Author Topic: Assam, Gaurinatha Simha, 1/4 Rupee (‘Country-made’ forgeries)  (Read 96 times)

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Offline Gusev

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Assam, Gaurinatha Simha, 1/4 Rupee (‘Country-made’ forgeries)
« on: September 04, 2020, 07:23:26 PM »
In Assam, along with the legal minting of coins, there was an unofficial one.
Rhodes wrote;
“……… most were probably made by private entrepreneurs to spend in the market, with the intention of making profit for themselves, and to defraud government and the people.”

These coins have a name “Country-made” forgeries.
Very often, different auctions misclassify such coins.
I can show the following example.
Stephen Album Rare Coins, Auction 38 (24-27 Sep 2020), Lot 2549.
ASSAM: Gaurinatha Simha, 1780-1796, AR ¼ rupee (2.59g), SE1716, KM-198, VF to EF (it was written in the paper auction catalog).
In reality, in many ways this coin is classified as “Country-made” forgeries.
I wrote to Steve about a directory bug.
Now the error in the electronic catalog has been corrected.

This is a rare case of a prompt reaction from the auction administration.
"Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there."- Marcus Washling.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Assam, Gaurinatha Simha, 1/4 Rupee (‘Country-made’ forgeries)
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2020, 12:00:27 PM »
Good for you and good for Steve Album to have this piece classified correctly. I hope there will be many more such cases with a happy ending.

That said, I am unhappy with the term "country-made forgeries". In other countries, numismatics uses "contemporary forgeries". English being the vague language it is, this can also lead to misunderstandings, but as a term of the trade it is perfectly clear and fits these issues. It also highlights that these pieces are interesting by themselves. They circulated, they were used as money and they are part of the times they were produced in.

What distinguishes contemporary forgeries from tokens is the supply of genuine coins. I wonder what is known about the supply of genuine coins in Assam at this time or if there was another valid reason to have a need for non-official coins. Are the coins of Gaurinatha Simha harder to find than those of other Assam rulers?

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

Offline Gusev

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Re: Assam, Gaurinatha Simha, 1/4 Rupee (‘Country-made’ forgeries)
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 05:42:01 PM »
Yes, I am also more comfortable with the term "contemporary forgeries".
Although there are other names for such coins
- struck in unofficial mints.
- illegal coinage.
-  contemporary local imitation.

Your question is interesting.
Coins in Assam were minted in large quantities. And today you can buy most of Assam's coins at auctions at a low price.
In Assam, the coins of many kings were forged from the mid-17th century to the early 19th.
We can only assume the reasons for this phenomenon. but an interesting fact is that fakes were made of silver (usually 10-15 percent lighter).
In Assam, coins were officially minted for use in trade and for religious purposes.
In the second case, I think it was easier to pay off with a silver counterfeit.
In addition, experts admit that Assam did not have strict control over the circulation of counterfeits in the country.
"Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there."- Marcus Washling.

Offline Seeker55

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Re: Assam, Gaurinatha Simha, 1/4 Rupee (‘Country-made’ forgeries)
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 07:28:41 PM »
Just to add a couple of words about rarity, in my (admittedly limited) experience, the coins of Gaurinatha Simha seem to be relatively common among the Assam rulers. I believe it's often true that for Indian silver rupees, fractional rupees are rarer than full rupees, though I have no data in this case.