Demonetisation hits numismaticians
TNN | Jan 7, 2017, 11.19 PM IST
NASHIK: A three-day annual exhibition and trade fair of coins, bank notes, stamps and rare items organised by The Collectors Society of Numismatic and Rare Items began on Friday at Chopda Lawns on Gangapur road.
Academic Numismatician Girish Sharma from Indore — who was honored with lifetime achievement award during the inauguration — lamented that people who collect coins, currency notes, error notes, and precious metal coins are worst hit by demonetisation. All coin-collectors, traders, and numismatic experts, who came together for this signature exhibition, expressed similar feelings.
"The Central government has made it illegal to carry more than 10 notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations. I personally know at least 100 collectors across the country who have more than 50/100 notes of such denominations. The collectors carry currency notes with specific series of numbers, or error notes with pride. Now onwards, they would be considered as criminals," said Sharma, who boasts of having largest collection of ancient coins including gold coins.
"My collection arguably finds a place in India's top 10 collections of coins and currency notes. When I was invited to Nashik, I was supposed to bring some rare items from my collection. But, we are all afraid these days. Anyone can frisk you at the airport and you can get into trouble if you carry valuable metals or old notes with you," he added.
Sharma also criticised the fact that government is going to keep a check and regularize the amount of gold to be stored by individuals. "Many gold coin collectors have coins weighting more than 5 to 10 kg at their homes. I know five people having rare gold coins over weighing 20 kg kept in bank lockers or at homes. Such collectors either lose their lifetime collections or have to donate the same to museums. In fact, this is like death for a collector who has dedicated his life for the collection," said Sharma, who has already decided to convert his collection into a museum near Indore. Interestingly, the government of Madhya Pradesh is helping him in establishing the museum.
Rajesh Junnare, secretary of The Collectors Society of Numismatic and Rare Items, admitted that Rare Fair exhibition has been hit by demonetisation. "The response has reduced this year. Participation from currency note collectors has suffered badly. Moreover, we are not expecting any auctions like last year due to cash crunch," he said.
Source: Times of India