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The Oriental collection of the Department of Numismatics includes coins, money ingots, paper money, glass weights, dies, coin-shaped amulets and the primitive currency of Asia and Africa (including a number of islands of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans) from the time when money began circulating in each of these countries to the present day. It also has coins of the Moslem states of Europe: the Arab territories in Spain (13th-15th centuries), Moslem coins from Mediterranean islands (12th-century Sicily, 9th-century Crete, 15th-century Mallorca), coins of the Volga Bulgars and Crimean khans (15th-18th centuries).

The Oriental section possesses over 200,000 numismatic pieces, about two-thirds of which are from the Near and Middle East and Central Asia, 9,000 from India and the countries of Southeast Asia, 35,000 from the Far East. There are 6,000 coins from European colonies of Africa and Asia, and from independent countries of these continents. The collection of oriental coins also includes a considerable number of hoards, 65 in all, consisting of 35,000 coins, a half of which are Moslem dating from between the 7th and 12th centuries.

The museum collection of Sassanian coins (presently having approximately 5,200 items) is considered one of the finest in the world. The pride of the collection is a unique double dinar of King Hormizd II.

The collection of Khivan khans' dies consisting of 340 pieces is also unique. From a scholarly point of view, the exceedingly valuable the collection of Chinese silver money ingots of the 19th-early 20th centuries (515 items) makes the museum collection of ingots one of the best in the world outside China in both scope and plentitude.

The collection of oriental paper money is very small. It presents the currency of numerous countries, the rarest of which are 12th-century Chinese banknotes and rare silk notes of the 19th-century Khivan khanate.


If you enjoyed this collection, you might want to also visit the other collections at the State Hermitage Museum.

Oriental Art


Coin of Husan ad-din Yulik Arslan
1186 (dated 582 AH)
Full description




Coin of Nur ad-din Muhammad
1182/3 (dated 578 AH)
Full description




Drachma of Queen Buran
630 (dated Year 1)
Full description




20-Toman Piece of Shah Aga Muhammad
1796 (dated 1210 AH)
Full description




2-Mun Coin of the Yi Dynasty
1742-1752
Full description



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