Howard Daniel forwarded this note about his new book on Cambodia Coins and Currency. Congratulations! See below for ordering information.
Cambodia Coins and Currency
By Howard A. Daniel III
This reference is a comprehensive catalog of all known Cambodian financial instruments. It would not have been possible without the assistance of almost fifty contributors. Many of these contributors are not numismatists, but from several other fields. There were no Cambodian language references available going back to the 16th century, so much research was in the journals and reports of foreigners who visited or resided in Cambodia from the 16th century.
There are no known Cambodian financial instruments prior to the 16th century. Before that century, everyone used barter for their wants and needs, and all trade with foreigners was conducted by the ruling families and their highest officials. They bartered Cambodian goods for foreign products and bullion and base metal pieces. When bartering was an unequal trade for goods, foreign precious and base metal bullion pieces were used to complete the trade.
Many foreign traders, mostly Chinese, started settling in Cambodia, commercial transactions became common with ordinary Cambodians and coins were needed. The coins were very small but one small silver coin could purchase several chickens. As time went on, larger coins were created and circulated. After the country became a French protectorate and then a colony, French Cochin-Chine and Indo-Chine coins, and Banque de l’Indo-Chine bank notes circulated. After Cambodia regained its independence, it issued its own coins and bank notes, and many other financial instruments and related pieces.
During the French colonial era, tokens were minted for use within the royal palace grounds, and merchant tokens were minted which circulated in Phnom Penh. The French postal system also had postal money orders, reply coupons, stamp machine tokens, and telephone tokens. In modern times, the Cambodians issued their own postal financial instruments plus telephone cards. There were also stocks, bonds, foreign exchange certificates, casino tokens and chips, etc., etc. This catalog describes over 850 pieces from the 16th century to date.
There is a grading guide in the Introduction to assist collectors in matching the piece with its catalog value. The Introduction also defines many numismatic and related words and terms, and the Glossary has about fifty more words. There is also some historical and economic background information, to include numbers of pieces minted and printed. The research required almost fifty years of collecting the pieces, and reading over one hundred references and fifteen websites, all of which are identified in the Bibliography. There is also an Index to assist the reader in finding specific pieces within the catalog.
Since this catalog was published in December 2012, there has been an article published in Numismatique Asiatique, the journal of the Societie de Numismatique Asiatique, in which Joe Cribb reports the find of a 7th century Cambodian gold coin. I believe it is a presentation piece sent to the King Isanavarman possibly by the King of Dvaravati, or from another king as far away as India. Many kings sent gold and other objects to each other to celebrate an event, increase trade, make an alliance, etc. Gold was far too valuable to be a circulating coin at that time in Cambodia, and extensive research by archaeologist and historians has shown coins were not issued in Cambodia until the 16th century. I will correspond with Joe to discuss this piece.
To purchase a copy, contact me at:
Howard A. Daniel III
P.O. Box 626
Dunn Loring, VA 22027-0626 USA
There are several different mailing charges and choices for customers but the basic retail price is US$25.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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