15 Interesting Facts about Pakistani Currencies

When the British left South Asia in 1947, two nation-states- India and Pakistan came into being. The struggle for Pakistan was mainly founded on the demand of creating a separate state for the South Asian Muslims. M. A. Jinnah was the main figure behind this movement. It was his continuous political movement that compelled the British colonial rulers and other Indian nationalist leaders to consider his demand for a separate country. The creation of Pakistan on 14th August, 1947 marked the beginning of a new age in the history of South Asia. Since then the country has experienced several ups and downs. It had faced a crushing defeat at the hands of India in 1971 which resulted in the creation of independent Bangladesh. At present the country is facing serious threat from the growing activities of several Jihadi Islamist groups. All these have adversely affected the economy of the country. Still, the country has a rich history of coinage and currency which is, in many cases, inseparable from the monetary history of India. Here we have gathered 15 interesting facts about the monetary history of Pakistan.

  1. Pakistani currency is called Rupee. Rupee or Rupiya is the term which is used by several other South and West Asian countries for their currency. Rupiya is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit ‘roupya’, meaning silver.
  2. Until 1971, the Pakistani currency carried writings in both Urdu and Bengali. The printing of currency notes in Bengali was discontinued after the creation of Bangladesh following a bloody civil war.
  3. After the independence in 1947, Pakistan continued to use currency notes printed in India for some time. The notes bear stamps of ‘Government of Pakistan’ as symbol of their legitimacy in the Pakistani territory.
  4. The Pakistani state of Bahawalpur issued gold coins as late as 1948. In the early 1950s the currency system was made uniform throughout the country and gold and silver coins were discontinued.
  5. The first Pakistani coins were made of nickel and circulated in the market in 1948 along with the new currency notes.
  6. The first currency notes of Pakistan were of 1, 5, 10, and 100 Pakistani Rupee denominations.
  7. The first series of the notes were signed by the then Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Mohammad Ayub.
  8. The Pakistani Rupee is sub-divided into 100 sub-units which are known as Paisa. However, this decimalized currency system was introduced only in 1961.
  9. Before 1961, the Pakistani Rupee was sub-divided into 16 Annas and each Anna was further divided into 4 Pice.
  10. A currency note of 50 Pakistani Rupee denomination was first issued in 1957. It carried a portrait of M.A. Jinnah and the value of the money in two languages- Bengali and Urdu.
  11. The other note of higher denomination- the 5000 Pakistani Rupee note was first printed in xxx.
  12. The first series of coins which were issued in 1948 were of various denominations such as 1 Pice, 1/2, 1, and 2 Annas, ¼, ½, and 1 Rupee.
  13. In the subsequent years, coins of higher denomination were issued by the State Bank of Pakistan. The issue of Paisa coins was discontinued in the early 1990s.
  14. The State Bank of Pakistan issued special notes for Hajj pilgrims during 1950-1978. These notes were intended for the use of Pakistani pilgrims who visited Saudi Arabia for annual Hajj.
  15. Apart from the regular coins, State Bank of Pakistan has issued several commemorative coins for special occasions such as the issue of a special 20 Rupee coin in 2011 to mark the 150th year of the foundation of Lawrence College in Ghora Gali, Punjab.

The Coins of the Sultans of Bengal

With the inception of Muslim rule in Delhi in 1192 CE under the leadership of Muhammad bin Sam, a new era started in the socio-economic as well as political history of India. Islam was not much familiar in the Indian context before that. However, with the foundation of the Muslim political rule, Islam became a day to day reality in the life of the Indian masses. The rule of these Muslim rulers is known as the Delhi Sultanate in the history of India. Five different dynasties succeeded each other and ruled up to 1526 CE.

However, the realm of the Sultans of Delhi did not cover the whole of South Asia. Several frontier areas such as Bengal and the Deccan occasionally raised the banner of rebellion against the Sultan. In many cases, they successfully asserted their independence and remained outside the control of Delhi. One such classic example is of the independent Sultans of Bengal.

Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah established the Ilyas Shahi dynasty in Bengal in the year 1339 CE. From this year onwards, Bengal was virtually independently ruled by different local dynasties until it came under the rule of Sher Shah Suri in 1552 CE. Ilyas Shah’s own dynasty ruled uninterruptedly up to 1406 CE and then again from 1442 CE to 1481 CE. Under the rule of the Ilyas Shahi and later, the Husain Shahi dynasty, the economic condition of Bengal was quite satisfactory. And the coins of these Sultans bore the mark of prosperity of their realm.

The coins were issued in gold and silver. There are no known evidences of copper issues of the Bengal sultans. The early issues were struck in the weight standard of 170 grains but later, it was devalued to 166 grains. Lakhnauti, Satgaon, Sonargaon were some of the major mints issuing coins under the name of the Sultan of Bengal.

The coins of the Bengal Sultans are quite similar to that of the Sultans of Delhi in design and shape. They also carried similar sounding titles and epithets of the rulers. However, the edges of these coins marked their distinctness from the coins issued by the Sultans of Delhi. They are marked by double or single borders and are in the shapes of circles, squares, hexagons, xnxx, octagons, etc. The Sultans of Bengal were pious Muslims and consider themselves as the part of the universal Muslim empire under the rule of the Khalifa. This is evident from the inscriptions on their coins. The obverse of their coins proudly described their status as “yamin Khalifah Allah Nasir Amir al-Momin or the right-hand of God’s viceregent, aider of the prince of the faithful. Some of the issues described them as “Ghaus al-Islam wa al-musalmin” meaning succourer of Islam and the Muslims. Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah’s (1414-1431 CE) coins are remarkable for the introduction of the Kalima in the coins. Generally, the obverse of the coins carried the Kalima along with the issuing year and name of the issuing mint. However, Husain Shah (1493-1518 CE) dropped the Kalima to accommodate his title which was so long that it covered both the obverse and the reverse. His full title read as follows- al-sultan al-fath al-kamru wa al-kamatah wa Jajnagar wa vrisa which is indeed long! His title is also an important historical source to ascertain the limits of his rule. The title declared the Sultan’s conquest of Assam in the west and Jajnagar in Orissa in the east.

The coins of the Bengal Sultans, however, lacked artistic sophistication and calligraphic styles which is otherwise, an important aspect of the Indo-Islamic coinage.

14 Interesting Facts about the Bangladeshi Currencies

Bangladesh achieved its independence from Pakistan in the year 1971 following a bloody civil war. Before that it was known as East Pakistan. After independence, Bangladesh slowly started the process of rebuilding its economy which was in a very bad condition as a result of the civil war. With the active assistance of India, China, and several other countries, it is now one of the fastest growing economies of the South and South East Asian region. Thus, keeping in mind the importance of fast growing Bangladeshi economy we have prepared here a list of interesting facts about the currency of Bangladesh.

  1. The currency of Bangladesh is known as Taka. Taka is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit term Tangka which is an old term for silver coins used for ages in South Asia.
  2. Before the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the Bengalis of East Pakistan used the Pakistani Rupee as their medium of exchange. The Pakistani Rupee was printed in both Bengali and Urdu prior to 1971 as Bengali was regarded as the national language of the Pakistan Union along with Urdu.
  3. The Bangladeshi Taka was officially introduced on March 4th 1972.
  4. The Bangladeshi Taka is further divided into 100 sub-units known as Poisha.
  5. The Bangladesh Bank is responsible for the printing of currency notes of denominations higher than 10 Taka video porno. The currency notes of smaller value such as 1, 2, and 5 Taka are printed under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance of the Bangladesh Government.
  6. The Taka bears the portrait of the Father of Nation of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It was largely due to Mujib’s leadership which enabled the Bengalis to wage successfully the war of liberation against Pakistani authority.
  7. The highest denomination of Bangladeshi Taka is of 1000 Taka which was introduced in 2008.
  8. Now-a-days, the currency notes of smaller denominations are becoming increasingly obsolete and replaced by the coins.
  9. The first series of coins were introduced in 1973 of 5, 10, 25, and 50 Poisha denominations.
  10. 1974 saw the introduction of a much smaller value coin of 1 Poisha whereas in 1975, a 1 Taka coin was circulated in the market. In 1994, to keep pace with the market demands, a 5 Taka coin was introduced in the market.
  11. The old 1 Taka coins were made of an alloy of copper and nickel. But the newer issues of these 1 Taka coins are made of steel. 5 Taka coins and the newly circulated 2 Taka coins of 2004 are also made of steel.
  12. The coins typically represented the natural resources of Bangladesh. Some of the coins carried the figures of Hilsa fish and Royal Bengal Tiger- two animals which are considered the pride of Bangladesh on the obverse.
  13. Similarly, the Bangladesh Bank has so far issued several commemorative currency notes to mark special occasions. For example, 2011 saw the 40th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Bank issued a special 40 Taka currency note on this occasion.
  14. In 2012, to commemorate the martyrdom of those who fell in the historic Language Movement of 1952 the Bangladesh Bank issued a special 60 Taka note which bears the picture of the Shaheed Minar Monument of Dhaka.

The coins of Aurangzeb Alamgir

Aurangzeb Alamgir (r. 1659-1707 CE) was the sixth Mughal emperor. He was the last of the great Mughals and one of the most controversial rulers in the history of India for his political and religious policies. The Mughal Empire reached its greatest extent under the long rule of Alamgir. However, the last decades of his rule also marked the decline of the great empire. Aurangzeb’s policies were much different from the earlier Mughal emperors who followed a policy of syncretism in the religious matters. Aurangzeb was a devout Muslim to the extent of a religious bigot. This alienated him from the majority of his subjects who practiced Hinduism. Aurangzeb’s religious bigotry was reflected not only in his political and economic policies but also in his issues of coins.

Immediately after ascending to the Mughal throne after a bloody fratricidal struggle, Aurangzeb issued coins in his name. Aurangzeb ordered the Islamic Kalima to be removed from his coins because he feared that the holy words of Islam would be polluted once they pass into the hands of the infidels i.e. the Hindus. Aurangzeb issued coins in all the three major metals- gold, silver, and copper.

The obverse of the coins which were issued in his early regnal years carried the full name and the title of the Emperor- Abu-al-Zafar Muiuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Alamgir Aurangzeb Badshah Ghazi. Later issues carried an additional couplet composed by Mir Abdul Baqi Shahbai to exalt the porno position of the Emperor-

Sikka Zad dar jahan chu mehr munir,

Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir.

The meaning of the couplet is- “struck money through the world like the shining sun (or moon), Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir”. All of the mints issued the coins with the couplet throughout the reign of Alamgir. However, the mint of Akabarabad introduced the couplet relatively late, in the twenty-ninth regnal year.

The reverse of the coins carried a unique formula to mention the name of the issuing year and the name of the issuing mint. This read as follows- “Sanh julus maimanat Manus zarb” and name of the mint following. The meaning of the sentence is “struck at (the mint’s name) in the year of the accession associated with prosperity”.

There were large numbers of copper coins too. The copper coins of Alamgir were simple in design and marked by simple inscriptions. The obverse of these coins is variously marked by the following inscriptions- Fulus Badshah Alamgir, Fulus Alamgiri, Fulus Aurangzebshahi, etc. The reverse simply mentioned the name of the issuing mint.

There were numerous mints during the reign of Aurangzeb. Some of the major mints were situated at Shahjahanabad, Akbarabad, Ahmadabad, Surat, Narnol, Kabul, Lahore, and Multan. These mints issued coins in all the three metals. Some of the other mints at Allahabad, Murshidabad, Patna, Thatta, Jaunpur, Kashmir, etc. issued only gold and silver coins. Silver coins were issued exclusively from Alamgirnagar, Bankapur, Bhakkar, Gwalior, Islamnagar, Jinji, Kanji, Peshawar, Puna, Sikakul, etc. Only copper coins issuing mints were situated in Auranganagar, Udaipur, and Bairat.

The Coins of the Adil Shahi Ruler

In the mid-fourteenth century, an independent kingdom emerged under the leadership of Ala-ud-din Bahman Shah in South India. At that time, Sultan Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was the reigning monarch in Delhi. Bahaman Shah took the advantage of prevailing anarchy and chaos and laid the foundations of the Bahmani Sultanate. The power of the Bahmani Sultanate began to wane during the closing years of the fifteenth century. The vacuum created by the waning of the Bahmani power was filled by five successor states in southern India. One of these successor states were the Adil Shahi state based in Bijapur.

In 1499 CE, Yusuf Adil Khan who was earlier a powerful official in the Bahmani administration took the advantage of the weakening of the Bahmani power and declared himself a Sultan in Bijapur. This event marked the beginning of the Adil Shahi rule which will last until the last quarter of the seventeenth century.

Yusuf Adil Khan was, however, not known to have issued any coin in his name. The same can be said about three of his immediate successors- Ismail I, Mallu Adil Shah, and Ibrahim I.

It was the fourth Sultan in this line- Ali I (1557-80 CE) who issued coins in his name. He issued mainly copper coins in various denominations of 60, 120, and 180 grains. These coins of Ali I carried the inscription- “Ali ibn Abi Talib” on the obverse, and “Asadallah al-ghalib” on the reverse.

The next sultan Ibrahim II’s coins bear the following inscription on the obverse- Ibrahim Abla bali meaning “Ibrahim, the strength of the weak”. The reverse of these coins bear “Ghulam Ali Murtazi”.

A later sultan, Muhammad Adil Shah (1627-1656 CE) included a Persian couplet in his issues following the style of the contemporary Mughal rulers. The couplet in Muhammad Adil Shah’s coins read as follows-

Jahan zi yeen do Muhammad giraft zinat-o-jah

Ekey Muhammad mursal duvam Muhammad Shah.

The meaning of the couplet is- the world received beauty and dignity from two Muhammads- one, Muhammad the Apostle and the other, Muhammad the king. This was apparently to exalt the position of the Sultan before the eyes of his subjects. However, an alternative interpretation suggests that the king included the couplet to express his love for Taj Jahan, his chief queen. The alternative translation, thus reads as follows- The world (Jahan) received beauty and dignity from Muhammad the Apostle and Jahan (the queen) from Muhammad the king.

Muhammad Adil Shah also issued some gold coins though they are quite rare. Majority of their coins were issued in copper. However, in the Konkan coastal area, some silver wires or silver slender rods were used as medium of exchange. These pieces of silver were known as larins. Majority of these larins bear the simple inscription “Ali Adil Shah” on the obverse video porno and “Zarb Lari Dangi san” on the reverse. They were mainly used by the Persian and Arab merchants trading in the Arabian Sea and Konkan coastal region.

Interesting Facts about Numismatics

One of the important methods to reconstruct our past is the study of coins. The scholarly discipline of studying the ancient coins is known as numismatics. Not only coins, numismatics also includes the study of all sorts of currencies be it paper money, coins, tokens, or other currency of relative significance. This term was taken from the French word ‘numismatiques’, which was again derived from the Latin word ‘numismatis’. This article enlists some interesting facts about numismatics.

  1. The first city in the world to mint its own gold coins was Florence, situated in Italy. This significant event took place in 1252.
  2. In Britain, the oldest Roman coin was found which was about 2,224 year old. This coin was minted in 211 BC. On one side of the coin, there is the image of Goddess Roma while the other side have the image of mythical twin horses Pollux and Castor.
  3. In the present time, collecting old coins is a hobby of a lot of people across the globe. But in ancient time, it was considered as a royal hobby. Coins were collected both by the kings, the queens, and the nobles.
  4. You can now procure the old coins on the price of its face value. For example, the cost of coins from the nineteenth century is under ten dollars.
  5. In ancient India, cowrie shells were used as important economic tool instead of coins. These had a great value at that time. In fact, Veda has the earliest reference of coins in India.
  6. In 1940 at Gorky in Russia, there was a rain of silver coins all over the city. This was caused by a Tornado which had lifted an old money chest consisting of silver coins. As the wind carried them on, coins were dropped all over the city.
  7. During the rule of Ming dynasty, China issued the largest currency note in the world. In 1917, Romania issued the smallest bank note in the world.
  8. After a scientific experiment, it has been found that coins do not have any distinctive smell of their own. Rather, the smell that you get from the coins is typical of human body odour. You get the smell of iron which your skin releases after oil is secreted from your body after touching the metal.
  9. The largest numismatic organization in the world is American Numismatic Association that was founded in 1891. This Association has the largest circulating numismatic material in the world. It’s headquarter includes the World Money Museum.
  10. Numismatics, or the study of coins began during the European Renaissance. It was a part of the effort to re-discover everything classical.
  11. In 1962, the first international conference for coin collectors was organized at Michigan. It was sponsored by American Numismatic Association and attracted almost 400,000 coin collectors from across the globe.
  12. You can buy coin collections directly from the mint. There are large catalogues filled with details of coins and sets and other information that might readily interest any coin collector. Although it will take some price more than that of the face value, the possession shall still be worth it.

Interesting Facts about Ancient Roman Coins

The Roman Empire lasted over a period of about five centuries. Besides keeping back a number of historic wars and other important political events, Rome experienced great economic prosperity under various Emperors. This is evident from the variety of coins they issued throughout the lifespan of the Empire. We have gathered some important facts about the coins of Ancient Rome which you should know.

  1. Roman coins were issued in all the three principal metals- bronze, gold and silver.
  2. These coins were of various sizes. These coins were valued on the basis of their weight. The earliest of the Roman coins discovered was made of bronze and it was issued around 269 BC.
  3. These coins were minted in over 40 different cities. The name of the mint in Rome was Juno Monet and it is from here, that the term ‘money’ came into being.
  4. Similarly, the term ‘coin’ came from the word ‘consecratio’ which was issued by the Emperor in order to pay homage or tribute to their deceased family members.
  5. The ancient Roman gold coins were called Aurei which contained about 95% of pure gold. The silver coins were called Denarius, which consisted of 85% silver.
  6. The copper coins were known as As which was stamped on one side carrying the image of the beak of a ship. Two types of silver coins were Denarius Sestertius and Denarius Victoriatus. Some other notable silver coins were Smebella, Teruncius and Libella. Libella has the same value as that of the As. The principal gold coin was Aureus Denarius.
  7. Roman coins bear the name of the issuing emperor. We find a lot of emperors issuing coins in their names. Some of the famous emperors were Constantine, Marcus Antonius, Septimius Severus. Some of the Roman coins also included women in the impressions. These were of Antonia, Valeria Messalina, Cleopatra Selene and also many of the daughters of the ancient Roman leaders.
  8. At first, the portraits of Pagan Gods and Goddesses were used by the Romans in their coins. This idea was copied from the Greeks. Later on, they started to put impressions of buildings on the coins. Symbols like stars and eagles were also used in the coins. In order to make an emperor popular, the images of the kings were also used in the coins.
  9. Rome was one of the most powerful political as well as economic powers of the ancient world. Romans had trading connections with ancient India, Iran, Mediterranean world and northern Africa. Thus, in the archaeological excavations a large number of Roman coins have been unearthed from various parts of the aforementioned areas.
  10. The ancient Roman coins are prized possessions for the modern collectors. Thus, a large number of forged coins are circulated in the market. You can only differentiate between a fake and real ancient Roman coin with the help of a test kit. Some of the important fake symbols of the coins include incorrect marks of the mint, wrong lettering on the coins and variation on the thickness in the coins. You can also detect the fake coins from the original one collected from a reliable source.

Interesting Facts about the British Pound

The pound sterling, as is well known, is the currency of the United Kingdom which covers the area of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. At present, it is the oldest existing currency in the world. The heyday of the British pound was during the 19th century and the early-20th century. With the gradual fall of the British Empire and the rise of the United States of America and its currency US$, the importance of the British pound declined too in the international market. However, the British economy is still one of the largest in the world and pound sterling is a highly valued currency. We have gathered some interesting facts about the British currency which you should know.

  1. The symbol £ is used to denote the pound sterling. The symbol came from the Latin alphabet ‘L’ which stands for Libra- the Latin for pound.
  2. Apart from the United Kingdom, several overseas territories of Britain also used the GBP (£). This included but not limited to Isle of Man, Jersey, and Bailiwicks of Guernsey.
  3. Before 1971, the pound sterling was not a decimalized currency system.
  4. Before 1971, £ 1 was divided into 20 shillings and it was again divided into 12 pennies. Well, this was not the end. A penny was further divided into 4 farthings. The worth of a farthing was so little that it became practically obsolete in 1961.
  5. The pound sterling system was reformed and decimalized on 15th February, 1971. £ 1 was divided into 100 pence. As a result of this most of the old coins were demonetized and ceased to be legal tenders. It also simplified the currency system.
  6. The pound banknotes are printed under the supervision of several authorities. In England, the Bank of England; in Scotland the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale Bank issue the banknotes. The Bank of England notes are also used in the Wales.
  7. The largely circulated pound sterling notes are of denominations of £5, £10, £20, £50, and £100.
  8. However, there are also Giants and Titans. These are the £1 million pound and £100 million pound notes respectively. They are apparently not for the use of the ordinary masses. The Giants and Titans are held by the note issuing banks of Scotland and Northern Ireland as a guarantee for the notes they issued in pound sterling currency.
  9. The front of the banknotes carries a portrait of the reigning monarch. The back of the notes also carry the images of famous British personalities from the past. So far many famous Britons have adorned the back of the pound sterling notes including William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Arthur Wellesley, Michael Faraday, Charles Dickens, etc.
  10. The pound sterling coins come in several denominations such as 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, and £2.
  11. On several occasions commemorative coins have been issued. A special commemorative 25p coin was issued in 1981 to celebrate the wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

The Coins of Menander

Menander was a king of the Indo-Greek line who ruled in the north western India during the Mid-2nd century BCE. King Menander is the most famous of the Indo-Greek kings due to a number of reasons although the exact date of his reign and realm could not be ascertained. First and foremost among them is various stories about his patronage of Buddhism recorded in the various Buddhist religious books. One such famous book is Milindapanha which is actually a conversation between the king and the Buddhist sage Nagasena about different philosophical problems. Apart from the literary sources, Menander is also famous for his coins which are found in large numbers in various parts of northern and western India.

Menander was quite popular among his subjects as has been evidenced by the writings of several contemporary chroniclers including Plutarch. His reign saw the growing trade between India and Europe via west Asia. To facilitate trade and commerce Menander issued a large number of coins. These coins were struck in the well established Indo-Greek fashion with elaborate details. Menander was also influenced by the Indian tradition and accommodated the Indian cultural and social elements in his coins. The silver coins of Menander were known as Drachms.

The coins of Menander carried legends in both Greek and Kharosthi. The legends on his coins read the following: ‘Maharaja Tratarasa Menadrasa’. The earlier silver coins of Menander carried a portrait of goddess Athena on the obverse and the figure of an owl on the reverse.

In the later issues of Menander, the coins also carried the portrait of the king on the obverse. The reverse of these later coins carried the figure of Athena Alkidemos throwing a thunderbolt. After this, Athena Alkidemos became the royal standard emblem of several other Indo-Greek kings and rulers.

These above mentioned silver coins of Menander were very light weight. They weigh a little more than 1 gram to a little less than 2.5 gram.

Another series of Menander’s coins were struck in Attic weight standard carrying the portrait of King Menander wearing a helmet and depicting him as throwing a spear in the obverse. The reverse depicted the portrait of goddess Athena. The legend of these coins read ‘Of King Menander, the Saviour’. These coins weighed 13.03 gram each. Probably, these coins were special issues to mark some significant event during the King’s reign. But in our present state of historical knowledge it is not possible to find out the exact reasons or events for the issue of these coins.

There were also a number of bronze coins recovered of Menander. These Bronze coins were of relatively inferior value. But they are important for different reason. These bronze coins of Menander carried the images of several deities of both Greek and Indian pantheon.

The coins of Menander are a rich source of Indian socio-economic as well as political history. The number of Menander’s coins found was greater than any other Indo-Greek rulers. They have been found in widely varied geographical regions such as modern day Afghanistan, Indian state of Kashmir, Punjab, and Gujarat. Even centuries after the conclusion of Menander’s reign, his coins were in much use among the traders of Gujarat. This is evident from the narrative of the ancient text, ‘Periplus of the Erythraean Sea’ where the unknown author of the stated that coins of Menander were largely used in the trading activities in the great port of Barigaza or modern day Broach situated in the Gujarat coast by the traders hailing from different regions.

The Early Issues of Jahangir

Nuruddin Jahangir, the son of Akbar, was the fourth Mughal Emperor. Akbar died in the year 1605 CE after a long and glorious rule of almost half a century. Jahangir was the worthy successor of Akbar. His reign was also marked by prosperity and thriving economy. One the one hand, agriculture was experiencing one of the most glorious periods. On the other hand, the maritime trade and commerce with European countries was flourishing. The Portuguese, the British, and the Dutch- all were competing with each other to gain more profit from the Indian trade. The ruling Mughal elite class was the main beneficiary of this prosperous economic condition. The flourishing state of the economy is well reflected in the coins of the successive Mughal rulers from Akbar to Aurangzeb. Jahangir’s reign and his issues of coins are also testimonies of this phenomenon.

The coins issued after the sixth regnal year of Jahangir were somewhat different in appearance and thus, we will limit our discussion here to the early issues of Jahangir.

Jahangir’s formal coronation took place some months after the death of Akbar in the year 1606. Between the death of Akbar and the coronation of Jahangir, the mint of Agra continued to issue gold coins in the name of Akbar and marking his regnal year. But at the same time these coins also announced the coming of a new Emperor by inscribing the following words, “By the stamp of Emperor Akbar gold becomes bright; this gold is still brighter with the name of the king Nur, i.e., Nuruddin Jahangir”. Some of these gold coins also carry the portrait of the late Emperor Akbar. However, the silver and bronze coins of this period were issued under the name of Prince Salim, i.e., the new Emperor Jahangir’s actual name.

After the coronation ceremony, Jahangir took some major steps in reforming the Mughal monetary system. The weight of both the gold and silver coins was increased. The new weight of a gold coin became 202 grains and new silver coins weighed 212 grains. In his 4th regnal year, the weight of the coins was again increased. This time the increase was by 5 percent. However, the masses face immense problems in using these heavyweight coins in daily transactions. So, the emperor ordered the devaluation of the coins in his 6th regnal year. The devalued gold coins weighed 170 grains and silver coins 178 grains. This weight standard was maintained throughout the reign of Jahangir.

The coins of Jahangir especially the gold and silver ones are remarkable for their artistic value and sophistication besides their monetary value. Amir-ul-Umra Sharif Khan, a courtier of Jahangir, composed a couplet to be inscribed on the coins. The couplet is in Persian and the English translation read thus, “May the face of money shine with the hue of the sun and the moon. Shah Nuruddin Jahangir, the son of Akbar Badshah”. However, all the coins did not carry this inscription and some simply carry the name of the Badshah on the obverse and the Islamic Kalima on the reverse. The year of the issue was also inscribed on the coins- both in the Hijri era and the regnal year of Jahangir.

Unlike Akbar, the coins of Jahangir were issued from a fewer places. The major mints were all situated in the great Mughal cities- Agra, Delhi, Ajmer, Burhanpur, Ahmadabad, etc. These major mints issued coins of all three metals i.e. in gold, silver, and bronze. There were other smaller mints too in places such as Patna, Lahore, Thatta, Allahabad, Surat, etc. These mints issued coins in either of the three metals.