Counterfeiting Indian coins

Started by Pabitra, September 01, 2019, 06:22:53 AM

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Fun story, but I get the feeling that an incident is blown out of proportion. Coins have been imitated as soon as they became acceptable and Indian coins are no exception. With the rise of states and increasing importance of rulers, coining became a state business. Imitating the coins of another ruler became more risky, as rulers did not hesitate to impose grisly punishment on imitators, if they could catch them. As this site shows, imitations went from the malevolent (lightweight, cheap metal) to the crassly commercial (jewellery and ceremonial imitations) and from profiting of the good image of another coin to outright economic warfare.

What most imitations have in common is that the instigators generally did not run any risk, the producers tried to cover themselves as much as possible and the distributors ran practically all the risk. So it is with Jalak Jainam, a producer of imitations, who hid behind the law. We have a number of "jeweller rupees" on WoC, sometimes even with a name and address of the maker. Jalak Jainam's case differs only in that he irritated the authorities, perhaps by escaping them at first, because of a loophole in the law, perhaps because he had a relatively big operation going or perhaps both. More diplomatic or modest producers probably lasted longer.

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