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Part of ancient Sogdiana, it was ruled (A.D. 709874) by the Umayyad Arabs and played an important role under the Samanid dynasties (8751000). It was a trade, transport, and cultural center of the Islamic world. The Seljuk Turks ruled from 1004 to 1133; later, the realm was conquered by Genghiz Khan (1220) and in the 14th cent. by Timur. The Timurid dynasties ruled until the invasion of Uzbek tribes early in the 16th century. The Bukhara emirate was founded by the Uzbek Khan Sheybani, who between 1500 and 1507 conquered the Timurid domains in Transoxania. In 1555, Abdullah Khan transferred the capital from Samarkand to Bukhara, from which the state then took its name. Internal feuds weakened Bukhara, it split into a number of principalities, and in 1740 it was conquered by Nadir Shah of Persia. In 1753, Bukhara again became an independent emirate but did not recover its supremacy over Khwarazm, Merv, Badakhshan, Tashkent, and the Fergana Valley. Bukhara's population consisted principally of Uzbeks (who remained politically dominant), Sarts, and Tajiks. Defeated by Russia in 1866, the emirate became a Russian protectorate in 1868. In 1920, after a prolonged battle with Bolshevik forces, the last emir was driven into Afghanistan. The Bukhara People's Soviet Republic was established (1920) and lasted until 1924. In the same year it was proclaimed a socialist republic and was incorporated in the USSR; a few months later, however, it was dismembered and divided between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the area became part of Tajikistan.

Bukhara 1298.JPG (48897 bytes)

1 Tilla - 1298 AH

KM-065 - 5,00 g -22,4 mm  

Edge - Smooth

This coin has Arabic inscriptions on both sides. The date 1298 is on the reverse. This coin was minted under the authority of Emir Nasrullah.


Bulgaria was part of the Kingdom of Macedonian ancient times. By 46 BC, the Romans had conquered the whole peninsula, which they inhabited the region until invasions by Thraco-Illyrian tribes left the area a devastated wasteland. Peaceful Slavic farmers grazed in during the 6th century. In 679, the Bulgars, a fierce Turkic tribe, crossed the Danube to found the first Bulgarian state. The Bulgars were eventually assimilated by the more numerous Slavs, and they adopted their language and way of life.  Tsar Boris I accepted Orthodox Christianity in 865.  The Turks started making inroads and by the end of the 14th century, they controlled all of Bulgaria, beginning five centuries of Ottoman rule.  In 1878, European powers intervened and Bulgaria was made a principality under Ottoman suzerainty.  Eastern Rumelia was joined to the principality in 1885.  An independent Bulgarian kingdom was proclaimed on 22 September 1908.  They fought both World Wars allied with Germany.  In 1944 it was liberated by the Soviets who installed a communist puppet government under Todor Zhivkov. The communists were overthrown in 1989 and a republic was constituted.

Coinage was struck in Bulgarian territory since Roman times at the Serdica mint. The first national Bulgarian coinage began during the reign of Tsar Ivan Asen II (121841).  Bulgarian coinage resumed in 1881.

20 Leva - 1894-KB

KM-020 - 6,45 g -21 mm

Mintage - 0,100M

The obverse has a bareheaded bust of Tsar Ferdinand (b1861-d1948) with the Bulgarian inscription FERDINAND I BULGARSKII KNYAZ. Below the bust are the initials of the designer and the KB  mint mark for the Kormoczbanya mint in today's Slovakia. Ferdinand was ruling prince under the Ottoman Empire from 1896 to 1908. When the Young Turk rebellion broke out, Ferdinand seized the opportunity to declare Bulgaria independent with him as tsar. He joined the Central Powers in the Great War and when the side lost in 1918, he had to abdicate in favor of his son, Boris III. He spent his remaining life at Coburg, Germany.  The reverse has the Bulgarian royal arms with the nation's name KINGDOM OF BULGARIA in Bulgarian. The denomination 20 LEVA flanks the arms and the date is at the bottom.

There are more Bulgarian gold coins in this section if you are interested - Page Bulgaria 1


Myanmar, a southeast Asian country bordering India and Thailand, dates back to the early 11th Century A.D. when King Anawratha unified the country and founded the First "Myanmar" Empire in Bagan. The second Myanmar Empire was founded in mid 16th Century by King Bayinnaung. King Alaungpaya founded the last Myanmar Dynasty in 1752 and it was during the zenith of this Empire that the British moved into Myanmar. Like India, Burma became a British colony only after three Anglo-Myanmar wars in 1825, 1852 and 1885. Burma was part of India until 1937 when it became an autonomous colony. During World War II Burma was occupied by the Japanese from 1942 till 1945. Burma became a sovereign independent State on 4 January 1948. In 1962, the military took over the country. In 1974, the country became a socialist republic. The country's name was officially changed to Myanmar in 1989, restoring the ancient name of the region. A number of separatist units operated within Burma particularly in the Shan State.


Burmese coinage was issued from 1852 to 1885.  In 1889, Burmese coins ceased to circulate and were replaced by Indian coinage.  Burmese national coinage resumed in 1948.


 <Patriotic Liberation Army>- 4 Mu - 1970

KM-045 - 8,00 g - 28 mm

The obverse features the Burmese dancing peacock with the Burmese inscription UNION OF BURMA GOVERNMENT 1970-1971 with the weight on each side. The reverse has an 8 pointed PLA star with small 5 pointed stars in each field. The inscription within the star is Burmese for U NU who was a Burmese nationalist leader (b1907-d1995). These coins were minted in pure 24 karat gold by the anti-Ne Win rebel movement (Patriotic Liberation Army) in Tsung Gyi Kor Lone which was not under central government control.  The PLA used their total 80 kilogram reserve of gold to mint these coins in the three sizes. When U Nu disavowed support of ethnic minorities, the PLA central committee disagreed and U Nu resigned his leadership position and went into voluntary exile in India.  The PLA then ordered the defacement of U Nu's name from coins then in circulation.  The central government made ownership a high crime punishable by death so many people totally defaced the coins by pounding them in gold wafers.

There are more Burmese gold coins in this section if you are interested - Page Burma 1


Burundi is in east central Africa and functioned as a feudalistic kingdom for more than 300 years prior to European intervention in the 1890s. It became part of German East Africa until 1918 when the League of Nations mandated the area to Belgium and it was administered as Ruanda-Urundi as part of the Belgian Congo. Burundi was granted full independence in 1962 and was constituted as a kingdom. The military staged a coup in 1962 which abolished the monarchy and established a republic.

Coinage was initiated in 1954 for Ruanda-Urundi by the Belgian authorities. Burundi national coinage was issued starting in 1962

10 Francs - 1965

KM-007  - 3,00 g - 19,3 mm

Edge - Reeded 

This NCLT coin was issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the reign of Mwami Mwambutsa IV (b1912-d1977). The obverse has a military bust of the mwami surrounded by the French legend MWAMABUTSA ROI DU BURUNDI at the top. The dates 1915-1965 are on the sides of the bust. Below the bust is the French legend 50A ANN. DU REGNE (50th Year of Reign). The mwami was overthrown in 1966 and a republic established. The reverse has the royal arms with the country's name ROYAUME DU BURUNDI at the top and the denomination 10 FRANCS at the bottom.


In the year 667 B.C., the legendary Byzas from the Greek city of Megara, after consulting the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, founded the seaport of Byzantium at the entrance of the Black Sea. In the second half of the fourth century B.C. King Philip II of Macedon (382-336 B.C.) and his son Alexander the Great (356- 323 B.C.) dominated Byzantium as they built an empire reaching from Greece to India.  The Byzantine Empire, founded when the capital of the Roman Empire was transferred from Rome to Constantinople in 324, existed in the eastern Mediterranean area until the fifteenth century.  The Early Byzantine period ended with the onset of the Iconoclastic movement. The era called Middle Byzantine is considered to begin in 843, with the finish of the Iconoclastic controversy, and to end in the year 1261, when the Byzantines recaptured Constantinople from the crusaders, who had sacked the city in 1204.  The era known as Late Byzantine lasted from 1261 until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks. Byzantium was also known as Romaion.

Byzantine coinage was issued from the collapse of the Roman empire which is defined as starting with the reign of Justin II in 565 A.D. to the Turkish seizure of Constantinople in 1453.  Coinage was issued in all metals, base, as well as silver and gold and the coins are fairly common for the most part. 

Histamenon Nomisma - 1071 AD

This coin is a scyphate which is a cup shaped coin. No one knows for sure the reason for this but one logical explanation is that it was for ease in stacking. The obverse displays an image of Jesus. The reverse is an image of the Romaion emperor Michael VII who ruled from 1071 to 1078 with the Greek inscription MIXAHL VASIL (Michael King).  

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