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A Life Devoted to Coins

Started by Bimat, January 25, 2014, 02:33:32 PM

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A Life Totally Devoted to Coins

Published: 24th January 2014 07:50 AM
Last Updated: 24th January 2014 07:50 AM

For students in the city, 53-year-old Shahul Hameed is not only a street vendor, but also their 'guide and helpmate' in academic projects. He runs a petty shop on the footpath at Statue Junction that has a precious collection of coins.

He deals in coins dating from the British, Dutch and Portuguese times, and also after Independence. His customers are mostly students to whom he gives the coins for their project purpose and gets them back once the project is complete. He charges a small amount for this. In addition, many coin collectors in the city and even some foreigners who pass by buy rare coins from him.

Shahul Hameed sees this venture not purely as a business as he mainly aims at helping the students with their projects and in their studies. His rates are also reasonable. However, he has in his collection thousands of coins dating back to the Mughal period and copper coins issued by the Government of India after Independence. His prized possession includes silver, copper and other metal coins in vogue during the rule of Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb and Bahadur Shah Zafar, the half 'anna' during the reign of George VI, one quarter of Queen Victoria's rule, 'otta kalana' and several others.

He became interested in collecting coins after seeing his father's rare collection. It was only 15 years ago that Shahul Hameed started his own collection. Before that, he was engaged in the sales of old books which he has stopped now.

Shahul Hameed does not remember how much he has invested in purchasing the coins. Whatever he earned from the sales of old books, he invested in the new venture. He visited as many exhibitions as he could and bought rare coins. Some regulars too give him coins free of cost.

Other than Indian coins, Shahul Hameed has coins from South Africa, USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Germany, France and Jordan, among other countries. Coins of more than 50 foreign countries form part of his collection.

Curiously, this elderly man hailing from Kariavattom never boards a bus or catches an auto to reach his shop; instead, he cycles every day. His family consists of his wife and three children and Shahul Hameed says it is not easy to take care of them with his small income.

Source: New Indian Express

Image Caption: Shahul Hameed with his coin collection at Statue Junction | Express

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