Author Topic: Akbar: Tanka / Double Dam, Bairata, Ilahi 4x, Sharewar....thick chunky coin!!  (Read 191 times)

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Offline mitresh

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Mughal Empire, Akbar, Tanka / Double Dam, 40.10g, Bairata, Ilahi 4x, Shahrewar

It’s simply a Wow! feeling holding these thick chunky relics of the past in hand. The coin even stands on its own! You really don’t know what you are missing unless you have one of these meaty juicy heavy weight champion Big Daddy of Mughal Dams!!


The "Tankah" currency reform was introduced only during the last 5 years of Akbar's reign ie from Ilahi Era 45 (IE 45), and it was just twice the weight of the Dam. With the introduction of this new denomination (Tanka), the copper Dam now became a fractional currency and was called 'Nim Tanka' (half Tanka).

The "Tankah" coins were issued from only 3 mints viz Ahmedabad, Govindpur & Bairata. The coins issued from Ahmedabad are dated IE 45, 46; Govindpur dated IE 45,46,47; and Bairata dated IE 48, 50. We can observe incremental dates of issue from various mints.

Later, from IE 46, Akbar also introduced another weight series of copper coins called 'Tanki' (4g) with its multiples 'do-tanki' (8g) and 'Chau-tanki' (16g), from various mints viz Ahmedabad, Agra, Kabul, Lahore etc. This was probably an attempt at decimalization of the currency as the 'tanki' was exactly 1/10th of a Tanka!

It is apparent from above currency reforms that Akbar wished for diverse weight ranges / denominations to cater to various aspects of trade as Mughal revenue records and payments were maintained in copper Dams, where 40 Dams = 1 Silver Rupee or Dam = 1/40 Rupee.

So right from the highest unit viz Tanka (40g) to the lowest unit viz Damri (2g), various copper units n denominations were available to value transactions for ease in recording, with conversion for each of those units readily available, marked to the basic unit viz Dam.

In terms of natural progression, the ‘Dam’ standard is the earliest issue replacing the Suri Paisa standard by change in name viz Dam (20g), Nisfi or Adhelah( = 1/2 Dam = 10g), Damra or Paulah or Rabi ( = 1/4 Dam = 5g) & Damri ( = 1/8 Dam = 2.5g).

This is followed by ‘Tankah’ standard in IE 45 viz Tankah (40g), Neem Tankah ( = 1/2 Tanka = Dam = 20g) etc and lastly, from IE 46, we have the ‘Tanki’ standard viz Tanki (4g), Do Tanki (8g) and Chau Tanki (16g), with all of these circulating freely and simultaneously across the empire.

The various copper coins, therefore, from lowest weight to highest, are Damri (2.5g), Tanki (4g), Damra (5g), Do Tanki (8g), Nisfi or 1/2 Dam (10g), Chau Tanki (16g), Dam (20g) and Tanka or Dbl Dam (40g).
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 09:14:15 AM by mitresh »
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Offline Figleaf

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I don't think I have seen so much enthusiasm for the edge of a coin since the petition crown. :) Roll on, Mitresh. May you find many more of such fine coins.

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