Author Topic: Fake coins of the Netherlands and its colonies  (Read 15344 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Re: TOA
« Reply #60 on: April 16, 2013, 11:18:44 PM »
Indeed, or why make them with a Gurumukhi legend or with a loop on top? Maybe the objective was not to deceive. My guest told me they are found to be underweight, overweight and with higher as well as lower fineness as the original.

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

Offline Figleaf

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Re: TOA
« Reply #61 on: July 11, 2013, 12:30:50 AM »
Oesho has one. He posted it in this super-thread.

Peter

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

Offline Figleaf

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Re: TOA
« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2013, 01:14:32 AM »
No takers after three months. I think the main clues are:
  • Found to be underweight, overweight and with higher as well as lower fineness as the original
  • Found all over India, but predominantly in the North
Oesho once published a fine article on a collection of gold coins found in India. All were defaced. A number were different kinds of gold ducats. I think we can safely conclude that foreign gold coins were supposed to be scrapped and melted for Mughal coins. It may even have been illegal to hold them and not bring them to the mint.

But what if the Dutch gold ducat became popular among the wives of rich Indian international traders? Jewellers would have been ready to provide nice copies, provided that they would be different enough not to displease the Moghul and his servants. The obvious place to make a difference would have been the mintmark. People in India would have known there were several, but they would not have known for sure how many there were, but the shroffs, customs and mint officials would have known. The most common mintmarks on the genuine coins would have been HOL and TRA (Holland and Utrecht), which could be combined to the non-existent TOA.

So, my guess is that the TOA ducats are not coins, but jewellers copies, not made to deceive, but made to be used as jewellery and maybe in religious ceremonies. This would explain the heavy coins (they were not intended for use as money), the loops and the different metal contents. Why would they be found most in the North? Because the Moghul administration forced Dutch traders to use Surat. Why did the coins survive? Pooja. Why not the same thing in Japan, where the situation was similar? Because there were no restrictions on picturing living beings in Japan, so tastes differed.

I think the TOA ducats should be classified as Indian.

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

akona20

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Re: TOA
« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2013, 01:58:00 AM »
I had not seen this article before. perhaps it is a little hasty to dismiss these as jewellers imitations.

There was an important article written in 1938 "Catalogue of Venetian Coins in the Madras Government Museum" by Aravamuthan. Although Dutch coins are only mentioned in passing it gives a discourse on the acceptance of foreign coins in various parts of India up until the early 1800's.


Offline Figleaf

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Re: TOA
« Reply #64 on: September 08, 2013, 02:06:20 AM »
Thank you. Yes, acceptance, or rather the right to posses foreign coins is key (though it would still be hard to explain coins that contain more gold than the genuine article). There were Venetian coins in Oesho's lot also, if I remember correctly. They may have been even less acceptable in view of the the saint, that is commonly on them.

I am pretty sure it was compulsory to bring foreign silver to the Surat mint at once, but I don't remember anything about the regime for foreign gold coins.

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

akona20

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Re: TOA
« Reply #65 on: September 08, 2013, 02:29:27 AM »
I will email you a copy of the article shortly. There are some divergences of opinion on what was acceptable or not. There are many instances where debts are paid by a combination of "coins".  We tend to forget that settlement of even comparatively small debts was done on the basis of the weight of contained metal rather the number of coins at a "face value" in the east. If there was confidence in the coin (and it tested ok) then it might be acceptable within certain circles regardless of the law. It would, if it remained in the country, be converted at some stage to the local style.

In a slightly different vein the faith in the precious metal content of coins was necessary in eastern trade and while you will see over time the Spanish silver currency debased in Europe it was never debased for the trade in the east whether the "coins" came via Europe or directly across the Pacific.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: TOA
« Reply #66 on: September 10, 2013, 11:19:03 PM »
What was used in practice and what you are allowed to use are different things, though. In the case of the Netherlands, lightweight imitation coppers were not allowed to be used. Evidence from metal detectors shows that they were thrown away. However, there is sufficient evidence to show that at one time/place or another coins of Scotland, the Southern Netherlands, Belgium, France, Cologne, Aachen, Cleve and the VOC were acceptable. Only those of the VOC were not allowed. Those of the Southern Netherlands and Belgium generally circulated by tally. I think the others went by weight. So besides domestic coins, you have a circulation of foreign coins that could be:
  • allowed (or at least not banned)
  • not allowed, yet circulating
  • not allowed and quickly removed from circulating
I know foreign silver was case 3. in India and for my scenario, it is crucial that gold is case 3. also. If it is case 1. or 2. the truth is still out there...

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

Offline aono

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TRAIECTUM 1621
« Reply #67 on: June 09, 2014, 10:13:37 PM »
Apparently copper, 30 mm dia., weights 6.5 g.
A (very crude) copy of an Utrecht 1621(?) coin? A coin weight? 

Offline Figleaf

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Re: TRAIECTUM 1621
« Reply #68 on: June 10, 2014, 01:25:20 AM »
Not an official coin. The date 1621 is unknown for Utrecht copper duit coins (observed weight: around 2 grams). The design is too crude and badly aligned to be official. Interesting piece.

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