Archaeological evidence confirms early links between the east and the west in the region now known as Xinjiang, in northwest China. The earliest Chinese coins in the region arrived during the Han dynasty. Other kinds of coins were also used in the region: foreign coins, local imitations, and local creations. During the periods of the greatest Chinese influence in the region (the Han and Tang) Chinese coins were imported and made locally. In the period between the Han and the Tang, local powers issued their own coins, expressing their own identity on them. In this paper I will survey the period using the evidence of coins, and discuss whether new finds have changed our understanding of the coin history in this region.