Drawn and engraved by John Rapkin (Published by The London Printing & Publishing Company about 1856).

Royalty free map available at Steve Bartrick Antique Prints and Maps.

The use of tin currencies issued by the Malay Peninsula was not restricted to areas in the peninsula but extends to a large area in the Malay Archipelago. Although the term Malay Archipelago is widely used, there is no official definition for this area. The widely accepted definition would include Malaysia (the Malay Peninsula, including southern Thailand that connects the Peninsula to the Asian mainland), Brunei, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and islands in the waters surrounded by these large islands. (Source - Bank Negara Malaysia, 1995. Pameran Matawang Perdagangan Kepulauan Melayu (18 Mei - 14 Jun 1995) Unit Muzium Matawang, Bank Negara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, p. 9.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Thank you for visiting my blog. I have not been able to update my blog for about 2 months due to unforeseen circumstances. Please bear with me. I will try my best to update the blog with new posts soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The Katun (tin cash) was a common currency of Johor used over an extended period of three centuries from 16th century to the 18th century. However, I believe the period of usage for the Katun coins could have possibly started earlier than the 16th. century. This is based on unique tin katun coins in my collection that can be related to other issues of early tin currency items.

There are many varieties of the Katun coins and they can be generally categorized by the shape; circular, hexagonal and octagonal. Major Fred Pridmore in his article The Native Coinages of the Malay Peninsula - The Malaccan Group - Johor in Numismatic Circulars LXXVII, part 2 - 5 published by Spink and Sons Ltd. London in 1969 separated the Katun coins into a few categories.

Group A - Bar Type

Class I - Inscribed with legend or part of a legend on obverse and reverse

Class II - A large raised dot or pusat (a Malay word) in the centre of the raised bar. Some show traces of a legend but others appear to be uninscribed.

Group B - Round or Irregular Shapes

Class III - A remarkably uniform group both in size and style. The principal series is usually clearly stamped with th title MALIK AL-'ADIL, but some show portions of other inscriptions.

Group C - Hexagonal Shape

Class IV - Inscription on obverse and reverse

Class V - Pusat or centrally raised dot.

Group D - Octagonal Shape

Class VI - Large coins inscribed on obverse and reverse.

Class VII - Large coins, uninscribed with a pusat.

Class VII - Coins inscribed with MALIK AL-'ADIL.

In the following posts we will look at the details of each of the Class of the Katun coins as categorized by Pridmore.

Monday, August 9, 2010


MELAKA: The Melaka Malay Sultanate began in 1278 and not in the 1400s, as discovered by a research team appointed by the Melaka government.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the year (1278) was chosen based or the Raja Bongsu version of the Malay Annals or the “Sulalatus al-Salatin” (Raffles 18).

Following the discovery, the research committee, chaired by Melaka Islamic University College vice-chancellor Prof. Emeritus Datuk Wira Dr Mohd Yusoff Hashim, agreed that Melaka began as a political entity, known as the Melaka Malay Sultanate, in 1278,” he added.

He said the findings of the research was tabled to the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob at his office in Ayer Keroh here yesterday.

The research, headed by Prof. Dr Abdullah Zakaria Ghazali from the Department of History, Universiti Malaya, started in June last year.

Mohd Ali said a seminar would be held this year to further discuss the matter.

Source - The Malay Mail April 17 2010 


New Date On Establishment Of Melaka Malay Sultanate Discovered

MELAKA, May 31 (Bernama) -- A research team appointed by the Melaka state government has discovered that the Melaka Malay Sultanate had in fact begun in 1262, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

He said the new date rejects the previous date, 1278, which was announced by the team last month.

"The new date will also put to rest, earlier opinions by writers who stated that Melaka was established in 1400," he told reporters after launching a seminar on when the Melaka Malay Sultanate began, organised by the Malaysian Institute of Historical and Patriotism Studies (IKSEP), here Monday.

The nine-member team, comprising historians from local universities, was chaired by Melaka Islamic University College vice-chancellor Prof. Emeritus Datuk Wira Dr Mohd Yusoff Hashim, while the research team was headed by Prof Dr Abdullah Zakaria Ghazali from Universiti Malaya's History Department.

They were assigned to carry out research and studies to identify the establishment of the Melaka Malay Sultanate as a political entity, which started in June last year.

Mohd Ali said the team had chosen 1262, based on the Raja Bongsu version of the Malay Annals, or Sulalatus al-Salatin.

"So far our team is confident that 1262 is the accurate year, but if any other quarters find another date, then, they can bring forward supporting evidence for their claim," he added.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Zakaria said the team had conducted research and field work in various locations in Malaysia and Indonesia such as Pulau Bentan, Pulau Penyengat, Pulau Singkep, Pulau Lingga, Palembang, Jambi, Padang and Batu Sangkar.

He said after 1278 was announced on April 17, his team continued to carry out research until they discovered the new date of 1262 but did not plan to carry out further studies.

A total of 250 individuals, including historians, took part in the seminar and unanimously agreed on the new found date.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


From 15 unique visitors about a month ago to only 23 to date and still not a single follower does not look encouraging nevertheless since I am driven by the hobby and not number of visitors I do not mind this at all. So far I have only extended 3 invitations to my blogs, this month I plan to invite more especially my fellow numismatists. I have intentionally delayed the invitation to them to allow more posts or contents on my blogs to make their visits worthwhile. Welcome to my blog.

For those who readily know that I have written the 2 books please take note that this blog does not represent the books. I do not have the intention to post the contents of my books, well, naturally not until they are published. This blog and my two other blogs are mere extension to my hobby and books if you like.

With 23 unique visitors here and only 12 and 10 unique visitors at my Ring Currency and Animal Currency blogs respectively it is my conclusion that either only about half of my visitors are interested and/or curious with the numismatic topics covered here or they are simply not aware of the existence of the other 2 blogs. Please do not forget to visit these blogs if you read this.

I just added a beautiful map of the Malay Archipelago to my blogs a few days ago.

Have a great month ahead.

Best regards,

The Tin Keeper

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This item is the second item of cockerel perched on 2 rings in my collection (the first being the one I am using as my block image avatar and picture link to my Ring Currency blog). The cockerel of this item has strong resemblance of the iconic item in the collection of Bank Negara Malaysia. Looking at the broken mark at the bottom of the lower ring, the item is likely to be an item with more than 2 rings in its original condition.

Tin Ring Currency - Cockerel Perched on Rings

Items from my collection such as this will be posted in my blogs in the future...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My postings on the photo collection is now complete. Kindly refer to my Animal Currency blog to view.