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The Mark of an Artist

 

Posted by Amit Bhandari on

<p><strong>The Mark of an Artist</strong></p> <p> </p>

Figure 1: Silver Rupees showing initials of William Wyon and Venancio Alves Older coins sometimes have tiny letters engraved on them – often quite prominently. A very good example, familiar to Indian collectors, is the 1840 silver rupee of the East India Company, where the letters WW (sometimes WWS) can be seen at the base of Queen Victoria’s neck (See Figure 1). The Indo-Portuguese silver Rupia of 1903-04 (King Carlos) has larger letters V ALVES – clearly visible to the naked eye. A quick test to check wear on such coins is to read these letters – given their small size,...

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The 1 Pie Taraazu Coin

Posted by Amit Bhandari on

The 1 Pie Taraazu Coin

The 1 Pie Tarazu coin   Figure 1: 1 Pie: Calcutta Presidency The smallest unit of currency in widespread use during the British era was 1/12 anna, which was 1/192 of a rupee. This unit was also called the ‘pie’ and was equal to 1/3 of a paisa – explaining Hindi sayings such as ‘पाई पाई का हिसाब’ (pie pie ka hisaab). Upto 1835, the British minted 1 Pie coins, which after 1835 became 1/12th Anna – which continued to be minted right up to the 1940s. Figure 2: 1 Pie: Bombay Presidency Before the Revolt of 1857, India was governed by...

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How to Test Your silver coins

Posted by Amit Bhandari on

How to Test Your silver coins

A major concern for a coin collector is whether the coins you have bought are genuine. One simple test – which works for many modern coins, is the magnetic slide test. A brief explanation - unlike iron and nickel, copper and silver are not attracted to magnets. However, both silver and copper have a property called ‘diamagnetism’ – in plain language, these metals are repelled by a magnet. This effect is stronger in case of silver and can be noticed with naked eye, especially in case of silver if the magnet is powerful enough. Magnets made of neodymium, a rare...

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A Tale of Two Princes; Edward VIII & Harry

Posted by Amit Bhandari on

A Tale of Two Princes; Edward VIII & Harry

Picture 1: Silver 5 Kori of Kutch in name of Edward VIII The saga of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has parallels to the story of another British royal from almost a century back – Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor, one of the shortest reigning British monarchs. Edward VIII ascended the British throne on January 20th, 1936 and abdicated the throne in less than a year – on 11th December of the same year. Because of his short reign, Edward VIII, unlike the other British monarchs, wasn’t featured on too many coins. The Royal Mint produced a small number,...

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Economic History via Numismatics

Posted by Amit Bhandari on

Economic History via Numismatics

Gold, silver and copper have been used as money in India for over 2,000 years, and numismatics offers an interesting perspective on issues such as inflation and exchange rates. India’s modern currency, the ‘rupee’ dates back to the Mughal era, or rather, the reign of Sher Shah Suri, who introduced the first silver ‘rupiya’, a standardized coin weighing 11.4 grams (See Figure 1). This was adopted by the mughals and most of the other Indian rulers, and later on by the British, who introduced milled coinage to India. The earliest British coins minted in India were silver coins of a...

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