Know your India: Coins of Sailana – tezbid

Know your India: Coins of Sailana

Posted by Amit Bhandari on

Sailana, One Quarter Anna, Coins, copper, rare

Sailana was a princely state in the Malwa region of Central India, and was originally a part of Ratlam (up to 1730). The name of the state derives from the capital town, which was named after ‘shail’ (mountain) and ‘anana’ (at the mouth of). Sailana’s territories were scattered and the state had borders with walior, Indore, Dhar, Jhabua, Jaora, Banswara, and Kushalgarh States. Sailana’s rulers were Rathore rajputs and an offshoot of the ruling house of Ratlam. The ruler of Sailana was entitled to an 11-gun salute.

Sailana was a relatively small state, with an area of 450 square miles, and a population of 25,731 (1901). The total revenue of the state was Rs 1.5 lakh – derived mostly from land. Up to 1860, the rulers of Sailana paid tribute to the Scindias of Gwalior. After 1860, this tribute was paid to the British.

The British protection is evident from the coins issued by the state. In 1908 and 1912, one-quarter anna coins of Sailana state were minted in small numbers (224,000 each of both the years), at the Calcutta mint. These were identical to the British India one-quarter anna in size and weight – with a portrait of Edward VII/George V on one side. On the reverse, these coins had the words ‘Sailana State’ in English and Hindi, on the edge of the coin (see picture).

Copper coins of Sailana are popular with collectors of British India coins because

  1. Rarity: The 1908 and 1912 coins were minted in small numbers – just 224,000 each, because Sailana was a small state. Compared to these, British India coins were minted in hundreds of millions. This makes Sailana coins rare – these copper coins fetch prices higher than many British India silver coins. Between the two variants, the 1908 coins are comparatively rarer.
  2. Design: Coins of Sailana have the same weight and design as British India coins, and can be considered a sub-set of British India coins. It is easy for a collector of British India coins to also move into this related category. While these coins are rare, they are not priced exorbitantly (not yet at least).

If you wish to buy coins of Sailana State, click here.

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