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Identification Guide to Islamic Golden Horde Dangs - Part I (Dates)

John Conduitt

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This page is part of a guide to Golden Horde silver coins:
Part II (Mints)
Part III (Khans)


These are almost always on the reverse (so if you find a number, it’s probably the reverse). Often, the coins are not well struck, and the date falls off the edge. But if it’s possible to read the date without being misled (more on that later), you can sometimes identify the khan immediately. The numbers you’re looking for are in Persian Arabic script. It helps to use a converter to get from Gregorian (AD) to Islamic dates (AH).

Western Arabic











Persian Arabic






















This coin is from Berdi Beg, khan from 1357-1359 (AH758-760). The date 759 (٧۵٩) is uncharacteristically complete and clear, but the location is typical. Note the 5 is in the Persian style.

Berdi Beg Dang, AH759

Saray al-Jadida. Silver, 1.55g. Obverse: Just Sultan / Mohammed Berdi / Bek Khan. Reverse: Mint Saray / al-Jadida / 759 (Sagdeeva 277).

Another clear coin from Ordu Melik, who was khan in 1361, which is AH762 (٧۶٢). The date doesn’t narrow it down as much as you’d think, as there were three khans sharing/fighting for power:

Ordu Melik Dang, AH762

Azaq. Silver, 1.33g. Obverse: Khan / Ordu Melik / the Just. Reverse: Struck in Azaq / 762 (٧۶٢) (Sagdeeva 306).

Here’s another example of 6, which can look like a mirror of 2, while 3 can easily be confused for 2. The date is AH763 (٧۶٣😞

Kildibeg Dang, AH763

Azaq. Silver, 1.18g. Obverse: Just Khan Kildibeg. Reverse: Mint Azaq 763 (Sagdeeva 308).

This rough coin still has a clear date, AH807 (٨٠٧), although it’s on the obverse:

Shadi Beg Dang, AH807

Orda. Silver, 1.15g. Obverse: Sultan, the Supreme / Shadi Beg / Khan / ‘Allah Immortalised / His Kingdom’ / 807. Reverse: Kalima / Orda (Sagdeeva 482).

One of the trickier numbers is 4, since it can be stylised. This Jani Beg dang is from 1345-1346, AH746 (٧۴۶). Compare the 4 on the other Jani Beg coin (below this). Note also the word year (سنة) in front (to the right) of the numbers:

Jani Beg Dang, AH746

Khwarizm. Silver, 16mm, 1.97g. Obverse: Sultan / the Just / Jani Beg. Reverse: Struck in / Khwarizm / 746 (٧۴۶) (Sagdeeva 265).

The date doesn’t have to be at the bottom. On coins with segments or a square border, the date is often around the outside (and rarely on the flan). The numbers don’t even have to be together. This coin spreads the numbers 747 (٧۴٧) around the design. In some varieties the top 7 is inverted to appear as an 8 (but is still a 7), while others have the numbers in a different order.

Jani Beg Dang, 1346-1347

Saray al-Jadida. Silver, 1.48g. Obverse: Just Sultan / Jani Beg Khan. Reverse: (above, left and below) 7 / 4 / 7; Struck in Saray / al-Jadida (Sagdeeva 231).

Arabic script reads right to left, but numbers go from the lowest to highest, so appear in the order we’d expect. However, you might see the 1, 10 and 100 units in a different order, in the same way Americans put the month and not the day first. This coin has a date in the same location as the ones above but both words and numerals have been used, which makes the result confusing. سبعون (seventy) and ٧ (7, for the hundred units) means AH770 (1368-1369):

Abdullah Khan Ibn Uzbeg Dang, 1368-1369
Orda. Silver, 16mm, 1.51g. Obverse: Sultan the Just / Abdullah Khan / Let his rule be long. Reverse: Mint of Orda / in the Year Seventy / 7 (hundred) (Sagdeeva 339).

The numbers on this coin are 717 but the year is AH771 (seventy-one and 7 hundred).

Muhammad Bolaq
Dang, 1370
Orda. Silver, 1.29g. Obverse: Just Sultan / Muhammad Khan / May his reign be long. Reverse: Mint Or / da, year / 7 One / 7 (Sagdeeva 349).

Occasionally, the numbers can be misleading. This coin clearly says 778. But that’s the time of Muhammad Bolaq and this is a coin of Tokhtamysh. The die engraver seems to have got muddled, which is easy to do when carving back-to-front and when 7 and 8 are mirror images of each other. Mirrored dates are quite common, but here they twice inverted the date. ٧٨٨ (788) was mirrored horizontally to ٨٨٧ (887) and then upside down to ٧٧٨ (778). Note that this period of the Golden Horde covered the 730s to the 890s, so dates apparently out of that range might simply be upside down or in a different order.

Tokhtamysh Khan Dang, 1386
Saray al-Jadida. Silver, 1.38g. Obverse: Just Sultan / Tokhtamysh Khan / May His Reign Be Long. Reverse: Struck / in Saray / al Jadida / 778 (AH788) (Zeno 188672).

As problematic as dates are, numbers can be fairly easy to spot. They might allow you to identify a coin straight away. Even if you only have a range from the first two digits, it shouldn’t be hard to find it on Zeno.

Next you can try to identify where the coin came from in Part II (Mints).

Edited by John Conduitt
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