Category Archives: Book

A Narrative on Coin Production In Mughal India (Includes XRF Testing Results)

Mughal Mint Review

A narrative on production and minting techniques in the Mughal Empire. This includes specific XRF testing results on the silver coins of Shah Alam I during testing of a large number of coins organised by Arthur Needham at the Ashmolean Museum.

Coin Grading: Update

There has been a short hiatus in the continuing of this theme.

In the next few days the key post will be made.  The questions to be discussed;

CAN A COIN BE GRADED THAT CANNOT BE FULLY ATTRIBUTED?

CAN HAND STRUCK COINS REALLY BE GRADED?

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The Coins of Jahandar Shah: Release Date

Following some last minute crucial coin finds the book is slightly delayed. The print date is now locked in and it will be released in late June.

Approximately 355 pages in full colour and hardbound to international standard.

 

The Jahandar Shah Manuscript Completed: At Last

Completing a manuscript is never easy. Then again completing a second book is never easy.

A number new discoveries, or perhaps major finds somewhat neglected by others recently, required a rigorous review of certain aspects of the work. Even after this was done there is now a specific section of recorded history on the rule of Jahandar Shah that requires a further review and investigation.

As late as last Saturday we were presented with a “new” find. The problem was that the coin was almost, could have been, possibly maybe a coin of Jahandar Shah. We have seen a number of copper coins like this in our research. If we are really not sure then, sorry, it can be recorded officially.

We hope the careful recording of what we do know will spur on greater interest in uncovering new coins and styles. We also hope that these new discoveries can be properly celebrated in the future rather than just receiving a cursory acknowledgement in some distant corner.

The search should be on and true celebrations should take place when new finds are identified.

ps: the pdf of the final looks stunning.

SOMETHING BIG IS COMING

Thank You Shivam For Your Thoughts

  1. Shivam Dubey added 2 new photos — at Book Fair,Pragati Maidan …!.
  2. And I found “The coins of India”book written by my very good friend Arthur Needham In Delhi World Book Fair Pragati Maidan. The book is on Manohar publishers display. Looking forward to get one autographed copy.
  1. Shivam Dubey The quality of the book is really amazing and the printing quality is very nice the book is easy to read.
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Please try to understand a little history: Understanding what is on the coins.

Hi,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMfXgNYK-f8
Please view the video attached. It starts a discussion on what is really to be seen on Indian coins. Especially those described in numismatic literature as ‘Islamic Coins”. It is time to examine the coins much more closely than has been generally done. Let us venture into the world of symbolism and display. It was for those who needed to understand what the ruler was telling on his coins. The understanding was not there for all to see, but it was certainly there for those in the major power base to see and to take note of.

Just a short note on another matter.

There have been a number of questions raised about some highly specific advice given on this blog on coins storage and the treatment of bronze disease. In many matters the mass availability of social media has led to many opinions on many matters being made available. On this blog we utilised the opinions on coin storage and bronze disease treatment from the genuine world experts and these have been peer reviewed. Although as a group we probably have the necessary personal experience to comment in these areas (and in future some other highly specific areas) it will always be our policy to seek out information from the best in the world. Feel free to comment on these articles if you wish but please remember the calibre of the writers. They are WORLD EXPERTS not experts in their own world.

THE GRADING OF HAND STRUCK COINS PART 4: THE NAZRANA DILEMA

Back in the 1970’s a new name was given to hand struck coins from the Indian sub-continent, especially the Mughal Empire.  To receive the name NAZRANA (sp. nazarana) they had to be struck as perfectly as possible. Below is an example from the rule of Farrukhsiyar and is from a private collection.

This coin even has much of the border so often missing from almost all coins. It is a beauty to behold and surely if sold it would command a superior price. Everything is in place and again surely if graded it would receive a superior grading.

However if the coin had on it a shroff mark, you know those little punch holes to test the metal, it would not be graded! So we raise the primary question with the so called coin grading: What are we actually grading with the process? Prettiness of something incomplete or something that is fully attributed?

In our collecting there needs to great care taken in collecting the many wonderful series of hand struck coins. Buying graded coins may not in many instances get you the best possible coin.

Note: A section in our shortly to be released book on the coins of Jahandar Shah discusses Nazrana coins. There is confusion on what NAZR actually was. Perhaps it is time to remove the term from our numismatic vocabulary. 

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Manuscript of Book Two Jahandar Shah

The Coins of India new cover

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They always say the second book is the hardest. The top photograph shows the cover of book one and the second the manuscript for book two presented to our publisher.

There is always a necessity to review criticisms, positive and negative of the first book in any long series. This was done with some care and attention to detail.

We have been helped by a number of wonderful people. Bedevilled by hints of secret research that will apparently never see the light of day for unknown reasons. Still we move forward with more manuscripts in various stages of preparation.

The coins of the great Indian subcontinent have long deserved close and careful work so collectors of true varieties or perhaps just collectors who wish to complete full series now have a work they can follow.

A noted criticism by one person of our first work was “why would anyone want to collect variations of such coins and why bother to go into such detail?” The answer is simple of course. If it is good enough to be done for just about every other series of coins in the world it is more than good enough to be done for the coins of the subcontinent.

The new book will have the same great colour illustrations, the mapping of mint locations etc etc.

We move on with seven other manuscripts in current stages of completion.

Thank You for Being Such a Great Help!

Our files are now closed for the Jahandar Shah book on all coins.

Yes it took a little longer than expected but we needed to address positive a negative criticisms of our first offered in the new style of showing translations of coin legends.

We got a number of laughs out of one or two of the negative criticisms. Still trying to understand how it can be suggested that when just about every ruler in the western world has a myriad of books and reports written about them that it was too much to expect special publications about the coins of the Mughal rulers. I guess the same people expect close attention to be paid to every little minor change with their favourite coins but close enough is okay for major Indian coins. However we have tried to take note of and accommodate all of the advice received.

To our 349 helpers we thank you without reservation. To the universities and major libraries that have made our life much easier a special thanks. All but four of the major institutions we contacted helped us with our coin requests without charge. For a specific photograph we have made a long term very favourable arrangement with another. To the four who decided that because we were not university staff or attached to a university that our research was somehow unworthy and as a consequence we needed to be charged exorbitant sums of money to obtain a photograph for either attribution or publishing sorry we won’t be doing that. We note the bias, it was expected. Thankfully most great institutions have noted that the world has moved on a little.

So the research on Jahandar is closed as is the research on the next seven books other than highly specific sections where errors have been noted in previous publications.

We thank our publishers for their continued absolute support.

A recent private trip to India cemented our long term goals.

We are about to enter a new era of discussion and contact with our helpers and others who have a great love for the coins of the great Indian sub continent.