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Among many coins in the past, there is one type of money that was also used as a talisman, called “magic coin”.
“Magic Coin” or talisman coin is more popularly known as Wayang Gobog because most of the characters are coming from the characters in wayang. Although it was known as money, Gobog has no nominal value. There are only symbols or stories in the coins, identically like a wayang geber. This kind of coin is commonly found in central and eastern Java, Bali, and in the Malay Peninsula region. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles from England was the first person who wrote about the Wayang Gobog coins when he was leading the Dutch East Indies in 1812-1826.
Gobog money was used as a medium of exchange or a means of payment in economic transactions during the Majapahit kingdom. Gobog money circulation originally came from Chinese traders. The Majapahit kingdom later made its own gobog money with smaller sizes and different designs.
Gobog money from the Majapahit kingdom was made by two metal elements, brass and copper. The Majapahit gobog money had a picture of wayang on one side. Therefore, gobog money also called as wayang gobog money.
The use of gobog money as a tool of exchange during the ancient kingdom is still unclear. There was an opinion that claim gobog money was once circulated as a tool of exchange. One gobog coin was equivalent to 5 kepeng, a Chinese coin which was circulated in Java. Ccompared to dinars and dirhams, one silver dirham was equivalent to 400 gobog, and one gold dinar was equivalent to 4000 gobog.
But, there was another opinion which stated that gobog money was a coin with magical form and design, which was used as a complement in the requirements or offerings on cultural and religious ceremonies. Even today, gobog money is believed to be a talisman of reinforcements which was mounted on the main pillar of the roof in the house, or planted under the pillar of the house.
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