Author Topic: Aurangeb Alamgir. Mint: SURAT (pseudo?). Rupees with strange dates.  (Read 422 times)

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Offline asm

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while rummaging through my coin trays during the forced lock down, I found these coins. Coins which have some weird dates / date combinations. Not sure if these were contemporary forgeries or were products of some far off places since the Surat Rupee had gained the status of a trade currency and circulated in a very wide geographical area.

Members comments welcome on what these coins actually are. All of them are well within the standard weight range (all around 11.3 g) but almost at the bottom of the range, roughly 0.3 g lower in weight than the normal rupees.

Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Aurangeb Alamgir. Mint: SURAT (pseudo?). Rupees with strange dates.
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2020, 06:23:02 AM »
Of course, they could be frauds, but there are also other possibilities.

In colonial times, silver coins are imitated by jewellers, often enough leaving their name on the coin. These coins are not meant for payment, but as ornament or in order to serve in religious ceremonies. Maybe the requirement to have the jeweller sign the coin was European micro-management (note that the kings of France used the same sort of law on tokens from Nürnberg). Maybe there were such imitations all along.

Perhaps just as likely, these are mules. Dates and regnal years are on different sides that don't wear at the same speed. See this post for how I picture this scenario. ;)

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

Offline asm

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Re: Aurangeb Alamgir. Mint: SURAT (pseudo?). Rupees with strange dates.
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2020, 09:05:29 AM »
Of course, they could be frauds, but there are also other possibilities.
Peter, unlikely to be fraud since the weight and other specifications tally with the Mughal requirements.

In colonial times, silver coins are imitated by jewellers, often enough leaving their name on the coin. These coins are not meant for payment, but as ornament or in order to serve in religious ceremonies. Maybe the requirement to have the jeweller sign the coin was European micro-management (note that the kings of France used the same sort of law on tokens from Nürnberg). Maybe there were such imitations all along.
No. I do not recall ever having seen any such coin which shows the mint name as a jewelers name.

Perhaps just as likely, these are mules. Dates and regnal years are on different sides that don't wear at the same speed. See this post for how I picture this scenario.
Well, again a no for this specific case. The coins show either a 3 digit date or a retro engraved digit of a date or some such error.

As I mentioned there could well be made privately, to be passed of as a current rupee, made from pure silver so that they would pass the Shroff, but exhibited some minor variation so that the minter may not be awarded death if caught since his coin was not a copy. His benefit? the 0.3 g weight difference and saving in terms of mint costs and the mints mark ups. Also there exists a probability that since Surat mint coins were accepted as a trade currency, it was imitated in far off lands well out of reach of the circulation of normal Surat rupees so that, being of pure silver, these would pass the tests.

One important thing is that in those dates, it was the weight of the coin and the purity of silver that mattered. The date was used to depreciate a coin after some use, basically to compensate for the expected weight loss due to wear.

Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Aurangeb Alamgir. Mint: SURAT (pseudo?). Rupees with strange dates.
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2020, 09:21:46 AM »
I didn't say the jeweller's name replaced the mint name. :-\

If the technical specifications are correct, you can't assume that they were made outside the mint. Errors are always possible, also in mints. Specifically, it is quite unlikely that they were imported. Surat is a port city, far away from the land borders of the Mughal empire, but open to foreign ships. Import and export of Mughal coin was forbidden and customs checks were quite fierce, up to the point where at times any crew member who had to leave the ship, was locked up to allow customs inspectors to check their faeces for contraband.

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