Author Topic: Farrukhsiyar (AH1124-31/AD1713-19), 1/2 Rupee, Mint Surat, xxxxAH/RY 5, KM#375.2  (Read 2361 times)

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Offline Overlord

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The batteries of my digital balance are dead. I will be posting the mass later.

Obverse

          Please click on the above image to view a larger one

Reverse

          Please click on the above image to view a larger one

Offline asm

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 Overlord, A nice and a well preserved coin. Half Rupees are tough to come by.

Amit
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Offline Overlord

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Mass=5.7 g

Offline Rangnath

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Yes, a real solid no nonsense specimen. 
richie

Offline Figleaf

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It is likely that this coin used to be another coin.

Under the Mughals, Surat was India's main trading port. Here, ships from Asia and Europe moored to unload their goods ... after they had paid their taxes. The authorities rightfully didn't trust any member of any ship and were not above locking up the crew and checking on their excrement to see what they'd swallowed, to escape tax. The administration was slow and complicated and ships were sometimes kept waiting for weeks for permission to unload or to leave.

Since India was on the silver standard, taxes were payable in silver. Payment in foreign silver and payment in gold was treated as payment in kind. The commodities were handed over to a local jeweller, who'd assay the coins (and keep a little fee for his services). The coins were then melted and re-struck as Surat coins. Since most of the business of the Surat mint came from the tax collected by the port authorities, a coin from Surat is unlikely to have been minted from new silver.

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

Offline asm

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...... a coin from Surat is unlikely to have been minted from new silver.
Peter
I generally find that coins of Surat mint in the name of the Later Mughal Emperrors are more easily encountered than coins of other mints. Your explanation seems to point out the reason. Besides being a rich area (mainly due to the port activities - Surat 'Bandar i Mubarak), easy availibility of Silver could have been reason that the mint in Surat produced more coins than the other mints.
However there were a number of other mint towns located near port towns. Why are the coins of other port towns not easy to come by? Take the case of Khambayat (Cambay). Coins of this port, not very far from Surat are difficult to come by; and there were many other ports in India at the time of the Mughals.

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

Offline Figleaf

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While India has always had plenty of good ports, the Mughals specifically appointed Surat as foreign trade port, with the appropriate customs authorities, in order to facilitate tax levying. I am not sure if other ports were forbidden to handle foreign ships, but a simple measure like making the foreigners pay for travel of customs agents from Surat to another port and making the foreigners wait longer would have achieved that the large majority of ships would have gone to Surat.

As for nearby mints, they would have suffered from Surat's competition. In those days, minting was not by government fiat, but by supply and demand. Someone had to bring in silver and pay the minting fees. The Surat mint was convenient for the customs agents and the local merchants. Nearby mints could compete only by offering lower fees (as far as they weren't established on a national level) or faster turnaround times (taking travel time into account). Otherwise, they'd be restricted to whatever the locals would bring in. In essence, while Khambayat did local business, Surat did international business.

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

Offline asm

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Peter,
Thanks for the information. For me, there is as yet much to learn about life in those days.
Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Rangnath

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Thanks Figleaf.  That was really interesting information.
What ended Surat as THE international port of call on the West coast?  The increasing size of ships in the 19th century?
richie

Offline Figleaf

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The British raj. They liked Bombay better.

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

Offline asm

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Yes. Bombay or Munbai (then) Mumbai (today) was received by the British as Dowry from the Potuguese. No wonder that they prefered it to Surat which was a Mughal bastion controlled by the Nawab of Surat.
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Rangnath

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Munbai? 
I looked up Mumbai and Bombay and found a Marathi and a Portuguese origin: Mumbadevi and aai, the Goddess and Mother?  The Mother Goddess?  and Bon bahia for good bay in Portuguese.  Does that sound right to you?
richie

Offline Bimat

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Farrukhsiyar (AH1124-31/AD1713-19), 1/2 Rupee, Mint Surat, xxxxAH/RY 5, KM#3
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2010, 06:19:26 AM »
Munbai? 
I looked up Mumbai and Bombay and found a Marathi and a Portuguese origin: Mumbadevi and aai, the Goddess and Mother?  The Mother Goddess?  and Bon bahia for good bay in Portuguese.  Does that sound right to you?
Richie,
Mumba Devi is considered as the Mumbai's resident deity.The history of the temple is quite interesting,which you may find here.
Another temple in Mumbai of historic importance is the Mahalaxmi Temple,which is just near the Haji Ali Dargah in Worli.

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline asm

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Munbai? 
richie
See the old Bombay Presidency Coins. It will clear your doubts.
Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Rangnath

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Thanks aditya and asm. 
richie