Author Topic: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society  (Read 121 times)

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Offline asm

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ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« on: July 28, 2020, 12:30:29 PM »
Mumbai Coin Society has been making rapid strides in organising regular talk shows and now have the 4th one lined up on Saturday 1st August.

One of the speakers on this show is our member Abhishek Chatterjee - Abhinumis. The even is open to all and any one who is interested can log in using the meeting id mentioned below.

Mumbai Coin Society is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting 'MCS Zoom Meet 4'

Time: Sat, Aug 1, 2020
06:30 PM Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi

Topic:

1) Basic Study in Potraits on Silver Satavahana Coins by Swanand Mahendra Telang. Talk starts @6.30pm

2) Heavy weight copper coins of Jahangir by Dr Abhishek Chatterjee.
Talk starts @7.00pm

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 970 7862 7798
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline pk72

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Re: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 03:13:34 PM »
Thanx asm. I will login for the meeting.
Regards

Offline Figleaf

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Re: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 03:57:40 PM »
I'll give it a good try at 15:00 Paris (CET) time.

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

Offline abhinumis

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Re: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 06:17:06 AM »
Thanks a lot Peter for joining in and giving your valuable feedback. You really gave some food for thought regading the reason for introduction of these heavyweight coin! Hopefully you enjoyed the meet.
Dr.Abhishek

Offline Figleaf

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Re: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 09:40:14 AM »
It was a pleasure as well as good training, but the high quality and interesting input came from you and your fellow speaker. You will know that we now have a video collection. I noted that the session was recorded. If you wish, I can add a link to that recording there.

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

Offline asm

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Re: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2020, 12:42:09 PM »
Peter, Thanks for joining in and for your valuable suggestions. Unfortunately, being new to the whole idea, it appeared that the host (Malcom Toddywala) was not keeping an eye on the chat box. Your suggestion of Gresham's law - lighter money driving out the heavier one was fairly sound and kept me thinking for a long time.
 
Jahangir, may be to prove to himself to be one up on Akbar, introduced the heavy currency and then upgraded it to the 'Sawai'. However, may be, since the previous money - coined in the times of Akbar was still in circulation, this money - the heavier one - got hoarded / melted and the earlier, copiously minted currency of Akbar, continued in circulation. Jahangir, not being a economist, may not have realiesed what was happening with the Jahangiri, ordered the increase in weight further, hoping that these coins may circulate - but was proven wrong once again and the coins - whether the 'Jahangiri' or the 'Sawai' rupees may have just disappeared from circulation (the reason of their being so rare today) were then stopped and the minting of normal weight coins started - when it dawned upon him that the new coins were being melted and the old ones continued to be used.

This theory may debunk the old notions of the causes of the failed experiment (it was indeed an experiment - just as the one conducted by Muhammad bin Tughluk  of the forced Tankas) and the introduction of cheap silver. If it was indeed cheap silver that was responsible, the weight increase would have been only in Silver and not in Gold and copper.

Though I am not an economist and am not in a position to justify theoretically what I have mentioned above, I do believe that EGO, which has brought on the downfall of a lot of haughty and mighty was the cause / factor behind the experiment and Gresham's  law (I am not sure if the law was postulated then) was the reason that caused the failure.

I look forward to more views on this from a range of collectors.............. that is how we can further the cause of this hobby.

Any way Abhishek's research was great and has prompted me to pull out my old albums - tucked away from view after I lost interest in a range of subjects, to look for the heavy coins.

Thanks also to pk for being there.

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

Offline Figleaf

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Re: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2020, 07:20:43 PM »
Yes, vanity and arrogance may very well be part of the story. Another circumstance is mis-communication. Aurangzeb was an absolute ruler who didn't want anyone arguing with him. When he had made up his mind, that was it. This was likely compounded by his indulgence in alcohol and opium.

I can imagine an almost comical scene where he is informed that silver has become 20% cheaper and either the price of goods, such as rice, will go up by 20% or the rupee must become 20% heavier. I am sure the clergy would have argued for making the rupee heavier, as this would be just (adil), while letting prices rise would be unjust. ::)

Here's another thought. If silver goes from a price of 100 to 80, the price has gone down by 20%. So by what percentage does the price have to rise to become 100 again? No, it's not 20%. It's 25%, because 25% of 80 is 20. Explain this to an absolute ruler removed from reality who doesn't want to be argued with and you may indeed end up with the conclusion that 20% wasn't enough and it shouldn't have been 25%. :D

The above is pure speculation, of course. Even my evil mind can't come up with a comedy of errors for making the copper and gold heavier also. However, Jahangir is often seen as a klutz.

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

Offline asm

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Re: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 06:49:18 AM »
Yes, vanity and arrogance may very well be part of the story. Another circumstance is mis-communication. Aurangzeb was an absolute ruler who didn't want anyone arguing with him. When he had made up his mind, that was it. This was likely compounded by his indulgence in alcohol and opium.
Thanks Peter. Looks a likely scenario.

I can imagine an almost comical scene where he is informed that silver has become 20% cheaper and either the price of goods, such as rice, will go up by 20% or the rupee must become 20% heavier. I am sure the clergy would have argued for making the rupee heavier, as this would be just (adil), while letting prices rise would be unjust.

This happened during Akbar's reign............

I can imagine an almost comical scene where he is informed that silver has become 20% cheaper and either the price of goods, such as rice, will go up by 20% or the rupee must become 20% heavier. I am sure the clergy would have argued for making the rupee heavier, as this would be just (adil), while letting prices rise would be unjust. ::)

Here's another thought. If silver goes from a price of 100 to 80, the price has gone down by 20%. So by what percentage does the price have to rise to become 100 again? No, it's not 20%. It's 25%, because 25% of 80 is 20. Explain this to an absolute ruler removed from reality who doesn't want to be argued with and you may indeed end up with the conclusion that 20% wasn't enough and it shouldn't have been 25%. :D

Well, this could well be true. Akbar reduced the weight of the copper coins by around 24 / 25% when he introduced the Tanki series. The Dam weighted 20.7+ g while the weight of the Tanki was a shade below 16 g (about 15. 7 / 15.8 g). The initial coins of Jahangir - atleast from Ahmedabad followed suit. The Salimi rupees were the standard weight rupees and so were the Copper coins - which were the Tanki weight coins. These were later changed to the heavier weight coins. So may be Jahangir thought that he was a better economist than hos father and increased the weight of the Silvers. But the weight of the gold was also increased. However, the weight of copper went up from 15.8 g to 24 g. - almost 50%. Any explanation.

Another major issue that no one has considered - At Ahmedabad, copper coins went from 15.8 g (in RY  1 & 2) to 24 g (in RY 2) to 25.5 g (in RY 3) and reverted to 20 g (in RY 4) but all of a sudden went down again to the tanki weight (16 g in RY 6). So the copper coins, at least in Ahmedabad, see a complete mess in the early part of Jahangirs reign after which, all of a sudden the copper coins of Ahmedabad seem to have done a disappearing act, only to come back much later.

Amit
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 06:59:19 AM by asm »
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Figleaf

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Re: ZOOM Meeting - 4 of the Mumbai Coin Society
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2020, 09:47:15 AM »
I am speculating here. This is for research inspiration, not the result of research.

The data you mention seem to indicate two trends. One is tanki versus dam, the other copper versus silver. The tanki versus dam trend is a traditional versus a new-fangled coin and a political issue. The moguls would have liked the dam as a common unit in all their lands, the traditionalists (clergy and small shopkeeepers) would have gone with the tanki. The shroffs would have wanted both in order to profit from changing one for the other. The variables would have been the strength of the moguls, the preferences of the governor and the political stability of the population inside Ahmedabad. Remember that Akbar once said he'd conclude a treaty of friendship with any ruler who would accept his standards.

The other trend is economic in nature. If you have coins of two or more metals circulating at a fixed relation, you need to change the weight relation if the price relation changes, unless you have built in a safety margin in that the coins of at least one metal are grossly overvalued (underweight). The relation can be changed by adjusting the coins of either metal. Making the undervalued coins heavier will result in deflation (prices going down) and an appreciation of the currency on the export market. Making the newly overvalued coins lighter will induce inflation and a depreciation of the currency. In both cases, old coins should be counterstamped and their value adjusted to prevent Gresham's law from kicking in.

What is in the above paragraph is factual, not speculation. Some international examples may be useful. Keep in mind that price stats are rare. Numismatic research should produce a long series of rice prices.

China. Cash coins were standard and seriously underweight, but their weight was changing. Not as much as the price or weight of silver ingots, though. Foreign merchants got shocking profits out of silver, because the government stuck to a fixed relation between silver and gold. This also led to the Spanish colonial pesos being accepted.
England and the UK. Copper was generally underweight, sometimes (Ireland!) shamefully underweight. There was a flexible relation between silver shillings and gold sovereigns until the gold pound, largely a hoarding coin, was introduced.
Spain. Everything revolved around the silver 8 reales (peso), the world's standard trading coin and Spain's best way to convert the riches of its South American colonies into wealth. Copper was revalued regularly and the coins remained in circulation counterstamped. Gold fluctuated against silver.
US. Silver and gold were both political footballs with the silver adjusted by weight or alloy (arrows at date) and the gold not being adjusted much. As a result, there was scarcity of gold in some periods, of silver in other periods (Gresham!). Copper was heavily overvalued and thought of as a service of the government. Supply tended to collapse in times of war.

My guess is that the situation in Ahmedabad was most like the Chinese system with (crucial difference!) copper coins much closer to full weight, so their weight had to be adjusted to volatile market prices more often. Worldwide, there was a large copper surplus but war required a lot of copper, if only for making cannons and cannon balls. I would therefore expect that in times when seaborne trade was flourishing and piracy suppressed, copper would be cheap and in times of war and rebellion copper would be expensive.

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