Author Topic: Studying coins at the Mumbai University  (Read 2938 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Studying coins at the Mumbai University
« on: June 26, 2007, 09:40:56 AM »
Endowing a university with a 25 000 piece coin collection is a splendid idea. Too bad all the attention is on one piece, spectacular, but not money.

source: The Times of India

Peter

Stock broker to donate Mughal coins to Mumbai university
25 Jun, 2007 l 0312 hrs ISTl Hemali Chhapia

MUMBAI: It's as large as a quarter plate. Made of solid gold, it has no siblings but boasts a lineage like none other. This solo masterpiece, a 1.1 kg gold coin minted by Emperor Shah Jahan, is now the property of the University of Mumbai.

This coin and 25,000 other heritage coins, currency notes, seals and medals from countries all over the world constitute Mumbai stock broker Dinesh Mody's priceless private collection which he will soon donate to the university for use in its new master's degree in numismatics and archaeology.

The Shah Jahan coin dates back to the era between 1628 and 1658, when he ran the empire after Jahangir. In the 1980s, it was auctioned in London, when Mody bought it for a small fortune. But between the 17th and 20th centuries, the coin travelled widely, and thereby hangs a fascinating tale.

The story goes that the massive coin was issued to placate the Khalifa, the head of the Muslim sect. Islamic kings were forbidden from issuing coins with Kalima (aayat from the Koran) or images of humans or other living beings. However, Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan frequently issued coins engraved with birds, animals and their own visages. When the Khalifa, who migrated from Baghdad to Morocco, learnt of this practice, he sent out a stern warning to Shah Jahan that if he continued in this vainglorious manner, he would be excommunicated.

Dilip Rajgor, a scholar and the author of several books on numismatics, says that the missive had its desired effect on the emperor. "He did not eat for a day and then one of his advisors came up with a solution, which was to mint a large coin from pure gold and call it Shahenshah" said Rajgor. The coin was sent to the Khalifa with a message that read "the Shahenshah (Emperor) is at your feet asking for forgiveness". On it was inscribed in Persian, "There is only one God, and he is Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet."

Whether it was tombs or coins, Shah Jahan evidently liked to do things with a splash. The Khalifa's daughter, who married an Afghan prince, took this coin with her.

The couple's daughter married the prince of Bahawalpur and the coin was sent with her as dowry.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 10:42:12 AM by paisepagal »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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Re: Studying coins
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 08:50:20 PM »
Endowing a university with a 25 000 piece coin collection is a splendid idea. Too bad all the attention is on one piece, spectacular, but not money.



Was this the coin that is/was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest coin (I'm remembering from the late 1970s), a cast of which was held by the British Museum but which had been "lost" in the meantime?


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Studying coins
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 11:20:26 PM »
Not sure, Martin, but judging from the description it could be.

For a time, Panama (i.e. Franklin Mint) claimed to have struck the largest piece (I wouldn't call it a coin), but since, several other even larger show pieces have been produced, notably in Austria and Canada, both notorious pseudo-coin issuers. For me, the largest real coins are still the Swedish copper plates. They were intended as money, used as money and issued at face value.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Studying coins
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2007, 06:52:08 PM »
The coin is fascinating but the side story is potentially even more so; a school of numismatics in Mumbai University?  I remember reading somewhere that by 2040 (I?m not sure on the date, could it be by 2020?), India will have over 400 million teenagers!  China in comparison will have fewer than 300 million. The potential for coin collecting in nations with burgeoning middle classes such as India?s and China?s is absolutely mind blowing! 
richie

Offline Bimat

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Re: Studying coins
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2009, 06:26:15 PM »
The coin is fascinating but the side story is potentially even more so; a school of numismatics in Mumbai University?  I remember reading somewhere that by 2040 (I?m not sure on the date, could it be by 2020?), India will have over 400 million teenagers!  China in comparison will have fewer than 300 million. The potential for coin collecting in nations with burgeoning middle classes such as India?s and China?s is absolutely mind blowing! 
richie
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Hi Richie,
Yes,an advanced course on Numismatics is expected to start this year.(It may have started,but I am not sure.)They are confident that they will get a good response,and many numismatists have agreed to be a part of it.There is one institute at Nasik-first time ever in the world-devoted only to Numismatics.They regularly organize workshops (from 1 day to a week) on numismatics-how to read mint marks on ancient Indian coins,and such related subjects.I am planning to complete one such course,if I get a chance.
Aditya.
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Studying coins
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2009, 06:31:48 PM »
How I would love to join you Aditya! 
richie

Offline Bimat

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Re: Studying coins
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 06:51:22 AM »
Hi Richie,
Here is the link for Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies. (IIRNS) : www.iirns.org
You may get warning while opening this site-so be careful.
Here is another useful link : http://www.indiannumismatics.com/bibliography.php

Aditya.
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.