Know your India: Coins of Kutch – Pragmalji II, 5 kori
Posted by Amit Bhandari on
The 5 kori silver coin was heavier than the 1 rupee silver coin used in British India – and was accordingly pegged at 1 rupee, 5 annas and 1 pie. The 5 kori coin minted in 1875 was the last such coin to be minted in the name of Pragmalji II, the Jadeja Rajput ruler of Kutch – whose reign lasted from 1860-1875. The reverse of the coin also carries the name of Queen Victoria – this practice lasted till 1947.
There are some features common to all coins of Kutch:
- A daggar (katar), crescent and trident (trishul) are there on all coins of Kutch. In this particular coin, the crescent is closed. In many of the later coins, it is an open crescent.
- The front of the coin carries the name of the King in devnagari script and the year in Vikram samvat. The reverse carries the name of the British ruler and the year according to the Christian calendar – in Persian. Up to 1860, the coins carried the name of the Mughal emperor – after this year, coins were issued in name of the British ruler.
Coins of Kutch should be of interest to a collector because:
- Rarity: Compared to British India coins, coins of Kutch are much rarer – but still affordable.
- Design: These are milled coins, so they are uniform (to an extent) with an intricate design. Over the years, there are variations by year, ruler and occasional changes of pattern.
About Cutch Princely State
The Kutch (spelled as Cutch earlier) Princely state was based out of present day Kutch region of Gujarat. Excluding the Rann of Kutch, the state had an area of 7,616 square miles – or 19,725 square kilometers. The population was less than half million in 1901, placing it among the mid-sized princely states. The ruler of Kutch was entitled to a 17-gun salute. Kutch was one of the few princely states with its own coastline.
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- Tags: Coin, Kori, Kutch, Princely State, Silver