A species of wire money of Persia, which obtains its name from the province of Laristan, and which was formerly chiefly current on the coasts of the Gulf of Persia. Sir John Chardin, who travelled extensively through Persia from 1664 to 1677, states that these coins were made until Lari was conquered by Abbas the Great of Persia (1582-1627) and he estimates their value at two and one half Shahis.
These coins usually occur in silver, but specimens in gold exist, and are very rare. They were extensively imitated, both in Ceylon and at Bijapur. The former are first described by Robert Knox, who was kept a prisoner for twenty years, from 1659 to 1679, in the Kandian provinces of central Ceylon. He says: "There is another sort [of money] which all people by the King's permission may and do make, the shape is like a fish-hook, they stamp what mark or impression on it they please; the silver is purely fine beyond pieces of eight; for, if any suspect the goodness of the plate, it is the custom to burn the money in the fire, red hot, and so put it in water, and if it not be then purely white, it is not current money."
Professor Wilson, in his remarks on fish-hook money, contributed to the Numismatic Chronicle (vol. xvi), describes some pieces of silver wire, not hooked, which were coined in imitation of the Laris, at Bijapur by the Sultan Ali Adil Shah, who reigned from 1670 to 1691. They bear on both sides legends in Arabic character; on one side the Sultan's name and on the other "Zarb Lari Dangh Sikka," i.e., "Struck at Lari, a stamped Dangh." They are of the same weight as the Ceylon hooks, viz., about one hundred and seventy grains troy.
The Ceylon types are known in Sinhalese under the name of Ridi, i.e., silver.
For a detailed account of the Larins, the reader is referred to the treatise by Rhys Davids (sec. 68-73), Codrington (p. 118), and Allen, Numismatic Chronicles (series iv. xii. 313).
Source: Frey's Dictionary (American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 50, 1916)