S. A. Yanina, Juchi Coins from the Excavation and Collection of the Kuibyshev Expedition in Bulghar, 1946-1952.  In A. P. Smirnov, ed., Works of the Kuibyshev Archeological Expedition. Moscow: Soviet Academy of Sciences, 1954, No. 42: volume 1.

Go to page 2         In the vicinity of Bulghar city, just as often in the archeological excavation as by chance along the earth works, is continuously gathered a great collection of Eastern coins, some silver, but mostly copper coins. The principle mass of these coins consist of coins of the Golden Horde, which in numismatic literature are usually called Juchi coins.1 Plenty of these coins are found-generally appearing in the excavation of cities of the Golden Horde.2 Archeologically specific finds compare well with other cities of the Middle Age, where coins never acquire the quality of a great mass of significant material.
        Even now the power of the massive numismatic material of the Golden Horde cities has not exhausted the conclusions and meaning that may be found in the possibilities of such archeological strata. Carefully coordinated arrangements of types of coins and their careful inclusion and exclusion, ables one to read answers about many problems called forth from the commercial economic relations of the Golden Horde. The exact significance of the certification of the coins (in their archeological strata) is difficult to overestimate.
        However, the situation found with certified coins is extremely unfortunate. In practice, the compiling of numismatic collections in museums and other collections over the long course of time followed the pursuit for a complete type set of the variety of coins, not to organize and document collection of coins as they are found. One hundred thousand Juchi coins are held in the museums of the Soviet Union. In spite of their excellent preservation in a series of meaningful divisions, they remain a dead burden, far from a living work yielding scientific definitions. Especially difficult are investigations of the anonymous, undated Golden Horde coins that are often excavated. Any fundamental possibility of separating these coins stratigraphically during their collection was not taken into account.
        The underestimation of the possibilities of independent numismatic evidence comes to this, then that the material is very much depreciated in value when found in archeological excavations (by not noting stratigraphical evidence). Only the unimportant part of Juchi coins, continuously found in Bulghar since the 19th century, has been placed in the numismatic cabinet of Kazan University or entered into some well known personal collections.3 The majority of coins are sold just as metal or sold by weight. Such is the attitude to the coins coming from the excavations, which, as is well known, determines a one-sided view of them, as just memorials excluded from the political history of the Golden Horde.
        In the circle of Juchi numismatics, X. M. Fren, P. S. Saveliev, V. V. Grigoriev and others, introduced the fundamental investigations in the first burst of such questions as the appearance of the name of khans unknown by historical sources, more precise chronological divisions of rule, and more precise geographical information. The basic objective of numismatic investigations, therefore, was the silver dirham, having on it the name of the khan, place of mint, and exact data. Copper coins with more laconic inscriptions do not attract proper attention (the attention which are their due), although the study of them as a speciality is necessary to fully study the Golden Hordes monetary relations.
        Amateur investigators, as it is well known, are attracted to Juchi coin hordes. Study of hordes, by itself very important, has not come to an end. Even partially, their taxonomy has not been worked out. However, coin hordes usually do not give absolutely exact reflections of the fundamental monetary relations in a narrow data of a period, since the majority of hordes consist more or less only  in the duration of accumulation. Distinguishing the special, certified coin, found in an excavation, makes the conclusion, that they reflect fully a definite short period of circulation defined by the stratigraphical condition of their find.
        Especially great scientific interest is presented by copper Juchi coins, almost unstudied. Juchi copper coins are found extremely rarely in hordes and are unknown in collections. A unique way to replenish the fund of these coins appears to be from excavations of Golden Horde cities and chance finds in towns.
        Juchi coppers were first studied by X. M. Fren,4 who in a series of works depicted all the well known to him types of copper coins Juchi coins. Later some new types were written about by P. S. Saviliev.5 Works of these two scholars fully satisfied the specific interest of pre-revolutionary numismatists, studying copper coins of the Golden Horde. Enormous amounts of numismatic materials, obtained by the excavations of A. V. Tereshenko in the ruins of Sarai did not even attract the attention for study by V. V. Grigoriev, who very precisely expressed to the government his attitude to the material excavated before his very eyes,  I myself having before me at the time looked at nearly 10,000 of these coins (from the quantity discovered in the ruins of Sarai by the archeological searches of the Ministry of Interior) have not found among them anything new. 6 Actually, already by the time of V. V. Grigoriev excavated material is able to give very little new things for the collection of coin types, but excavations open wider the possibility for scientific attempts to understand new facts. Regrettably, this possibility was not understood then.
        When studying copper Juchi coins,-memorials of local retail relations in Golden Horde markets,-there is revealed the connection from stratigraphy of cultural layers, appearing as a very visible demonstration of contemporary rise and fall of economic situation in the Golden Horde. Anonymous in rule and date, these masses of copper coins can be used as a tool of spreading political slogans to a lesser degree than the silver dirhams. In those times, when the minting of silver coins was continuous by all khans, the minting of copper coins was periodic, measured by the needs of the market for a new quantity of coins. By comparison, these old (copper coins) do not overflow, like the silver ones, over a long time with a high level of new types. So coins of types No 2 and 4(1256-1266 AD) continue for some time7 with coins of type No 12 and 14 (1280-1300 AD). The last in turn are commonly assigned with coins of Uzbek (1312-1341 AD). A little more wide-spread type No. 50, minted in the beginning of the rule of Jani Beg (1339-1357) is found together with coins assigned to Khizr (1358-1360) although only twice were easily identifiable coins of his found.
        Excavated coin material must by their existence help to establish the face value of the copper coins in the Golden Horde. The excavated coin itself is not able from its poor preservation to be a source of metrological particulars. Study of the weight system appears to be the work of special investigators, possible to be established only with material of good preservation existing in museums. However, metrological investigations are not able to be written with a clearly worked out chronology of types, which is impossible to reconstruct without the calculations from the stratigraphy of the finds.
        Coins, discovered by excavations in Bulghar and found by chance collecting in the surrounding villages and their environs, in the overwhelming majority of cases are well treated as well known types, published already by X. M. Fren. The majority of them appear to be anonymous, not having the name of mint or khan or year named. On the strength of this, X. M. Fren placed them in a group of coins, whose time of minting is impossible to establish exactly.
        The basic goal of the present article, therefore, appears not so much to make the coins public that were found in Bulghar (after seven years of excavation there was discovered nearly a thousand coins, which yield clear definitions) as to define the chronology of the types of coins.
        For this goal, it appears important to get the coin material commonly divided into two groups, characterized by two periods in the commercial life of Bulghar city in the Golden Horde times. The first period consists of coins from the 50th year of the XIV century right up to 1361, that is until the utter defeat of Bulghar by Pulad-Timur,8 when commercial life died for a full decade. All these coins were discovered in Bulghar city itself. The second period of coin finds are not connected strictly with Bulghar, but with its suburbs of Aga-Bazar and are related to the first quarter of the XV century.
        In this mass of well known coin types, regarded as belonging to both periods, was discovered some unpublished coins of special interest. One is an anonymous of coin of 738 AH (1337/8?), minted in Bagchih, and a silver dirham of 782 AH (1380), related by this author to Arab Shah.
          Coins are published in catalog form with their analysis- a type of commentary in a paragraph as part of the catalog. By using this catalog format, it is necessary to have the following form:

        1. Special attention to inscribed definite data (on the coins): specific dates, names of rulers, place minted, year, and tamgha.
        2.Since the preservation of a specific mass of copper coins is very poor, to give all the weights and measurements is unnecessary. Moreover, because almost all these coins have better preserved examples in museums, only in the situation when the copper coins are unpublished, is it necessary to give some presentation about the measurements and weight. As regards silver coins, their better preservation allows us to declare their weight. Dirhams, when measured, are most consistent (especially for the first period up to 1361), therefore to designate their measurement does not make sense. Clipped dirhams, circulating in the first quarter of the 15th century, are fully characterized by weight.
        3. Significant attention is given to counterstamps on coins by the aid of which many rulers legalized old coins, establishing them in their own circulation. In the account of monetary material, Aga-Bazar happens to specify the specific weight (gravity) by defining the counterstamped coins weight (in silver), since these coins are not supported by any other defining data.
        4. Coin images, placed in the catalog, more or less exactly reproducing the arrangement of the inscription on the coins. For those coins which create some kind of difficulty for definition (similarity to other designs, effaced years, or other causes of mistaken identification, and such like), everything is preserved in the original. Inscriptions on coins, not raising any doubts, are given without an account of the specific coin.
        5. Images from poorly preserved, excavated coins, do not give exemplary inscriptions, unless one compares them with coins of good preservation from the collection of the Interior Minstry (GIM) or the Hermitage.
        6. Certified coins (those numbered and described where found) are shown by the place located when dealing with identical coins.
        7. In the situation when the inscription on the coin is not readable in any way, then = signs are used.
        8. For the numbered coins in this inventory, in the Table Annotations  is written the catalog number of the coin from the excavation in Bulghar. Fr. No. refers to X. M. Fren, Coins of the Khans of Ulus Juchi or the Golden Horde with Coins of Some Mohammed Dynasties in Addition, Moscow, 1832.  
        9. The words that are missing in the inscriptions on the coins, after careful consideration to their reconstruction, are included in brackets.
        10. At the end of the article, the coin images are given, a numbered chart of the counterstamps, and a table which shows the numbered coins stratigraphical position. There is also a description of a coin hoard of 52 silver Juchi coins (1333-1364) found in 1947 in Bulghar on a plot of land by A. K. Ippolitov and acquired by the Kuibyshev expedition.
        The following inventories are used with the indicated abbreviations in this catalog:

Fr. No.-X. M. Fren, Coins of the Khans of Ulus Juchi or the Golden Horde with Coins of Some Mohammed Dynasties in Addition, Moscow, 1832, pp. 418-425.

Sav. No.-- P.S. Saviliev, Coins of the Juchi, Chagatai, Jelairid, and Others, Circulating in the Golden Horde Epoch of Toktamish. Transactions of the Archeological Society, vol. 12, part 1, Moscow, 1858.

Cat. Herm.-- A. Markov,  Inventory Catalog of Muslim Coins of the Imperial Hermitage. Moscow, 1896.

Grig. No.-- V. V. Grigoriev, Inventory of Hoards of Golden Horde Coins Found Near the Ruins of Sarai, Transactions of A-NO, vol. 2, Moscow, 1850, pp. 1-63.

Lik- N. P. Likachev, Material for the History of Byzantine and Russian Seals, vol. 2.

Rec.-- Ch. M. Fraehnii, Recensio numovum muhammedanorum. Petersburg, 1826

B (with year and No.)-- Bulghar, year excavated, No. in the inventory.

(I have included the errata into the text found in the fourth part of these monographs. Stratigraphical tables have been omitted. I have tried to follow a consistent format and have collected all imaged coins into plates, provided at the end. There are undoubtedly errors when translating from Arabic to Russian to English. I have followed the spelling of khans from a mixture of Stephen Albums Checklist and Michael Mitchiners The World of Islam, but have preserved the dates of S. A. Yanina throughout--David Elliott)

                                                Baraka Khan (1256-1266)
                               (The Beginning of Minting in the Golden Horde)

No. 1: Silver dinar, Obverse: An-Nasir id-din-Allah, (an Orthodox (true believing) sovereign)
                               Reverse: Dinar, minted Bulghar
1 example. Weight 1.28 grams (B-52, No 27); Rec., p. 187, No. 1; Fr. No 19.  
No. 2: Copper, Obverse: An-Nasir id-din-Allah, (an Orthodox (true believing) sovereign)
                        Reverse: Earthly life is short, therefore make God welcome.
40 examples. Rec., p. 188, No. 2; Fr. No 21.

No. 3: Silver,  Obverse: Mangu Kha(n)
                      Reverse: minted Bulghar
5 examples. Weight 1.07 grams (B-47, No 125); 1.08g (B-49, No. 88); 1.04 g (B-52, No. 15); 0.80g (B-52, No. 119); ? (B-50, No. 23).  Rec., p. 190, No. 2; Fr. No 1.

No. 4: Copper, Obverse and Reverse same as No. 3
18 examples. Rec., p. 190, No. 2; Fr. No 2.  
No. 5: Silver, Obverse: Arid Beg, high khan
                      Reverse: Minted Bulghar
2 examples. Weight 0.47 grams (B-51, No 148); 0.67g (B-52, No 35). Rec., p. 191, No. 1; Fr. No 3.

        The mint place of the very earliest Juchi coins as, in particular, seen from cited legends, appears to be, not Sarai, capital of the Golden Horde khans, but Bulghar. The choice of naming Bulghar the place of minting coins is well explained by the general economic situation of the Volga region after the complete destruction and conquest by the Mongols. Until the time of the Mongol conquest, Bulghar was a very large, historically established mercantile-artisan center of Povolzhye. In regards to this, there are numerous historical facts why the first Golden Horde khan chose Povolzhye as the center of his government to reestablish his own political situation, which would account for the quick restoration of the economic life of the Povolzhye region. Forced seizure of artisans and transport of them to the Golden Horde center, stimulation of economic trade and merchants are some of the manifestations of this policy. A fundamental effort was made to economically strengthen the new capital-Sarai, but due to the slow pace, economic superiority was of necessity preserved by Bulghar.
        Similar activities due to Mongol conquests shows that this is not anything unusual. It goes without saying,  writes Frederick Engels in Anti-During, that with each conquest, more barbaric people upset the economic development and destroy the whole mass of productive forces. But in the huge majority of cases after a terrible conquest, the wild conquerors are forced to adopt the higher economic condition, as it is found in the conquered side. 10
        Revival of the merchant and artisanal life does not entail by itself wide development of a monetary economy. Up to this time, however, the conclusion is not clear, about which khan, when and by what name minted the first coins in the Golden Horde.
        X. M. Fren11 and Stanley Lane-Poole12 considered the first Juchi coins, coins minted in Bulghar, with the name of the high khan Mangu and Arid Beg. When and by what khan the coins began to be minted, neither they, nor other investigators have definitely shown, summarily attributing them to the early coins to the time of Batu (1224-1255) or Baraka (1257-1266). Hovars13 assumes that the first Juchi coins were minted by Baraka. Absolutely alone stands the opinion of A. K. Markov14 concerning the beginning of properly called Juchi mints to the time of Mangu  (1248-1257). Coins with the name of Mangu and Arid Beg, A. K. Markov mechanically assigns to the division of Chingizid.15
        All these distinct viewpoints have practical significance for investigators in coin catalogs, but do not settle the scientific issue. Therefore, the arguments in each case are not clarified.
        The opinion of A. K. Markov, although it does not effect the fundamental issue, since he does not deny the existence of the Bulghar mint by the time of Mangu Timur, is essentially very untrue, even within his own principles of classification. A. K. Markov objectively denies the possibility of independent economic development because of the well known expressions of political submission. This system of classification by A. K. Markov appears to be a glaring example of incorrect methodology of bourgeoisie numismatics giving preference in the study of coins to political matters instead of economics.
        The answer to the question about this, by which of the two khans-Batu or Baraka-began Juchi mints, is inferred from the coins themselves. Study of the monetary material from the Kuibyshev expedition and coins from the Interior Minstry (GIM) is able to supply one really interesting fact. Those copper coins that X. M. Fren and Stanley Lane-Poole count as the first Juchi coins (No, 4) appear to be recoined on other, earlier coins. These last have been well known for some time in scholarly literature and are often encountered in excavations of Golden Horde cities. In our catalog, they are inventoried under No. 2. Name of the Arab Caliph Nasir (1180-1225) is placed on them with full identification on the obverse side of coin No. 1, convincingly reporting the minting of similar coins in Bulghar, thus causing X. M. Fren to come to the conclusion in 1826 that the mint and copper coins, and silver coins of similar type were issued in Bulghar until the Mongol conquest.16 In 1832 , X. M. Fren changed his own definite opinion, calling these Juchi coins and put the apparent time of their minting from 1282 to 1311.17 This change of view of X. M. Fren is connected with this, that he stopped reckoning the name of Caliph Nasir as a dating indication; since, apparently, they are encountered on some dated Muslim coins minted after his death.18 Placing the name of a dead caliph on coins is explained by the great esteem the Muslim world had for the Abbasid caliphate, so that Nasir was resurrected for a short period.
        Regrettably, X. M. Fren neither in this work nor in other works brings any argument to defend this, because he assigns these place types to Juchi mints aand assigns them to a comparatively later time. The worst thing about this conclusion is that it contradicts those coins stamped with the name of Mangu. One of these counterstamped coins is reproduced by X. M. Fren himself19, but remains without any comment from him. On all the coins of Type No. 4 from the excavation of Bulghar and in the collection of the Interior Ministry (GIM), the marks of recoinage of coin Type No. 2 shows more or less distinctly. But such images, the whole group of coin Type No. 2 apparently establishes them to the time of Mangu (1251-1259). But were these Juchi coins? The stratigraphy of these finds help answer this question affirmatively.
        All the coins with the name of Caliph Nasir encountered in Bulghar are in the Golden Horde layer. Lower horizontal layers fully correspond with earlier horizontal layers of definitely Juchi coins. The time of their existence, as shown by their interdependency with other coins, is highly prolonged. The very latest coins appear to be coins with the name of Nasir combined with coins of Uzbeg (1312-1341). But this observation still does not resolve the question, by which of these khans-Batu or Baraka-belongs the introduction of minting Juchi coins. For a resolution of this question, it is so important that both types (silver and copper) of the first Juchi coins appear as a type already Muslim, maintaining in both cases the name of Muslim caliphs, and on coins of Type No 2 (copper), besides this, possess Muslim blessings (pious sayings).
        It is well known that Batu, encouraged trade by establishing important privileges for foreign merchants, in particular, Muslim ones (merchants). This patronage of Muslims is preserved even by witness of his contemporaries.20 However, this does not give us a true attribution to what event belongs coins of Muslim appearance. In regards to Baraka, considering the data from al-Omar21 and Ali-Calikashandi22, Baraka converted to Islam already by the 1240's, that is long before his ascension to the throne.
        If one considers that Baraka ascended to the throne in 1256, and Mangu dies in 1259, both coins types with the name of Nasir (No 1-2) and types of coins with the name of Mangu (No 3-4) follow issuing of a short period of intercession from 1256-1259. In this view, the minting of the first Juchi coins and the counterstamps were issued for 3-4 years. This conclusion is verified by the presence of a huge collection of counterstamped coins. If coin type No 2 was minted and continued for a long time [for example from the time of Batu (1224-1254)] or the period preceding his rule, then counterstamps would not be able to be put on them to such a great degree.
        The significance of the counterstamp itself is able to be explained by the following considerations. Since the Golden Horde khans strongly accepted the advantages of pre-Islamic politics, they, that is the Most High Mongol Khan (Chingizid) and Mongols of Iran (Hulagu or Ilkhans), opposed Islamization for a relatively long time. Thus, it is possible to conclude that the Most High Khan Mangu was able to demand from his vassal Baraka the legend with his name on the coins, counterstamping his own name on coins of Nasir.
        Beginning after the death of Mangu, the struggle for the throne of the Great Khan between the brothers Mangu-Kubliai and Arid Beg, is just the time when is found the issue of coins by Baraka (having in mind the silver coins minted in Bulghar) with the name of the High Khan Arid Beg. Apparently Baraka took part in this struggle, attracted to the side of the pretender (Arid Beg).23 Coins of this type also do not have evident the year of mint. However, as soon as the struggle for the throne ended with the pretender Arid Beg placed on the throne, which took place between 1259 and 1264, then coins with his name followed corresponding to this time.        

                                                 Mangu-Timur (1266-1280)
No. 6: Silver, Obverse: Tamgha, House of Batu 24
                      Reverse: Prayer to God
1 example. Weight 1.35 grams (B-50, chance find); Fr. No 7.

An anonymous coin, without year and place minted. X. M. Fren assigned it to the time of Mangu-Timur, relying on the legend on the reverse side. Similar legends, besides this one, are met with only on the Bulghar coins of Mangu-Timur 678 AH (1279/1280). See Fr. No. 6.

                                                  Tula Buqa Khan (1287-1290)
No. 7: Silver, Obverse: Tamgha with three stems
                 Reverse: Good fortune from God, 688 AH (1289). Mongol writing with Arabic letters
2 examples. Weight 1.16 grams (B-51, No 162); 1.14g (B-52, No 16). Lik., p. 124; Fr. No 16.

Poorly preserved similar examples were found in X. M. Frens excavations, leading him to give an incorrect reading of the year, which X. M. Fren definitely assumed to be 683 AH. In all the better preserved examples, published by well known scholars after Fren published his work (coins of N. P. Likachev, collection of the Ministry of Interior and both coins found by the Kuibyshev expedition), the date 688 AH( 1287/1288) is clearly read. Some doubt about assigning them to Tula Buqa is called forth by the three-legged tamgha, since on other coins of this khan (in the Interior Ministry collection) is found the tamgha of the House of Batu. However, clearly the Bulghar struck coins and its date do not allow us to assign it to any other ruler
                                            Toqtu Khan (1290-1313)
No. 8: Silver, Obverse: Coin of Bilyar, 690 AH (1291)
                      In Center: Tamgha of the House of Batu, Number 6 is engraved incorrectly.
                      Reverse: All power belongs to God
1 example. Weight 1.12 grams (B-52, No 29), not published.

A similar coin is recorded by X. M. Fren in Coins of the Khans of Ulus Juchi..  under No. 25 (see the following coin No 9), but it has a different year, also with a incorrect inscription of 292 for the year, that can be assigned to either 696 or 692. Comparing it with coin No 8 (690 AH) makes it more likely that it should be assigned to the one published by X. M. Fren coin to 692 AH (1292/1293). Taking the other date into account (696) would make it difficult to place the similarity of the figure with such a prolonged break in their manufacture.

No. 9: Silver, Obverse: Coin of Bilyar, 692 AH (1293)
                      In Center: Tamgha of the House of Batu, Number 6 is engraved incorrectly
                      Reverse: All power belongs to God
1 example. Weight 0.78 grams (B-51, No 129), Fr. No. 25.

No. 10: Silver, Obverse: Most High Sultan Ghiyath al din Toqtu, ruler
                        Reverse: Mint Sarai Mahrus 25, 710 year (1310/1311)
3 examples. Weight .63 grams (B-52, No 62, clipped); 0.85 g (B-52, No 139, clipped); (B-50, No 26). Fr. No. 28.

                                  Anonymous Coins Minted between 1280 and 1300
No. 11: Silver, Obverse: Tamgha of the House of Batu
                        Reverse: Mint Bulghar
1 example. Weight 0.75 grams (B-52, No 28), Fr. No 370.

No. 12: Copper, Obverse: Mint of Bulghar
                          Reverse: Ornamental lattice
36 examples. Fr. No 374.

No. 13: Silver, Obverse: Tamgha of the House of Batu in a rectangular design
                        Reverse: Legitimate Sultan
1 example. Weight 1.16 grams (B-49, No 106), Fr. No 375.

No. 14: Copper, Obverse: Tamgha of the House of Batu in triangular design
                          Reverse: To good fortune
49 examples. Fr. No 38.