Please help to identify silver Fanam 5

Started by jsalgado, January 18, 2020, 10:42:24 PM

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It appears to be what I have in my database as a Cochin silver 2 puttin (about 1 gm, C. 2 in Craig [struck 1663-1776, 1796-1809] and a very old Krause). The new one only lists a smaller silver fanam KM 30 (1601-1700) and KM 8 (1701-1800) which I have as a 1 puttin.

See Zeno - Oriental Coins Database - Cochin - 2 Putten n.Y.(1795-1850) and 162177 for other specimens and attributions.



Alan, many thanks once more your your kind help!


The Cochin Putthan (as it is pronounced locally) was issued by the Dutch on behalf of the Cochin Administration. On the left image above, there are twelve dots, the "raashi", a lazy J and "OC" standing for "Oostindische Compagnie". Coins were minted from a mint established at Cochin according to an agreement between the two parties executed in CE.1764. Dutch Bazaruks and other Indo-Dutch coins were current until Puthans first came out around CE.1783.
Puthan in Malayalam, the local dialect means "new". The name denotes the shift from the old Indo-Dutch coins to the new local coin.
One and two Puthan coins circulated only within the state of Cochin and were exchanged with neighbouring Travancore territory at the rate of one Puthan for ten cash of Travancore.
The figure on the right hand side image is said to be "Vishnupadam" by some scholars. Some hold it as a stylised tiger, the Shardula. There is a Samgh (Conch) in the middle and there are four dots inside the right vertical crescent that opens to the left.
From CE.1820-21, a figure of the family deity "Poornathrayeesha"replaced the dots and OC over lazy J. Some claim that the deity is "Pazhayannoor Bhagavathi", another family deity of the ruling family and they call it "Devi Puthan" and "Lekshmi Puthan" for that reason.
Cochin Puthans were struck in 1783, 1790, 1821, 1855 and 1897 as per the state's official document, "Cochin State Manual". That means this particular variety  was issued only on two occasions in CE.1783 and 1790.
In 1897, the mint warranted closing down due to financial mismanagement. In the years that followed, forgery became so rampant that they were officially withdrawn in 1900 and the state switched to the British system of rupee, anna and paisa.

You can find similar coins at