only as a guide but also as a study material.
“ASHIO-no-SHIKI ”(Four Seasons in Ashio) is a song loved by people living in Ashio. The melody is used as the time signal at noon.

ASHIO-no-SHIKI(Four Seasons in Ashio)

1. Shunseisenri Mizukiyoku Kasumitomago Sakurabana Imatakenawano Wataraseya

2. NatsuKoshinnno Takinooto Midorishitataru Manzanni Kumokurenaino Yuhikage

3. Susukiononoku Yamanomine Datsuryutono Kagekuroku Tsukityutenni Akihukashi

4. Nantaioroshi Hukiarete Hakugaigaino Bizentate Horobasyaisogu Kurenomachi




Origin of the Name “ASHIO”

There are two stories about the origin of the name “ASHIO”.
One is the “rat story”. According to the story , the kanji for Ashio was written “足緒”.
Long ago, there was a priest called “SHODO-SHONIN”. When he stayed in the mountain of Nikko, he saw a rat with grains of millet and rice.He was so surprised to see the rat in the heart of such a mountain, so he tied a string to the rat’s foot, and followed it. At last, he found houses at the foot of a mountain.
“SHODO-SHONIN”named this place“ASHI(meaning one’s foot)O(meaning string)”. After that, his pupils were said to come to this place. they trained and built temples there.
Another opinipn relates to Ashio’s topographic view. The high point of a mountain range is called “O(meaning tail written“尾”in kanji). So many people think the name “Ashio”came from its topographic condition. It is an interesting fact that there are other areas near Ashio which use the kanji “尾”also.HOSOO is eritten“細尾”in kanji and KASOO is written “粕尾”in kanji.




History of Ashio

Ashio was a silent mountain village begore copper was found. In 1610, two farmers were said to find copper in Mt.Bizentate. The Ashio Copper Mine then started under the direct administration of the Tokugawa Shogunate.The Ashio Copper Mine enjoyed remarkable prosperity, and was referred to as “Ashio,the Town of 1,000 House ”. Not only was the copper used in Japan,
but also it was sent to foreign countries. It was used to make the roofs for the “Toshogu Shrine”, the “Edo Castle”and the “Kaneiji Temple in Ueno”and so on. In addition to this, the copper was used to make money called “Kaneitsuho(‘Ashijisen’)”
In 1877, Mr.Ichibe’e Furukawa began management of the Ashio copper mine. He used new machines and skills. As a result of this, the mine was electrified and modernized, and the amount of copper output increased. In 1916, the population of Ashio reached 38,428. Ashio was the largest town next to Utsunomiya(about58,000) in Tochigi prefecture.
However, people dug copper without sufficient planning during World WarⅡ;they couldn’t produce as much copper as they thought.
At last, the Ashio copper mine was closed in February in 1973, closing the chapter to about 400 years of history.

Minerals Mined Ashio

In the Ashio Copper Mine, more than 40 minerals were found.The most general ore is Chalcopyrite(“ODOKO” in Japanese). It is a compound of copper, iron and sulfur. “ODOKO” consisits of about 34,5 percent copper.
There are two different museums near the “The Ashio Dozan Kanko” and the “Furukawa Kakemizu Club” where one can see many mineral samples.
Please come to see those valuable materials !

Minerals Mined in Ashio
*Chalcopyrite *Bornite
*Chalcocite *Galena
*Cuprite *Malachite
*Bismuthinite *Pyrite
*Rock crystal etc

The mineral museum near the Ashio Dozan Kanko




Mr.Ichibe’e Furukawa

Mr.Ichibe’e Furukawa’s original name was Kimura Minosuke. He was born on March 16th, 1832 in Tokyo as the second son. His family ran a Tofu store, But it fell into hard time leaving them poor off. Because of these hardships, Ichibe’e seemed to value money. When he was six years old, his mother passed away.To help his family, he sold tofu by blowing a bugle. After that, he went to his uncle’s house in Morioka. There, he changed his name from Minosuke to Kosuke.Later he was adopted into a family acquaintance of his uncle, the Furukawa’s, and he changed his name from Kosuke to Ichibe’e.
In those days, thousands of people gave up digging for copper from the Ashio copper mine. However, Ichibe’e thought he could get much copper there because it was a very famous copper mine in Japan.
In 1877, he bought the Ashio copper mine and started to dig. All his efforts were rewarded ; he found a big bed of ore in 1884. which led the way to the mine’s quick development and its place as a leader of Japan’s modernization.


Remains of the Kodaki Mine

Environmental Problems the Ashio Copper Mine

In Ashio, the production of copper totaled more than 40 percent of Japan’s total copper output.The Ashio Mines made a great contribution to the development of Japanese industry. On the other hand, it was said to be “the root of environmental pollution” as the place where pollution problems happened first in Japan. One of the notorious matters was sulfurous acid gas emitted by the smelter’s chimneys. It affected all people living in Ashio. The smoke damage continued from the middle of Meiji period to about the 30th year of the SHowa period(1955). It damaged plants, and soon there were no trees left on the mountain. Because of this, the mountains were called “HAGEYAMA” (which means “bald mountain”)
Recently, many organizations including national, perfectural and private sectors, and the NPO group “Growing Greenery in Ashio” are working to restore greenery on Ashio’s mountains. It is drawing attention from all over Japan, creating opportunities to think about environmental problems. There are many efforts now to revive Ashio from its “root of environmental pollution” past to a place rich in nature once again.
The state of the “Matsuki”valley




Labor Problems and the Sickness “Yoroke”

As the copper mines developed more and more, laborers gathered in Ashio. Tsuruzo Nagaoka and Sukematsu Minami established a labor union here. In 1907, they organized a big riot to demand for higher wages and the improvement of labor conditions, 24 items in all.
After that, four more riots broke out. Also, the Second Annual May Day was carried out in Ashio in 1921. It was the first May Day held in a copper mine. After World War 2, a new labor union was formed and many labor movements active.

Another problem was “YOROKE”, an incurable disease. People working in copper mines became ill after breathing in dust for many years. Laborers demanded measures against the disease . It look many years for it to be recognized as a worker’s accident and the nation guaranteed laborer’s livelihood.

Laborers met their leaders at the Tsudo Station

The War Memorial for Chinese Martyrs

This tower is near the “Kajika-so” Hotel in the Ginzandaira area. During World War2, many Koreans and Chinese were abducted and forced to work at the Ashio copper mines. About 250 people were taken to the Ashio copper mines. 109 of them died in the mines. It is said that many people died because of malnutrition.
The tower was built on 30th July in 1973 to comfort their spirits and pledge never to wage war after China and Japan issued a joint statement on the recovery of diplomatic relations in 1972.

The site of the “Koaryo” dormitory

The War Memorial for Chinese Martyrs




Company Houses and Life

In the heyday of the Ashio copper mine, there were many company houses like “Honzan”, “Uenotaira” and “Kodaki” and so on. The roots were made of zinc, and people used communal water-works,rest rooms, and bath rooms. Also, water rates,electric charges, and house repairs were free. Near the company houses, there was a park, a tennis court, a pool,and so on. In addition to this, they used “KARAMI” as a fireproof wall. “KARAMI” is a blac brick used to prevent the spreading of fires.
“Sanyokai” co-ops were also a characteristic of Ashio. They were located near the company houses, so people could buy daily necessities. Some of them are still used today.

Tsudo Company Kouses

The Fireproof Wall




The Ashio Smelter

The Ashio smelter was built as the “Naori Bridge Sub Factory”in 1884. To keep up with the increasing smelting operations, a Bessemer rotary kiln was introduced in 1893; however, the amount of sulfuric acid gas inceased.

At the Ashio smelter, many systems were improved in order to remove the gas. In1956, with the flash-smelting system technology imported from Finland’s Outokumpu Company, a method to remove smoke and other by-products of sulfuric acid gas was completed. It was the first time in Japan for the emission of sulfuric acid gas to be stopped. these smelting techniques developed in Japan and around the world continue to help eliminate pollutions from copper factories even today.
In 1973, the Ashio copper mine was closed. After that, the smelter began to refine imported minerals. The Ashio line was abolished in 1989, forcing the Ashio Smelter to stop operation since it was no longer able to transport copper by freight cars.

The storage tanks of sulfuric acid




Cultural Assets of Ashio

Ashio is abundant in cultural assets.
*The Cultural Assets of Ashio
1:The remains of the Governor’s office
2:The remains of one of Japan’s first Hydro-Erectric Stations
3:The monument of Mt.Koshin
4:The Honzan mine entrance
5:The Kodaki mine entrance
6:The Furukawa bridge
7:The remains of the “Chusenza”
8:The Honzan MIne Copper Shrine Alter
1:The rope way tunnels
2:The Watarase Bridge
3The Furukawa Kakemizu Club
4:The remains of the Horse-Cart Railroad
5:”The Tower for the Unfortunate” in Matsuki village







Shinto Shrines, Temples and Churches

Although Ashio is a small town, there are many old Shinto shrines and temples.
The Iwasaku Shinto Shrine, built in 808, is a village shrine in the Tojimo area which was used as a mountain entrance.
In 1889, a Copper Mine Shrine was built at the highest point in Honzen to worship God to protect the mines. Another Copper
mine Shrine which is now located near the Dozan Kanko Museum, was built in 1920. these shrines are also called Mountain Shrines. Every spring they held a joint festival which was said to be the best festival in the Kanko Area.That spring festival now become the”Ashio Festival”
The temples of Ashio include the Ryuzoji Temple, the Hozenji Temple, the Sennenji Temple and so on. At the Ryuzoji Temple,there is the Tower for the Unfortunate, built for the ancestors of the Matsuki Village which was evacuated due to damages by smoke pollutions. Also at the Ryuzoiji Temple there are graves for many miners who dedicated their lives to the Mines. In the Hozoji Temple, there is a wooden statue of the god “HASHIRIDAIKOKU” which was engraved by Shodo Shonin.
In addition to these temples and shrines, there is also a church built by the effort of a Copper mine Owner from England who built churches near copper mines all over the world.

Tsudo Mine Shrine




The Watarase Bridge

There are two bridges in parallel which cross the Watarase River in the Watarase area. The bridge upstream is the new bridge, and the bridge downstream is the original bridge. In the beginning, the original bridge was made by steel; it was changed to concrete in 1935. This bridge was badly damaged; so, new bridge was built upstream. The structure of the old bridge was so valuable due to its unique construction that it is now being preserved.
Around the bridge, there are many cherry trees which bloom in spring to delight many onlookers.

The Original Watarase Bridge

The Cherry Tree in the Watarase Park

Kodaki Area and the Monument of Kodaki Village

The Kodaki mine opened in 1885, and the area arounded became known as The Kodaki. Kodaki area spans from the national highway to the Ginzandaira area.
The Kodaki Copper Mine was closed in 1954; it had fallen into ruins. Now, there are remains of the mine entrance, company houses, hospitals, school and so on; one could visualize their previous existence.
Also here, one can see the conditions of the Chinese and Koreans who were forced to work inthe mines during WWⅡ.
After the mines closed, the people left the Kodaki Village. Later they erected a monument in the middle of the old town in rememblance of the past.

Monument of the Kodaki Village




Furukawa Kakemizu Club

The Furukawa Kakemizu Club was built in about 1899, but the designer isn’t clear, it is said however, that there is much influence from England’s Josiah Conder. This building is a max of Western and Japanese styles.
The Furukawa Miming Company used it as a guest house for customers to stay and as a place to have meetings. In the building, there is a billiards table, the first one made in Japan, and a piano made in Germany in 1924.
Near the main building, there are two smaller museums-a mineral museum and a telephone museum. The telephone was invented by Mr.Bell in 1876, and the next year it was imported into Japan. After that, the Furukawa Company introduced telephones to the mines in 1886. It is a surprising fact that one enterprise introduced telephones only 10 years after its invention. It was the first introduction of telephones to private businesses. In Ashio, these telephones were called “the Copper Mine Telephones” , and were located at the city office and the train stations.
《Facilities referense》
Open: Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays 10:00-15:00
Closed: December through March
Consecutive holidays from the end of April to Golden Week
Charge: Adult 300yen
Junior High School Students and under 200yen
Phone: Daily 0288-93-3255 Holidays 0288-93-2015





Ashio History Museum

The Ashio History Museum was opened by “the Ashio GAKUGEIIN Association” on April in 2005. GAKU means ” happily”(“楽”in kanji) GEI means “to welcome customer” (“迎”in kanji) .
Although people know about pollution problems in the Ashio Copper Mine, few good points are known. However through various inverstigations and studies, members found that the Ashio Copper Mine contributed towards Japanese modern industry. They started volunteer activities to talk its proud history and to give guides about valuable industrial heritages in Ashio.
In the museum, there are valuable pictures one can see only in Ashio.

《Facilities reference》
Open : April through December (except Monday)10:00-16:00
Closed : Nonember through March
Charge : (one day ticket)Adult 300yen,
Junior High School Students under 200yen
Address : 2825 Matsubara, Ashio-machi, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1523
Phone : 0288-93-0189




Ashio Dozan Kanko Mine Tunnels

Over the course of 400years, miners dug 1,234 kilometers to get ocpper. (the distance is about from Tokyo to Hakata). The depth also reached about that of Tokyo Bay.
Dozan Kanko is a Copper Mine Museum which has been created throughout 400years of history. Within the tunnels, one can view the history of the Ashio Copper Mine from the Edo Period(1610-1867) through the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa Eras. Mannequins and mine trains are displayed to demonstrate how the mine worked. You can study the history and system of the Ashio Copper Mine here.
In addition to this, there is “Chusenza” outside. One can see the process of how to make coins from copper. Also, one can look at tools used in the Ashio copper mines and materials in that museum.

It takes customers to the Mine Tunnel by tram / Welcome to the “Ashio Dozan Kanko”

Uchimura’s career as a journalist was cut short as well, largely due to his pacifist views and vocal opposition against the Russo-Japanese War in his newspaper columns, which came into conflict with the paper’s official editorial views. He started publishing and selling his own monthly magazine, Tokyo Zasshi (Tokyo Journal) and later Seisho no Kenkyu (Biblical Study), and supported himself by addressing weekly audiences of 500–1000 people in downtown Tokyo in lectures on the Bible. His followers came to share Uchimura’s attitude that an organized church was actually a hindrance to the Christian faith, and Christian sacraments, such as baptism and communion, are not essential to salvation. Uchimura named his Christian position as “Mukyokai” or Nonchurch Movement. Uchimura’s movement attracted many students in Tokyo who later became influential figures in academia, industry, and literature. His “prophetic” views on religion, science, politics, and social issues became influential beyond his small group of followers.

His writings in English include: Japan and the Japanese (1894) and How I became a Christian (1895), and reflect his struggle to develop a Japanese form of Christianity. In his lifetime, Uchimura became famous overseas. His major English-language works were translated into numerous languages. After his death, however, Uchimura’s reputation grew more, as his followers produced an enormous amount of literature.


  • Caldarola, Carlo, Christianity, The Japanese Way (Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1979).
  • Howes, John F., Japan’s Modern Prophet: Uchimura Kanzo, 1861–1930 (UBC Press; New Edition, 2006), ISBN 0774811463.
  • Atsuhiro Asano, “Uchimura and the Bible in Japan,” in Michael Lieb, Emma Mason and Jonathan Roberts (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible (Oxford, OUP, 2011), 323-339.



Ugaki Kazushige (1868-1956)


Ugaki, Kazushige


  • Photo no.1 : Shinpen Zatsuwa
  • b&w ; 12.5×9.0 cm


  • Photo no.2 : Hamaguchi Naikaku
  • b&w ; 11.3×8.2 cm
Military officer and statesman. Born in Okayama. Although he had been a substitute teacher at an elementary school, he came to Tokyo wanting to become a military man. He graduated from the Military Academy and the Army War College. Ugaki became the Vice War Minister in 1923. In 1924, he was appointed War Minister in the Kiyoura cabinet, and held that post through the first Wakatsuki cabinet and the first and second Kato cabinets. While in the post, he succeeded in reducing arms in 1925. He was re-elected as War Minister in the Hamaguchi cabinet in 1929, but resigned from the post for his involvement in the March Incident in 1931. Ugaki then made a fresh start as Governor-General of Korea. He was requested to form a cabinet in 1937, but gave up the idea because of opposition from the army. In 1938, he was installed as Foreign Minister and Minister of Colonial Department in the first Konoe cabinet. He made efforts to establish peace against China. In 1953, he was elected as a member of the House of Councilors.



Kazushige Ugaki


Kazushige Ugaki (1868-1956) japanese general,governor general of Korea, c. 1920. (Photo by APIC/Getty Images)

Date created:

01 Jan 1920



Umeda Unpin (1815-1859)


Japanese hangin scroll by Umeda Unpin






Born in Obama, Fukui, the son of a samurai of the Obama Clan. He entered the clan-built school, Junzokan, where he learned kimongaku. He also studied in Kyoto and Edo. At age 26 or 27, he adopted his grandfather’s real family name of Umeda. Later he opened his own private school, Konanjuku, in Otsu and became the chief lecturer of Bonanken in Kyoto. He sent a memorandum concerning naval defenses to the clan, but it incurred the displeasure of the lord Tadayoshi Sakai and he was expelled from the clan in 1852. After the arrival of the black ships of Commodore Perry, he became a central figure in sonno joi group (supporters of the doctrine of revering the emperor and expelling the barbarians) and tried to prevent the signing of the United States-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce, gain support for Yoshinobu Hitotsubashi and exclude tairo (chief minister) Naosuke Ii. When the Ansei Purge began, he was captured and died from illness while being examined




Uchara Yusaku(1856-1933)

No info


Uemura Masahisa(858-1925)

No info