'Tin hat' money, worth 4 cents


British Museum

British Museum

The monetary use of ingots made from tin (one of Malaysia's richest natural resources) was adapted into a coinage system in the Malay sultanate of Pahang. The ingots were originally in the form of a small pyramid-like mountain. In the 1860s small symbolic representations of the ingots were issued as coinage, valued in terms of the Mexican dollar. This example was intended to circulate as a four cent piece.The square coins are hollow inside, resembling a hat, and have a flat, decorated rim with Malay inscriptions that indicate their monetary role. The shape of these coins has earned them the name 'tin-hat' money.

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  • Title: 'Tin hat' money, worth 4 cents
  • Date Created: 1864/1864
  • Physical Dimensions: Weight: 104.230g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Subject: plant
  • Registration number: 1908,0201.2
  • Production place: Minted in Malaysia
  • Material: tin
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Wray, Leonard