Quellenkunde zur indischen Geschichte bis 1858

4. Münzen

1. The coins of India / by C. J. Brown (1922)

2. Kapitel VII bis X

Herausgegeben von: Alois Payer


Zitierweise / cite as:

Brown, C. J.: The coins of India (1922). -- 2. Kapitel VII bis X. -- (Quellenkunde zur indischen Geschichte bis 1858 / Alois Payer ; 4. Münzen, 1.2.). -- Fassung vom 2008-03-14. -- http://www.payer.de/quellenkunde/quellen0412.htm             

Erstmals publiziert: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"

Erstmals hier publiziert: 2008-03-14


Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung FS 2008

©opyright: Public Domain ("Not in copyright")

Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung Sanskrit  von Tüpfli's Global Village Library

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Anno Domini A.D.
Copper Æ.
Hijrī Year A.H.
Silver AR.
Gold AV.
Billon Bil.
British Museum Catalogue B.M.C.
Grains1 Grs.
Indian Antiquary I.A.
Indian Museum Catalogue  I.M.C.
Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal J.A.S.B.

Journal of Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society J.R.A.S.
Numismatic Chronicle Num.Chron.
Numismatic Supplement to the J.A.S.B. Num. Supp.
Obverse Obv.
Catalogue of Coins in the Panjab Museum, Lahore P.M.C.
Regnal Year R.
Reverse Rev.
Samvat Year S.
Weight Wt.

1 1 grain = 64.79891 Milligramm


[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- Pl. VIII.]

[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- S. 67.]

[S. 67] IN earlier chapters we have seen how the Greek, the Śaka, the Pahlava and the Kushāṇa invader each in his turn modified the contemporary coinage of Northern India ; the conquests of Muḥammad Ghrorī wrought a revolution. The earlier Muhammadan rulers, it is true, conceded so much to local sentiment as to reproduce for a time the Bull and Horseman issues of the Rājpūt states, and even to inscribe their names and titles thereon in the Nāgarī script, but there was no real or lasting compromise ; the coinage was too closely bound up with the history and traditions of their religion Their issues in India are the lineal descendants of those of earlier Muhammadan dynasties in Central Asia and elsewhere. The engraving of images was forbidden by the Faith ; and accordingly, with some notable exceptions, pictorial devices cease to appear on Indian coins. Both obverse and reverse are henceforth entirely devoted to the inscription, setting forth the king's name and titles as well as the date, in the Hijrī era,1 and place of striking or mint, now making their first appearance on Indian money. The inscribing of the sovereign's name on the coinage was invested with special importance in the eyes of the Muslim world, for this [S. 68] privilege, with the reading of his name in the khutba, or public prayer, were actions implying the definite assumption of regal power. Another new feature was the inclusion in the inscription of religious formulae, that most commonly used being the Kalima or profession of faith. "There is no god but Al ah, and Muḥammad is the Prophet of Allah." This practice, followed by many subsequent Muhammadan rulers in India, owed its origin to the crusading zeal of the early Khalifs of Syria in the eighth century.

1 The first year of the Hijrī era begins on Friday, July 15th-16th, A.D. 622.

The fabric of the coinage thus underwent a complete transformation ; not all at once, but gradually, as new districts were subjected to Muhammadan conquerors, money of the new type spread over the whole peninsula except the extreme south. Yet owing, no doubt, to its sectarian association, it was not, until the great Mughal currency had attained a position of predominating importance, voluntarily imitated by independent communities.

The Muḥammadans were also destined to set up a new standard of weight, but before this was accomplished nearly five centuries were to elapse. The period under discussion in this chapter is chiefly interesting for the reappearance of silver in the currency, due to the reopening of commercial relations with Central Asia, and for the successive attempts made by various sovereigns to restore order out of the chaos into which the coinage had fallen during the preceding centuries. The gold and silver currency was rectified by Altamsh and his successors with little difficulty ; but the employment of billon for their smaller money was fatal; for the mixture of silver and copper in varying proportions,1 so liable to abuse, proved in the end unworkable as a circulating medium ; and not until Sher Shāh substituted pure copper for billon, and adjusted this to his new standard [S. 69] silver coin, the rupee, was the currency established on a firm basis.

1 The variation is due to the fact that silver and copper only form a homogeneous alloy when mixed in the ratio of 71.89 of the former to 28.11 of the latter. This fact was certainly unknown at this period. Cf. J.A.S.B., N.S., XXXV. p. 22, "The Currency of the Pathan Sultans," by H.R.Nevill.

The earliest Muhammadan kingdom in India was set up by 'Imādu-d-dīn ibn Qāsim, in Sind, in A.D. 712, but as it exerted little influence on its neighbours, the insignificant coins issued by its later governors need not detain us. The gates of the North-West were first opened to Muslim invaders by the expeditions of the great Sultan Maḥmūd of Ghaznī between the years A.D. 1001 and 1026. In 1021 the Panjāb was annexed as a province of his dominions, and after 1051 Lāhor became the capital of the later princes of his line, driven out of Ghaznī by the chieftains of Ghor. Here they struck small billon coins with an Arabic legend in the Cufic1 script on the reverse, retaining the Rājpūt bull on the obverse. Maḥmūd himself struck a remarkable silver tankah2 at Lāhor, called on the coin Maḥmūdpūr, with a reverse inscription in Arabic, and his name and a translation of the Kalima in Sanskrit on the obverse.


The last of these Ghaznavid princes of Lāhor, Khusrū Malik, was deposed in 1187 by Muḥammad bin Sām of Ghor (Mu'izzu-d-dīn of the coins), who, after the final defeat of Pṛithvīrāj of Ajmer and his Hindu allies at the second battle of Thāṇeśar or Tarāin, in 1192, founded the first Muhammadan dynasty of Hindustān, which nevertheless actually starts with his successor, Qutbu-d-dīn Aibak, the first Sultan to fix his capital at Dehlī. In dealing with the coins of the five successive dynasties who ruled in Dehlī from 1206 to 1526, it will be convenient to recognize three periods:

  1. from the accession of Qutbu-d-dīn Aibak in 1206 to the death of Ghiyāsu-d-dīn Tughlaq in 1324,

  2. the reign of Muḥammad bin Tughlaq 1324-1351,

  3. from the accession of Fīroz Shāh III, 1351, to the death of Ibrāhīm Lodī, 1526.

1 Cufic is the earliest rectilineal form of Arabic script. Tankah is an Indian name applied to coins of various weights and metals at different periods. For example, to the large silver and gold pieces of Nāṣir-d-dīn Maḥmūd, and later to a special copper issue of the Mughal Akbar.

VII.I. COINS OF THE EARLY SULTANS, A.D. 1206-1324 (A.H. 602-725)

[S. 70]The gold coins which Muḥammad bin Sām struck in imitation of the issues of the Hindu kings of Kanauj with the goddess Lakshmī on the obverse, are, except for the earliest gold issue of Ḥaidar 'Alī of Mysore, without a parallel in Muhammadan history. He apparently struck no silver for his Indian dominions ; in fact, two centuries of invasion had so impoverished the country that for forty years the currency consisted almost entirely of copper and billon: hardly any gold appears to have been struck, and silver coins of the earlier Sultans are scarce. The third Sultan, Altamsh1 (1211-1236), however, issued several types of the silver tankah (Pl. VIII, 2), the earliest of which has a portrait of the king on horseback on the obverse. The latest type bears witness to the diploma of investiture he had received in 1228 from the Khalif of Baghdād, Al-Mustanṣir. The inscriptions run as follows : on the obverse, "In the reign of the Imām Al-Mustanṣir, the commander of the faithful" and on the reverse, ''The mighty Sultan Shamsu-d-dunyā wā-d-dīn, the father of the -victorious, Sultan Altamsh." Both legends are enclosed in circles, leaving circular margins in which are inscribed the name of the mint and the date in Arabic. This type was followed, sometimes with slight variations, by seven succeeding Sultans, and although the Khalif actually died in 1242, thenwords, "in the reign of" were not dropped until the time of Ghiyāsu-d-dīn Balban (1266-1286). Gold, though minted by 'Alāu-d-dīṇ Mas'ūd, Nāṣiru-d-dīn Maḥmūd, Balban and Jalālu-d-dīn Khiljī, was not common until 'Alāu-d-dīn Muḥammad (1296-1316) had enriched his treasury by conquests in Southern India. These gold coins (Pl. VIII, 5) are replicas of the silver in weight and design. Divisional pieces of the silver tankah are extremely rare. 'Alāu-d-dīn, whose silver issues are [S. 71]  very plentiful, changed the design by dropping the name of the Khalif from the obverse and substituting the self-laudatory titles, "The second Alexander, the right hand of the Khalifate"; at the same time he confined the marginal inscription to the obverse. His successor, Qutbu-d-dīn Mubārak, whose issues are in some respects the finest of the whole series, employed the old Indian square shape1 for some of his gold, silver and billon. On his coins appear the even more arrogant titles, "The supreme head of Islām, the Khalif of the Lord of heaven and earth." Ghiyāsu-d-dīn Tughlaq was the first Indian sovereign to use the title Ghāzī, "Champion of the faith."

1 The correct form of the Sultan's name is Īltutmish; Altamsh is a popular corruption.

Among the greatest rarities of this period are the silver tankahs of two rots faineants, Shamsu-d-dīn Kaiyūmars, the infant son of Mu'izzu-d-dīn Kaiqubād (1287-1290), and Shihābu-d-dīn 'Umar, brother of Qutbu-d-dīn Mubārak, who each occupied the throne only a few months.

Most of the coins struck in billon by these early Sultans, including Muḥammad of Ghor, are practically uniform in size and weight (about 56 grains), the difference in value depending upon the proportions in which the two metals were mixed in them. This question has not yet been fully investigated, but it is probable that different denominations were marked by different types.2 The drawback to such a coinage lay, as already noted, in the impossibility of obtaining uniformity in coins of the same denomination, and in the consequent liability to abuse. Numerous varieties were struck. The Indian type known as the Delhīwāla, with the humped bull and the sovereign's name in Nāgarī on the reverse, and the Dehlī Chauhan type of horseman on the obverse, lasted till the reign of 'Alāu-d-dīn Mas'ūd (1241-1246); on some coins of this class Altamsh's name is associated with that of Chāhada-deva [S. 72] of Narwar. Another type, with the Horseman obverse and the Sultan's name and titles in Arabic on the reverse (Pl. VII, 3), survived till Nāṣiru-d-din Maḥmūd's reign,1 when it was replaced by coins with a similar reverse, but, on the obverse, the king's name in Arabic appears in a circle surrounded by his titles in Nāgarī (Pl. VIII, 4). On the commonest type of the later Sultans Arabic legends are in parallel lines on both obverse and reverse. The billon coins of 'Alāu-d-dīn Muḥammad are the first to bear dates. Qutbu-d-dīn Mubārak employs a number of special types, including those square in shape (Pl. VIII, 6). Billon coins, mostly of the Bull and Horseman type, were also struck by a number of foreigners who invaded Western India during the thirteenth century. The most important of these was the fugitive king of Khwārizm Jalālu-d-dīn Mang-barnī.

1 Two gold coins of 'Alāu-d-dīn Muḥammad are the earliest known Muhammadan coins of this shape. Cf . Num. Chron., 1921, p. 345.

2 J.A.S.B., N.S., XXXV, p. 25.

1 A single specimen is known of the reign of Balban.

The earliest copper of this period is small and insignificant. Some coins, as well as a few billon pieces, bear the inscription 'adl, which may mean simply "legal," i.e. currency (Pl. VIII, 1). Balban introduced a type with the Sultan's name and titles divided between obverse and reverse. All copper is dateless.

The mint names inscribed on the coins of these  Sultans sometimes afford valuable historical evidence of the extent of their dominions The general term, Bilādu-l-hind, "The Cities of Hind," is the first to appear, on the silver of Altamsh. Dehlī is found on the same king's billon and copper. Lakhnautī, the modern Gaur in Bengal, also occurs for the first time during this reign ; Sultānpūr, a town on the Beas in the Panjāb, on a silver tankah of Balban; Dāru-l-islām, "The seat of Islam" (possibly an ecclesiastical mint in old Dehlī); and Qila Deogīr on the gold and silver of 'Alāu-d-dīn Muḥammad; while Qutbābād is probably Qutbu-d-dīn Mubarak's designation for Deogīr.


[S. 73] Fakhru-d-dīn Jūna, on his coins simply Muḥammad bin Tughlaq, son and murderer of Ghiyāsu-d-dīn Tughlaq, has not unjustly been called by Thomas "The Prince of moneyers." Not only do his coins surpass those of his predecessors in execution and especially in calligraphy,1 but his large output of gold, the number of his issues of all denominations, the interest of the inscriptions, reflecting his character and activities, his experiments with the coinage, particularly his forced currency, entitle him to a place among the greatest moneyers of history. For his earliest gold and silver pieces he retained the old 172.8 grain standard of his predecessors. His first experiment was to add to these, in the first year of his reign, gold dinars of 201.6 grains (Pl. VIII, 7) and silver 'adlīs of 144 grains weight, an innovation aimed apparently at adjusting the coinage to the actual commercial value of the two metals, which had changed with the influx of gold into Northern India after the Sultan's successful campaigns in the Deccan. But the experiment evidently did not work ; for after the seventh year of the reign these two new pieces were discontinued.

1 The fine calligraphy, however, caused the coin to be reduced in size: all succeeding Sultans reproduced these small thick gold and silver pieces, but not the fine script, with the unfortunate result that the mint name which appears in the margin is frequently missing.

Muḥammad bin Tughlaq's gold and silver issues, like those of his predecessors, are identical in type. One of the earliest and most curious of these was struck both at Dehlī and Daulatābād (Deogīr), his southern capital, in memory of his father. It bears the superscription of Ghiyāsu-d-dīn accompanied by the additional title, strange considering the circumstances of his death, Al Shahīd, "The Martyr." His staunch orthodoxy is reflected on nearly all his coins, not only in the reappearance of the Kalima, but in the assumption by [S. 74] the monarch of such titles as "The warrior in the cause of God" and "The truster in the support of the Compassionate" while the names of the four orthodox Khalifs, Abūbakr, 'Umr, 'Usmān and 'Alī now appear for the first time on the coinage of India. The early gold and silver, of which about half-a-dozen different types exist, were minted at Dehlī, Lakhnautī, Satgāon, Sultānpūr (Warangal), Dāru-l-islām, Tughlaqpūr (Tirhut), Daulatābād, and Mulk-i-Tilang. In A.H. 741 (1340) Muḥammad sent an emissary to the Abbassid Khalif at Cairo for a diploma of investiture, and in the meantime substituted the name of the Khalif Al Mustakfī Billah for his own on the coinage ; on the return of the emissary, however, it was discovered that that Khalif had actually died in A.H. 740, so during the latter years of the reign the name of his successor, Al Ḥākim, appeared in its place (Pl. VIII, 8).

At least twenty-five varieties of Muḥammad bin Tughlaq's billon coinage are known. From inscriptions on the Forced Currency, which included tokens representing these billon pieces, we learn the names of their various denominations. There appear to have been two scales of division, one for use at Dehlī, and the other for Daulatābād and the south. In the former the silver tankah was divided into forty-eight, and in the latter into fifty jaitils. At Dehlī were current 2-, 6-, 8-, 12- and 16-gānī pieces, equal respectively to 1/24th, 1/8th, 1/6th, ¼th and 1/3rd of a tankah. At Daulatābād there were halves (25 gānī) and fifths (10 gānī). The assignation of their respective values to the actual coins is, however, still a matter of difficulty.1

1 I am indebted to Colonel H. R. Nevill and Mr. H. N. Wright for this information.

Billon as well as pure copper coins of the later years of the reign bear the names of the two Khalifs. About twelve types2 of copper money were minted, most of them small and \vithout special interest. Between the years A.H. 730-732 (1329-1332) the [S. 75] Sultan attempted to substitute brass and copper tokens (Pl. VIII, 9) for the silver and billon coinage. In order to secure the success of this experiment, he caused such appeals as the following to be inscribed on them : "He who obeys the Sultan obeys the Compassionate"; and it is significant that one of these tokens bears an inscription in Nāgarī, the sole example of the use of this script by the orthodox Sultan. These coins were struck at seven different mints, including Dhār in Mālwā, but the scheme was doomed because of the ease with which forgeries were fabricated ; they were made in thousands ; the promulgation of the edict which accompanied the issue "turned the house of every Hindu into a mint," says a contemporary historian. The Sultan thereupon withdrew the issue, and redeemed geniune and false alike at his own cost.

2 Excluding the Forced Currency types.

VII.III. THE COINAGE OF DEHLĪ, FROM 1351 to 1526 (A.H. 752-932)

[S. 75] It has been suggested by historians that the disastrous consequences of Muḥammad bin Tughlaq's experiment with the currency were in part responsible for the disintegration of his wide empire. This is improbable. His successor, Fīroz Shāh Tughlaq, undoubtedly inherited a full treasury, as the vast constructional works he undertook during the thirty-seven peaceful years of his reign prove. But he was no soldier ; and the governors of the wealthy Deccan province probably experienced little interference from the distant Court at Dehlī. Daulatābād was an almost impregnable fort, and, doubtless, well stored with munitions. Consequently truculent Viceroys had the sinews of rebellion ready to their hand. The temptation was too great to be resisted. Other governors followed the lead given in the Deccan ; the finest provinces rapidly fell away during the disturbed rule of Fīroz's successors and became independent kingdoms ; so that in a few years the dominions of the Dehlī kings were reduced to little more than the district round the city.

[S. 76] Their discomfiture was completed when, in 1398, the plundering hosts of Timūr swept down through Hindustān and occupied the capital. Under these conditions the coinage naturally degenerated.

The gold of Fīroz Shāh is fairly common, and six types are known. Following his predecessor's example, he inscribed the name of the Khalif Abū-l- 'abbās and those of his two successors, Abū-l-fatḥ and 'Abdullah, on the obverse, and his own name on the reverse, accompanied by such titles as "The right hand of the commander of the faithful" (i.e. the Khalif) and "The deputy of the commander." The latter appears on either the copper or billon coins of nearly every subsequent ruler until Bahlol Lodī's reign. In A.H. 760 (1359) Fīroz associated the name of his son, Fatḥ Khān, with his own on the coinage.

Gold coins of subsequent kings are exceedingly scarce (Pl. VIII, 11) ; the shortage of silver is even more apparent. Only three silver pieces of Fīroz have ever come to light, and a few are known of Muḥammad bin Fīroz, Maḥmūd Shāh, Muḥammad bin Farīd, Mubārak Shāh II, and 'Ālam Shāh. In the reign of Muḥammad bin Fīroz, the general title, "The Supreme head of Islam, the commander of the faithful'," was  substituted for the actual name of the Khalif in the inscription. Fīroz Shāh, following the example of Muḥammad bin Tughlaq, issued in large quantities a billon coin of about 144 grains weight (Pl. VIII, 10). This was continued by his successors, but the proportion of silver was apparently gradually reduced. The coinage of the later rulers, though abounding in varieties, is almost confined to copper and billon pieces (Pl. VIII, 12). During the whole period, with but two exceptions, one mint name appears, Dehlī, accompanied by one or other of its honorific titles, Ḥazrat or Dāru-l-Mulk.

The long reign of Fīroz seems to have established his coinage as a popular medium of exchange ; and this probably accounts for the prolonged series of his posthumous billon coins, extending over a period of forty years. Some of these and of the posthumous issues of his son, [S. 77] Muḥammad, and of his grandson, Maḥmūd, were struck by Daulat Khān Lodī and Khizr Khān, two sultans who refused to assume the insignia of royalty. The coinage of the Lodī family, Bahlol, Sikandar and Ibrāhīm, despite the difference in standard, bears a close resemblance to that of the Sharqī kings of Jaunpūr. The first and the last minted copper and billon, Sikandar and his son, Maḥmūd, a pretender (1529), billon only. Bahlol (1450-1489) issued a large billon coin, the Bahlolī, of about 145 grains (Pl. VIII, 13), and also a copper piece of 140 grains, first introduced by Fīroz, with its half and quarter divisions. The mint name, Dehlī, appears on both Bahlol's and Sikandar's coins, but it is frequently missing from the latter, as the dies were made larger than the coin discs. The name Shahr Jaunpūr, "The City Jaunpūr," occurs on the later copper of Bahlol after his reduction of the Sharqī kingdom in 1476. On their billon coins all three kings adopt the formula, "Trusting in the merciful one" but on his larger copper pieces Bahlol retained the old, "Deputy of the commander of the faithful." In 1526 Ibrāhīm Lodī was overthrown and killed on the field of Pānīpat by the Mughal Bābur ; and once again the fortunes of the Indian coinage changed under the auspices of a foreign dynasty.


[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- Pl. IX.]

S. 78.

[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- S. 78.]

[S. 78] ALL the states whose coinages form the subject of this chapter, with the exception of Kashmīr, were once provinces subject to the Dehlī Sultans, and owed their independence to the ambition of powerful viceroys, who took advantage at various times of the weakened control of the central power. The earliest issues of each state were more or less close imitations of the Dehlī currency, but local conditions soon introduced modifications in standard and fabric, and in the course of a century each had generally acquired a well-defined and characteristic coinage of its own. Prosperity was usually short-lived ; the inevitable period of decay set in ; and the coinage, confined at the close to ill-struck copper pieces, illustrates history in striking fashion. Bengal, however, was able to maintain its silver currency to the last.


Bengal was brought into subjection to the Dehlī ingdom in 1202 (A.H. 599) by Bakhtiyār Khiljī, who became the first governor of the province. Till 1338 it was nominally ruled from the capital, Lakhnautī, by independent governors ; but at least six of these issued coins in their own names ; and after 1310 there was a divided governorship, the rulers of East and West Bengal [S. 79] each assuming the right to coin. Independence was gained under one of the rulers of East Bengal, Fakhru-d-dīn Mubārak ; and, after a year of discord, Shamsu-d-dīn Ilyās Shāh, in 1339, brought the whole province under his control. From 1339-1358 Bengal was ruled by four dynasties,

Bengal was then ruled from Dehlī by Sher Shāh and his family ; then independently from 1552-1563 by younger members of his dynasty ; and finally by three sovereigns of the Afghān Karanānī family till 1576, when Bengal became a province of Akbar's empire.

Gold coins of Bengal are very scarce, and but one billon coin, of the governor Ghiyāsu-d-dīn Bahādur (1310-1323) has been found. The place of copper, it is supposed, was supplied by cowries. Silver coins are known of twenty-nine out of the fifty-six governors and sultans, but the silver is inferior in purity to the Dehlī coins ; and that of the Sultans is struck to a local standard of 166 grains : they are frequently much disfigured by countermarks and chisel-cuts made by the money-changers. The coins of the governors and Sultans until Shamsu-d-dīn Ilyās Shāh show Dehlī influence in fabric and inscription, and this influence reappears occasionally later. The issues of the earlier governors bear the Kalima on the obverse ; for this later governors substitute the name of the last Khalif of Baghdād, Al Must'aṣim. The independent kings adopt various titles expressing their loyalty to the head of Islam, such as "The right hand of the Khalif, aider of the  commander of the faithful" and "Succourer of Islam and the Muslims." The convert, Jalālu-d-dīn Muḥammad (1414-1431), revived the use of the Kalima, which is continued with two exceptions by all his successors till 'Alāu-d-dīn Ḥusain Shāh's reign. The most usual personal titles are "The mighty Sultan," or "The strengthened by the support of the Compassionate" but certain rulers adopt striking formulae of their own. Shamsu-d-dīn Ilyās [S. 80] Shāh, following 'Alāu-d-dīn Muḥammad of Dehlī, called himself "The Second Alexander" and Sikandar Shāh (1358-89) was evidently imitating Muḥammad bin Tughlaq in "The warrior in the cause of the Compassionate". One of the most curious and interesting titles appears on a coin of 'Alāu-d-dīn Ḥusain ; it runs as follows: "The Sultan, conqueror over Kāmrū and Kamtah and Jājnagar and Urīssah," alluding to his invasions of Assam and Orissa.

The coinage assumes a characteristic local type first under Sikandar (Pl. IX, 1), son of the founder of the house of Ilyās, and henceforth there is much variety of design, the Sultan's name and titles being enclosed in circles, squares, octagons, sometimes with multifoil borders or scalloped edges ; margins occur more usually on the reverse only, sometimes on both sides, in which are inscribed the mint and date in Arabic words. Nāṣiru-d-dīn Maḥmūd I (1442-59), abolished the marginal inscription ; and from his reign the mint name and date, in figures, appear at the bottom of the reverse area. For some of his coins Jalālu-d-dīn Muḥammad used Tughra characters, which, owing to the up-strokes being elongated to the upper edge of the coin, give the curious appearance of a row of organ-pipes. It must be admitted that the majority of Bengal coins are entirely wanting in artistic form, the depths being reached perhaps in some of the issues of Ruknu-d-dīn Bārbak (1459-74); the calligraphy is of the poorest quality ; and the Bengālī die-cutters frequently reveal their ignorance of Arabic. The fine broad coins of the two Afghān dynasties display an immediate improvement; they are identical in form and inscription with the Dehlī Sūrī coinage, and are struck to Sher Shāh's new silver standard. A special feature of the Bengal coinage is the number of its mints ; twenty-one names have been read on the coins, but it is uncertain whether some of these are not temporary names for better-known towns. The most important mints were Lakhnautī, Fīrozābād, Satgāon, Fāṭhabād, Ḥusainābād, Naṣratābād and Tānda. Also certain coins are inscribed [S. 81] as struck at "The Mint" and "The Treasury." The broad silver coins of the little state of Jayantāpura, though struck two centuries after the independent coinage of Bengal had disappeared, seem to be a late echo of the popularity it achieved, particularly in the neighbouring hill states.


1 The chronology of these Sultans, long in doubt, has now been fixed. Cf. J.R.A.S., 1918, p. 451.

[S. 81] Kashmīr was conquered about the year 1346 by a Swāt, named Shāh Mirzā, who, assuming the title of Shamsu-d-dīn, founded the first Muhammadan dynasty. The most famous of succeeding rulers were the iconoclast Sikandar (1393-1416) and the tolerant Zainu-l-'ābidīn (1420-70). From 1541 to 1551 Kashmīr was ruled by a Mughal governor, Mirzā Ḥaidar, nominally in subjection to the Emperor Humāyūn. In 1561 the Chak dynasty succeeded and ruled till 1589, when Akbar annexed Kashmīr to the empire. Coins are known of sixteen sultans ; there are also coins in the local style struck in the names of the Muhgals, Akbar and Humāyūn and of Islām Shāh Sun. The gold of these Sultans is extremely scarce, only about twelve specimens being known, including coins of Muḥammad Shāh, Ibrāhīm and Yūsuf. They are all of one type : on the obverse is the Kalima enclosed in a circle, the reverse inscription giving the king's name and titles and the mint, Kashmīr, is divided into two parts by a double band running across the face of the coin. Most characteristic of the Kashmīr kingdom are the square silver pieces (Pl. IX, 9) ; size, shape and design suggest that the model for these may perhaps be found in the recent billon issues of Qutbu-d-dīn Mubārak of Dehlī (1316-20). Following conservative Kashmīr traditions, the design once fixed remained unchanged till the downfall of the kingdom. The obverse gives the ruler's name accompanied invariably by the title, "The most mighty [S. 82] Sultan" and the date in figures ; on the reverse appears the legend "Struck in Kashmīr," in a square border set diagonally to the sides of the coin, and in the margins the date (usually illegible) in Arabic words. Dates on Kashmīr coins are frequently unreliable, they seem at times to have become conventional along with the style.

The copper coinage follows in general the standard of the preceding Hindu kings and is very poorly executed. In the commonest type the obverse inscription is divided by a bar with a knot in the middle. Zainu-l-'ābidīn struck several kinds of copper ; a large crude square type, also found in brass, may belong to an earlier reign. Of Ḥasan Shāh a lead coin has been recorded.


[S. 82] When Muḥammad bin Tughlaq formed the most southern districts of his kingdom into a province, which he named Ma'bar, he seems to have struck certain types of billon and copper specially for circulation there. In 1334 (A.H. 735) the governor, Jalālu-d-dīn Aḥsan Shāh, proclaimed his independence, and he and his eight successors minted coins of copper and billon1 in their capital, Madura, until they were subjugated by the king of Vijayanagar in 1371 (A.H. 773). The last coin of 'Alāu-d-dīn Sikandar Shāh is, however, dated A.H. 779. These coins, which are of little interest, follow two types of the Dehlī coinage, one of which has the sultan's name in a circle with the date in Arabic in the surrounding margin ; the other has the title, "The most mighty Sultan," on the reverse, and the sultan's name on the obverse (Pl. IX, 8). The calligraphy is of a southern type and this alone distinguishes these coins from Dehlī issues.

1 Two gold coins are also known of these kings ; one is in the British Museum.


[S. 83] The Deccan province, after a series of revolts extending over four years, became finally severed from the Dehlī kingdom in 1347 (A.H. 748). Certain copper coins in the Dehlī style, bearing this date, have been attributed to Nāṣiru-d-dīn Isma'īl, the first officer to assume the state of royalty. But in the same year he was superseded by Sultan 'Alāu-d-dīn Ḥasan Bahmanī, founder of a dynasty which ruled till 1518, when its bloodstained annals as an independent kingdom closed, though nominal sovereigns supported the pretensions of royalty until 1525. The earliest known coin of the dynasty bears the date A.H. 757. The kingdom at the height of its power, under Muḥammad Shāh III (1463-82), extended from the province of Berār in the north to the confines of Mysore in the south, and east to west from sea to sea. Until the time of 'Alāu-d-dīn Aḥmad Shāh II (1435-57) the capital was Kulbarga, renamed by the founder of the kingdom Aḥsanābād ; Aḥmad Shāh moved the seat of government to Bīdār, which henceforth, under the name Muḥammadābād, appears on the coinage in place of Aḥsanābād. No other mint names have been found.

The gold and silver coins are fine broad pieces modelled on the tankahs of 'Alāu-d-dīn Muḥammad of Dehlī. In the earlier reigns there is some variety in arrangement and design : the legend on the silver of Aḥmad Shāh I (1422-35), for example, is enclosed in an oval border, and there is a gold piece of the versatile bigot, Fīroz Shāh (1399-1422), corresponding in weight and fabric to Muḥammad bin Tughlaq's heavy issue. But by the reign of Aḥmad Shāh II a single design had been adopted for both metals (Pl. IX, 2) ; on the obverse are inscribed various titles which changed with each ruler; on the reverse appear the king's name and further titles within a square area; while in the margins are the mint name and date. The legend on the gold coins of Maḥmūd Shāh (1482-1518) , perhaps the commonest of the rare Bahmanī gold issues, may serve as an example: obverse, "Trusting in the Merciful one, the strong, the [S. 84] rich, the mighty Sultan"; reverse, "The father of battles, Maḥmūd Shāh, the guardian, the Bahmanī."

Small silver pieces were struck by the first two rulers, weighing from 15 to 26 grains. The earliest copper follows closely that of Dehlī, but innovations soon made their appearance, and after the reign of Aḥmad Shāh II coins are found varying from 225 to 27 grains in weight ; the copper standard seems to have been continually changed. Some of the titles appearing on the silver are usually to be found on the same ruler's copper, but many varieties in type are found, especially among the issues of Muḥammad I (1358-73) and the later kings ; of Maḥmūd Shāh seven varieties are known, and seven are also known of Kalīmullah, the last nominal king, struck probably by Amīr Barīd of Bīdār.

During the reign of Maḥmūd Shāh the great kingdom of the Deccan was split up into five separate sultanates. Copper coins of at least three of the Nizām Shāhs of Aḥmadnagar (1490-1637) are known : they appear to have had mints at Aḥmadnagar, Daulatābād and Burhānābād. The coinage of Gulkanda is confined to a single copper type, struck by the two last Qutb Shāhī kings, 'Abdullah and Abū-1-Ḥasan ; the reverse bears the pathetic legend, "It has come to an end well and auspiciously." The copper coins of the last five 'Ādil Shāhī rulers of Bījāpūr are rather ornate, but usually very ill-struck ; small gold pieces bearing a couplet are known of Muḥammad (1627-56). Most interesting of all Bījāpūr coins are the curious silver Lārīns,1 or fish-hook money, issued by 'Alī II, 1656-72 (Pl. IX, 10), which became one of the standard currencies among traders in the Indian Ocean towards the end of the sixteenth century. The coinage of the sultans of the Maldive Islands, whereon they styled themselves "Sultans of land and sea," was based on that of Bījāpūr and survived till the present century.

1 The name is derived from the port Lār, on the Persian Gulf, where this coin was first struck.


[S. 85] The Eastern (Sharqī) kingdom of Jaunpūr, which also included the modern districts of Gorakhpūr, Tirhut and Bihār, owed its independence to the power and influence of the eunuch, Khwāja-i-Jahān, who was appointed "Lord of the East," by Maḥmūd Shāh II of Dehlī, in 1394. The coinage does not, however, begin till the reign of the third ruler Ibrāhīm (1400-40), and he and his three successors continued to mint till 1476, when Bahlol Lodī overthrew IJusain Shāh and re-annexed the province to Dehlī. The bulk of the Jaunpūr coinage consists of billon and copper pieces modelled  on those of Dehlī. The commonest billon type has on the obverse the legend, "The Khalif, the commander of the faithful, may his khalifate be perpetuated"; the reverse gives the king's name, and on coins of the last three rulers their pedigree as well. Maḥmūd Shāh (1440-58) introduced a type of copper with his name in a circle on the obverse, which was continued by his successors (Pl. IX, 5). Billon coins were struck in the name of Ḥusain Shāh for thirty years after his expulsion from Jaunpūr in 1476 (A.H. 881) ; and a few copper coins of about the same period bear the name of a rebel, Bārbak Shāh, a brother of Bahlol Lodī. The silver coins of Ibrāhīm and Maḥmūd are extremely scarce. Gold was struck by Ibrāhīm, Maḥmūd and Ḥusain. With the exception of one coin of Ibrāhīm, which follows the ordinary Dehlī model, all three rulers, evidently influenced by their neighbour, Jalālu-d-dīn Muḥammad of Bengal, used the "organ- pipe" arrangement of tughra characters for the inscription of the reverse (Pl. IX, 4). The obverse inscription employed by Ibrāhīm and Maḥmūd, "In the time of the supreme head of Islam, the deputy of the commander of the faithful," and the more correct form used by Ḥusain, which omits the words "the deputy of" again show Dehlī influence. Only one coin, a large copper piece of Maḥmūd in the British Museum, is known to bear the mint name Jaunpūr.


[S. 86] Mālwā, annexed to the Dehlī kingdom by 'Alāu-ddin in 1305, became an independent state under the governor, Dilāwar Khān Ghrorī, in 1401. His son, Hoshang Shāh (1405-32), initiated the coinage. The province, after incessant wars with Gujarāt, attained its widest limits under the usurping minister, Maḥmūd I, Khiljī (1436-68). But after a civil war, in 1510, a steady decline set in, and in 1530 Bahādur Shāh of Gujarāt captured Mandū, the capital, and the country remained a province of his kingdom for four years. It was next captured by Humāyūn. Then, from 1536 to 1542, it was ruled by a Gujarātī governor, Qādir Shāh. Finally it was governed by Bāz Bahādur, a son of Sher Shāh's nominee, Shujā' Khān, from 1554 to 1560, when it was conquered by Akbar and made a Mughal province.

The first seven Sultans struck coins in all three metals. Maḥmūd I introduced billon, and this was employed also by his three successors. The characteristic feature of the Mālwā coinage is the square shape, also introduced by Maḥmūd I ; he and his successor, Ghiyās Shāh (1469-1500), struck both square and round coins, but from the reign of Nāṣir Shāh (1500-10) the square form is used exclusively. The gold pieces of the first two kings follow the Dehlī style. Maḥmūd, however, introduced a new type for the reverse, dividing the face of the coin into two equal parts by lengthening the tail of the last letter "yē" in his name, Khiljī. Ghiyās Shāh used a similar band on both faces (Pl. IX, 3), and this is a mark of almost all succeeding coins in both shapes.

The square base silver pieces of Maḥmūd II (1510-30), with the inscriptions enclosed in circular and octagonal borders, are the finest coins of the series. The rebel, Muḥammad II (1515), the Gujarāt king, Bahādur, the governor, Qādir Shāh, and Bāz Bahādur struck copper coins only. The mint name, Shādīābād (Mandū), "City of Delight," is inscribed only on coins of the earlier kings.

[S. 87] With the reign of Ghiyās Shāh a series of ornaments begins to appear on the coinage ; the purpose of these is uncertain, but they seem to be connected with the dates of issue. Like the Bahmanīs, the Mālwā sovereigns use elaborate honorific titles for their inscriptions. Perhaps the most striking is one of Maḥmūd I, who calls himself "The mighty sovereign, the victorious, the exalted in the Faith and in the world, the second Alexander, the right hand of the Khalifate, the defender of the commander of the faithful."

The tradition of the square shape lingered on in Mālwā and the neighbourhood long after the extinction of its independence ; curious crude little pieces were struck, probably for a century at least, with a mixture of Mughal, Mālwā and Gujarātī inscriptions. Square copper Mughal coins were struck at Ujjain up to the time of Shāh Jahān I, and Saṅgrāma Siṃha of Mewar (1527-32) also modelled his copper coinage on that of Mālwā.


[S. 879 Zafar Khān, viceroy of the wealthy province of Gujarāt, threw off his allegiance to Sultan Maḥmūd II of Dehlī in 1403, but the first coins known are those of his grandson, Aḥmad I (1411-43), founder of the great city of Aḥmadābād in A.H. 813 and of Aḥmadnagar in A.H. 829. The dynasty reached the culmination of its power in the long reign of Maḥmūd I (1458-1511), who instituted two new mints at Muṣtafa'ābād in Girnār, and Muḥammadābād (Champānīr). He was succeeded by eight princes, of whom Bahādur Shāh (1526-36) alone showed any ruling ability. The province was added to the Mughal Empire in 1572, but the deposed king, Muzaffar III, regained his throne for five months eleven years later, and actually struck silver and copper of the Mughal Aḥmadābād type. Coins of nine of the fifteen kings are known.

The coinage, chiefly of silver and copper, at its commencement followed the Dehlī style, but soon developed a characteristic fabric of its own, though the late Dehlī copper type, with the Sultan's name in [S. 88] square area, never entirely lost its influence in Gujarāt (Pl. IX, 6, 7). The standard seems, however, always to have been a local one, based on the weight of the Gujarātī rati of 1,85 grains. Gold pieces, except those of Maḥmūd III (1553-61; Pl. IX, 6), are rare. Maḥmūd I also employed billon, and his coins are the finest of the series. His silver coins, on which the legends are enclosed in hexagons, scolloped circles and other figures, are very ornate. The inscriptions are for the most part simple ; on the obverse appear various titles and formulae, on the reverse the king's name, sometimes accompanied by his laqab (kingly title). The earliest Persian couplet to appear on an Indian coin is found on one of Maḥmūd II, dated A.H. 850. It runs as follows :

So long as the sphere of the seat of the mint, the orb of the sun and moon remains,
May the coin of Maḥmūd Shāh the Sultan, the aid of the Faith, remain.

Perhaps the most interesting of the Gujarāt series are the so-called "pedigree coins," each struck probably for some special occasion, on which the striker traces his descent back to the founder of the dynasty. Only four silver coins of this class have been recorded, two of Aḥmad I, one dated A.H. 828 and the earliest known Gujarāt coin, one of Maḥmūd I, and one of Bahādur Shāh.

Although the majority of coins were probably struck at Aḥmadābād, the name actually occurs only on the copper of Muzaffar III of the years A.H. 977 and 978 Aḥmadnagar, accompanied by an uncertain epithet, is inscribed on the copper of Aḥmad I from A.H. 829 onwards. Shahr-i-a'zam ("the very great city") Muṣtafa'ābād appears on silver and copper, and Shahr-i-mukarram (the illustrious city) Muḥammadābād on all the finest silver pieces of Maḥmūd I.

Muzaffar III granted permission to the Jām of Navānagar to coin"korīs" (i.e. copper pieces), provided that they should bear the king's name. Such korīs, bearing debased Gujarāt legends, were also coined for several centuries by the chiefs of Jūnagaḍh and Purbandar.


[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- Pl. X.]

[S. 89] AFTER the battle of Pānīpat, in 1526, Zahīru-d-dīn Bābur's rule in Hindustān, until his death in 1530, was in reality nothing more than a military occupation, and Humāyūn's position during the first ten years of his reign was even more unstable. The silver shārukhīs, or dirhams, of Bābur and Humāyūn, which follow in every respect the Central Asian coinage of the Timurid princes, were obviously struck only as occasion warranted, chiefly at Āgra, Lāhor (Pl. X, 1), Dehlī and Kābul. The interesting camp mint Urdū first appears on a coin of Bābur, an eloquent testimony to the nature of his sovereignty. On the obverse of these coins is the Kalima, enclosed in areas of various shapes with the names of the four orthodox Khalifs or Companions and their attributes1 in the margins ; on the reverse the king's name, also in an area, in the margins various titles, together with the mint and generally the date. Humāyūn's gold are tiny mintless pieces, also of Timurid fabric (Pl. X, 2); a very few of these and some silver dirhams are known of Akbar's first three years. Bābur and Humāyūn's copper coins are anonymous, and were minted chiefly at Āgra, Dehlī, Lāhor and Jaunpūr.

1 For inscription, cf. Key to Plate X, 1.

[S. 90] The Afghān Sher Shāh Sūrī, who after the expulsion of Humāyūn in 1540 (A.H. 947), controlled the destinies of Hindustān for five years, was a ruler of great constructive and administrative ability, and the reform of the coinage, though completed by Akbar, was in a great measure due to his genius. His innovations lay chiefly in two directions : first, the introduction of a new standard of 178 grains for silver, and one of about 330 grains for copper, with its half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth parts. These two new coins were subsequently known as the rupee and the dām. The second innovation was a large increase in the number of the mints : at least twenty-three mint names appear on the Sūrī coins. The object of this extension, probably suggested to Sher Shāh during his residence in Bihār by the Bengal coinage, was no doubt to provide an ocular proof of sovereignty to his subjects in the most distant provinces of his dominions ; but the system needed a firm and resolute hand at the centre of government.

Genuine gold coins of the Sūrī kings are exceedingly rare. The rupees are fine broad pieces (Pl. X, 3); the obverse follows the style of Humāyūn's silver ; the reverse bears the Sultan's name in a square or circular area, along with the date and the legend, "May God perpetuate his kingdom," and below the area the Sultan's name in Hindī, often very faulty.1 In the margin are inscribed the special titles of the Sultan, and sometimes the mint. On a large number of both silver and copper coins no mint name occurs ; some of these seem to be really mintless, the dies of others were too large for the coin discs. On a very common mintless silver type of Islām Shāh (1545-53) and Muḥammad 'Ādil Shāh, the Arabic figures 477 occur in the margin : the significance of these is unknown. A few silver coins of Sher Shāh and Islām Shāh are square ; half rupees are extremely scarce ; a one-sixteenth piece is also known.

1 If the area is circular the Hindī inscription appears in the margin.

The majority of copper coins bear on the obverse the inscription, "In the time of the commander of the [S. 91] faithful, the protector of the religion of the Requiter"; on the reverse appear the Sultan's name and titles and the mint (Pl. X, 4). These inscriptions are sometimes contained within square areas.

During the years 1552-56 two nephews and a cousin of Sher Shāh, Muḥammad 'Ādil, Sikandar and Ibrāhīm, contested the throne and struck both copper and silver. Coins of the two last are very rare (Pl. X, 5).

[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- Pl. XI.]

The few coins of Humāyūn's short second reign of six months which have survived show that he had adopted both the new silver and copper standards of the Sūrīs, though he also coined dirhams. With Akbar's accession, in 1556 (A.H. 963), begins the Mughal coinage proper. The special value placed by Muhammadan sovereigns on the privilege of coining has already been noticed ; Muḥammad bin Tughlaq used his money as a means of imposing decrees upon his subjects ; in a more refined way Akbar used the coinage to propagate his new "Divine" faith; and both he and the cultured Jahāngīr detected in it a ready medium for the expression of their artistic tastes. The importance attached to the currency by the Mughal emperors is further revealed in the full accounts given by Akbar's minister, Abū-l-fazl, in the Āīn-i-Akbarī, and by Jahāngīr in his memoirs, the Tūzuk-i-Jahāngīrī, and by the number of references to the subject by historians throughout the whole period. From these and from a study of the coins themselves scholars have collected a mass of materials, from which it is now possible to give a fairly comprehensive account of the Mughal coinage. Abū-l-fazl and Jahāngīr mention a large number of gold and silver coins, varying from 2,000 tolahs1 to a few grains in weight. Gigantic pieces are also mentioned by Manucci, Hawkins and others ; and Manucci says that they were not current, but that the king (Shāh Jahān) "gave them as presents to the ladies." They were also at times presented to ambassadors, and appear, indeed, to have been merely used as a convenient form in which to store [S. 92] treasure. Naturally very few of these pieces have survived, but a silver coin of Aurangzeb is reported to be in Dresden, which weighs five and a half English pounds, and there is a cast of a 200-muhar piece of Shāh Jahān in the British Museum. In the British Museum also are two five-muhar pieces, one of Akbar and one of Jahāngīr, both struck in the Āgra mint. A few double rupees of later emperors, and a ten-rupee piece of Shāh 'Ālam II of Sūrat mint are also known. The standard gold coin of the Mughals was the muhar, of about 170 to 175 grains, the equivalent of nine rupees in Abū-l-fazl's time. With the exception of a few of Akbar's square issues, which are slightly heavier, and Jahāngīr's experiment during his first five years, when it was raised first by one-fifth to 204 grains, and then by one-fourth to 212.5 grains, the muhar maintains a wonderful consistency of weight and purity to the end of the dynasty. Half and quarter muhars are known of several emperors, and a very few smaller pieces.

1 The tolah in Jahāngīr 's time weighed probably between 185 and 187 grains.

The rupee, adopted from Sher Shāh's currency, is the most famous of all Mughal coins. The name occurs only once, on a rupee of Āgra minted in Akbar's forty-seventh year.1 This, too, maintained its standard of weight, 178 grains, practically unimpaired, although during the reigns of the later emperors some rupees minted by their officers are deficient in purity. The "heavy" rupees of Jahāngīr's early years exceed the normal weight, like the muhars, first by one-fifth and then by one-fourth ; and a few slightly heavier than the normal standard were also minted by Shāh 'Ālam Bahādur and Farrukhsiyar in Bihār and Bengal. Halves, quarters, eighths and sixteenths were also struck. In Sūrat the half rupee appears to have been in special demand, and in Akbar's reign the half rupee was also the principal coin issuing from Kābul.

1 Cf. Lāhore Museum Catalogue (Mughal Emperors), Pl. XXI, iv.

In addition to the regular gold and silver currency, special small pieces were occasionally struck for largesse ; the commonest of these is the nisār, struck [S. 93] in silver by Jahāngīr, Shāh Jahān, Aurangzeb, Jahāndār and Farrukhsiyar. Gold nisārs are very scarce (Pl. XI, 8). Jahāngīr also issued similar pieces, which he called Nūr afshān, "Light scattering," and Khair qabūl, "May these alms be accepted" (Pl. X, 12). In 1679 Aurangzeb reimposed the jizyā, or poll-tax, on infidels, and, in order to facilitate payment in the orthodox manner, struck the dirham shar'ī, "legal dirham," usually square in shape, in a number of mints (Pl. XI, 11). Farrukhsiyar again issued these dirhams, when he re-instituted the poll-tax in the sixth year of his reign. The Mughal copper coinage is based on Sher Shāh's dām of 320 to 330 grains, which, with its half, quarter and eighth, continued to be struck until the fifth year of Aurangzeb, 1663 (A.H. 1073). The name dām occurs only once on a half dām of Akbar of Srīnagar mint. The usual term employed is Fulūs, "copper money," or Sikkah fulūs, "stamped copper money." The names niṣfī (half dām), damrā (= quarter dām), damrī (, one eighth of a dām) also appear on Akbar's copper. Jahāngīr inscribes the word rawānī on some of his full and half dāms, and rā'īj on his smaller pieces, both meaning simply "current."

Between the forty-fifth and fiftieth years of Akbar's reign were issued, from eight mints, the full tankah of 644 grains weight, with its half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth parts, though the large full tankahs are known only from Āgra, Dehlī (Pl. X, 10), Aḥmadābād and Bairāt. About the same time Akbar introduced the decimal standard, with his series of four, two and one tānkī pieces, struck at Aḥmadābād, Āgra, Kābul and Lāhor; ten tānkīs being equal to one full tankah.

After the fifth year of Aurangzeb, owing to a rise in the price of copper, the weight of the dām or fulūs was diminished to 220 grains, and this became the accepted standard for southern mints. A few coins of the heavier weight were struck subsequently by Aurangzeb, Shāh 'Ālam Bahādur and Farrukhsiyar. The copper coinage of later emperors until Shāh 'Ālam II's reign is not plentiful.

[S. 94] The early gold and silver coins of Akbar bear the same inscriptions, though there is some variation in their arrangement. Following Bābur's and the Sūrī coinage, the Kalima and Companions' names appear on the obverse, and on the reverse at the beginning of the reign the following inscription, "Jalālu-d-dīn Muḥammad Akbar, Emperor, champion of the Faith, the mighty Sultan, the illustrious Emperor, may God most High Perpetuate the kingdom and the sovereignty." Portions of this are dropped later on (Pl. X, 7). Squares, circles, lozenges and other geometrical figures are employed to contain the more important parts of the legend, and the mint name always, and the date generally, appear on the reverse. About the year A.H. 985 the shape of the coins was changed from round to square, but the same inscriptions were retained.

In the year 1579 (A.H. 987) Akbar promulgated his Infallibility Decree, and in the same year appear quarter rupees from the Faṭhpūr, Lāhor, and Aḥmadābād mints, with a new inscription, Allāhu Akbar, upon the obverse. From the thirty-second year an expanded form of this, Allāhu Akbar jalla jalālahu, "God is great, eminent is His glory," appears on a mintless series of square silver coins (Pl. X, 11) ; and from the thirty-sixth year it is used regularly on the square issues of the chief mints ; later on there is a reversion to the round form. These Ilāhī coins are all dated in Akbar's new regnal era,1 and also bear the names of the Persian solar months. The custom of issuing coins monthly continues with a few breaks in Jahāngīr's reign until the early years of Shāh Jahān. The round Ilāhī coins, especially those of Āgra, Patna and Lāhor, display considerable artistic merit : certain issues of Āgra of the fiftieth year (Pl. X, 8) are probably the finest of the whole Mughal series. Among the many remarkable coins struck by Akbar may be mentioned the muhar, shaped like a double Mihrāb, which appeared from the Āgra mint in A.H. 981 (Pl. X, 6); [S. 95] the Ilāhī muhar of the fiftieth year, from the same mint, engraved with the figure of a duck (Pl. X, 9) ; the beautiful "hawk" muhar, struck at Asīrgarh in commemoration of its conquest in the forty-fifth year ; and the mintless half-muhar, bearing the figures of Sītā and Rāma. Specimens of all these are in the British Museum. Akbar also initiated the practice of inscribing verse-couplets on the coinage, into which was worked the emperor's name or the mint, or both. These were used by him for only three mints, but with Jahāngīr the practice became general, and forty-seven different couplets of his reign have been recorded (cf. Key to Pl. XI, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

1 This starts from 28th Rab'i II, A.H. 963, the first year of his reign, but was not instituted until the 29th year. The earliest known coin dated in this era is of the year 31.

Jahāngīr's gold and silver coins in their endless variety are the most ornate of all Mughal coins. Starting with a Kalima obverse, and his name and titles on the reverse (Pl. X, 1), he soon adopted a couplet legend ; sometimes the couplet is peculiar to a single mint, sometimes it serves a group of mints. During the fifth and sixth years at Āgra (Pl. XI, 4) and Lāhor the couplets were for a short time changed every month. In the latter year followed a new type, with the emperor's name on the obverse, and the month, date and mint name on the reverse ; this remains till the end of the reign on the coins of some mints, but at Āgra, Lāhor, Qandahar and one or two others there is a return to the couplet inscription. For varying periods between the years A.H. 1033 and 1037 the name of the Empress Nūr Jahān is associated in a couplet with that of Jahāngīr on the issues of Āgra, Aḥmadābād, Akbarnagar, Ilahābād, Patna, Sūrat (Pl. XI, 5) and Lāhor.

Jahāngīr seemed to find unceasing zest in novelty : from the sixth to the thirteenth year of his reign the rupees of Āgra were minted in the square and round shape in alternate months. In the thirteenth year appeared the famous Zodiac coins, on which pictorial representations of the signs of the zodiac were substituted for the names of the months on the reverse ; this type was retained on the Āgra muhars (Pl. XI, 2) till the seventeenth year. The Zodiac rupees of [S. 96] Aḥmadābād lasted only for five months during the thirteenth year, while single gold and silver coins of this type are known of Lāhor, Fathpur, Ajmer, Urdū and Kashmīr, of various years up to A.H. 1036. The so-called Bacchanalian and portrait muhars have been recently shown to be insignia presented by Jahāngīr to his courtiers.1 Some of these are mintless, others were struck at Ajmer. On the obverse of the latter the emperor appears seated cross-legged with a  wine-cup in his hand (Pl. XI, 3). The most remarkable of the former, struck in the first year of the reign, bears a full-faced portrait of Akbar on the obverse along with the inscription Allāhu Akbar, while a representation of the sun covers the whole of the reverse. 2

1 By S. H. Hodivala, Historical Studies in Mughal Numismatics, Memoir No. II, Numismatic Society of India, Calcutta, 1923.

2 In the possession of Mr. H. Nelson Wright, I.C.S.

The beauty and rarity of the couplet rupees of Ajmer, Urdū dar rāh-i-Dakan, "The camp on the road to the Deccan" and Mandū, as well as a muhar from the last mint, all struck between the ninth and eleventh years, entitle then to special mention.

Few of Shāh Jahān's coins (A.H. 1037-1068) are of any artistic merit. The earliest form of his gold and silver has the Kalima and mint name on the obverse, and the emperor's name and titles on the reverse (Pl. XI, 7). From the second to the fifth year solar months3 were inscribed. From the fifth year to the end of the reign, except at the Tatta mint, where the earlier style was retained, Shāh Jahān employed a type, endless in its varieties, in which squares, circles, lozenges form borders enclosing the Kalima on the obverse and the king's name on the reverse, while the names of the companions and their epithets are restored and appear in the obverse margins. The square border form of this type was also employed by Aurangzeb's rivals, Murād Bakhsh and Shāh Shujā' (Pl. XI, 10); and Aurangzeb uses square areas to contain the [S. 97] inscriptions on his earlier rupees of Akbarābād (Āgra) and Jūnagarh, and for a few coins of three other mints.

3 Jahāngīr used a solar era of his own, starting from the date of his accession. The years on Shāh Jahān's coins are lunar. Cf. Hodivala, loc. cit.

The coins of Aurangzeb (A.H. 1068-1119) and his successors are, with a very few exceptions, monotonous in the extreme. On the obverse there is either a couplet containing the king's name, or this inscription : "The blessed coin of . . ." followed by the name of the particular king. On the reverse appears, with very occasional variations, the following: "Struck at (the mint name), in the year (the regnal year) of the accession associated with prosperity'." The Hijrī date is placed on the obverse (Pl. XI, 9). Pretentious personal titles are of infrequent occurrence on Mughal coins. Nevertheless the pretenders, Murād Bakhsh and Shāh Shujā', style themselves "The Second Alexander." Shāh Jahān I, in imitation of his ancestor Tīmūr, who adopted the title "Lord of the fortunate conjunction" (i.e. of the planets), called himself "The Second Lord of the fortunate conjunction" (Sāḥib-i-qirān sāni), and eight later emperors followed his example. Jahāngīr used his princely name, Salīm, on his earliest coins from the Aḥmadābād mint (Pl. XI, 6) and on a half rupee of Kābul. On a unique rupee of Lāhor of Shāh Jahān I's first year occurs the name Khurram, while Shāh 'Ālam Bahādur placed his pre-regnal name, Mu'azzam, on coins of his first year of Tatta and Murshidābād.

Coins of special interest and rarity are those struck by pretenders, particularly the rupees of Dāwar Bakhsh of Lāhor, A.H. 1037; the coins of Shāh Shujā', 1068, of Bīdār Bakht, 1202-1203; and the rupee of Jahāngīrnagar, struck by 'Azīmu-sh-shān in 1124. Commemorative coins of the later emperors are exceedingly scarce, but the entry of Lord Lake into Dehlī, in 1803, was marked on Shāh 'Ālam II's gold and silver coinage of the forty-seventh year by enclosing the obverse and reverse inscriptions within a wreath of  roses, shamrocks and thistles (Pl. XII, 1).

The fabric of the copper coins is, in general, rude. With the exception of the tankah and tānkī issues, Akbar's copper is anonymous ; his Ilāhī copper, like [S. 98] the silver and gold, was dated in the new era and issued monthly. Some of Jahāngīr's rawānīs, especially those from the Ajmer mint, have pretensions to artistic merit. His copper issues, and those of succeeding kings, with the exception of a few of Aurangzeb's, have the king's name and Hijrī date on the obverse, and the mint and regnal year on the reverse.

The Hijrī era was used by all emperors and usually the regnal year is inscribed as well. For his later coins, as has been seen, Akbar employed his own Divine era, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān I each used similar eras, but as they place the Hijrī year along with the solar  months on the coins the calculation of the dates is somewhat confusing.

[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- S. 89.]

Note. The mint marks in Fig. 9 occur on coins of the following: (1) Humāyūn, Āgra, etc. (2) Shāh 'Ālam II, Shāhjahānābād. (3) Aurangzeb, Multān. (4) East India Company, copied from Mughal coins. (5) Nawābs of Awadh, Muḥammadābād-Banāras. (6) The Kitār "dagger," Shāh 'Ālam II, Narwar, etc. (7) Ankūs "Elephant-goad" Marāṭhā coins.

From the time of Humāyūn onwards there appear on the coinage certain marks, sometimes called mintmarks, but perhaps more properly designated ornaments (Fig. 9). The purpose of these on the earlier issues is uncertain, later on they sometimes marked a change of mint-masters ; others appear to have been really distinctive mint marks, such as that which appears on Shāh 'Ālam II's Shāhjahānābād coins (Fig. 9, 2).

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Mughal coinage is the diversity of mints. Akbar's known mints number seventy-six. Copper was struck in fifty-nine of these, the largest number recorded for any emperor, while silver is known from thirty-nine. Aurangzeb's conquests in the Deccan raised the silver mints to seventy, whereas copper mints sank to twenty-four. For the remaining emperors mints for silver average about fifty until Shāh 'Ālam II's time, when they rose to eighty ; most of these, however, were not under the imperial control. The puppet emperors, Akbar II and Bahādur Shāh, were permitted by the East India Company to strike coins only in their prison capital, Shāhjahānābād (Dehlī). Altogether over two hundred mints are known, but the greater number of these were worked only occasionally ; Āgra, Dehlī, Lāhor and Aḥmadābād alone struck coin continuously throughout the Mughal period. To these may be added Sūrat, Ilahābād, Jahāngīrnagar and Akbarnagar from Jahāngīr's reign, [S. 99] Multān from the reign of Shāh Jahān I, and Itāwah and Barelī from the time of Aurangzeb. The practice of giving mint towns honorific titles, in vogue with the early Mnhammadan Sultans, was continued by the Mughals. Thus Dehlī became, on being selected as the capital of the empire by Shāh Jahān I, in A.H. 1048, Shāhjahānābād. In the second year of the same reign Āgra became Akbarābād. Epithets were also frequently attached to mint names. Dāru-l-khilāfat, "Seat of the Khalifate," i.e. "Chief City," is applied to twelve mints besides Āgra. Ddāu-s-saltanat is the usual epithet of Lāhor. After A.H. 1105 Aurangzeb changed the name of Aurangābād to Khujista Bunyād, " The fortunate foundation," the only example of a Mughal mint called solely by an honorific epithet.

The great system of coinage illustrated by the Mughals, operating over such wide territories, needed, as has been already remarked, a master hand to control it. With the dissensions which set in between rival claimants to the empire on the death of Aurangzeb, the controlling power was weakened. The diminished resources of his treasury compelled the emperor, Farrukhsiyar (1713-19), to adopt the fatal policy of farming out the mints. This gave the coup de grace to the system, and henceforward, as will be related in the next chapter, we find independent, and semi-independent chiefs and states striking coins of their own, but always with the nominal consent of the Dehlī emperor, and almost invariably in his name. Not until the nineteenth century was the Mughal style and superscription generally discarded.

Such was the coinage of the "Great Mogul." Considering it as the output of a single dynasty, which maintained the high standard and purity of its gold and silver for three hundred years, considering also its variety, the number of its mints, the artistic merit of some of its series, the influence it exerted on contemporary and subsequent coinages, and the importance of its standard coin the rupee in the commerce of to-day, the Mughal currency surely deserves to rank as one of the great coinages of the world.



[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- S. 100.]

[S. 100] THE neighbours of the Mughals were not slow to recognise the excellence of their coinage. Even the Safavī monarchs of Persia adopted certain features. The East Himalayan kingdom of Assam, hitherto content to use the money of Bengal, and the adjacent state of Nepāl, which had been without a coinage of its own for centuries, within fifty years of Akbar's accession had both adopted the rupee standard.


[Bildquelle: Brown, C. J.: The coins of India. -- Calcutta : Association Press ; London [etc.] : Oxford University Press, 1922. -- 120 S. XII Pl. ; 19 cm. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/coinsofindia00browuoft. -- Zugriff am 2008-03-11. -- "Not in copyright"  -- Pl. XII.]

Assam, the ancient Kāmarūpa, had been invaded in A.D. 1228 by the Ahoms, a Shan tribe from Burma, and finally subdued by them in 1540. By the year 1695 the royal family had definitely submitted to the influence of Hinduism. Previously to that date, expression of devotion to the tribal gods Lengdun, Tara and Phatuceng appears on the coins ; but the reverse legend of a coin of the Śaka year 1618 (A.D. 1696), struck by Rudra Siṃha (1696-1714), runs as follows, in the highly poetical Sanskrit so characteristic of later coin inscriptions: "A bee on the nectar of the feet of Hara and Gaurī."

The earliest known coins are those of Śuklenmung (1539-52), but these and the money of his five successors were struck for ceremonial occasions, probably only at the coronation, and a yearly coinage was first introduced by Rudra Siṃha. The strange octagonal [S. 101] shape of the coins is said to owe its origin to a statement in the Yoginī Tantra, which describes the Ahom country as octagonal. Some of the smaller coins are, however, round, and Śiva Simha, for a coin of Ś. 1651, on which he associates the name of his queen, Pramatheśvarī, and Rājeśvara Siṃha (1751-69), for two of his issues, adopted the square Mughal form and style with legends in Persian. The inscription on Śiva Siṃha's coin is as follows : obverse, "Shāh Sheo Singh struck coin like the esun by order of the Queen Pramatheśvarī Shāh;" reverse, "In the year 15 of the fortunate reign at Gargāon 1651" (= A.D. 1729). For this the Nūr Jahān issues of Jahāngīr were obviously the model. With the exception of a coin of Śuklenmung, all gold and silver was struck to a standard of 176 grains, and half, quarter, eighth, and even smaller fractional pieces were minted. Several of the earlier Rājas employed the Ahom language and script for their legends. Sanskrit written in the Bengālī script was first used by Sūrya Nārāyaṇa (1611-49). Pramatta Siṃha (1744-51) and Rājeśvara Siṃha employ both, but after the coronation ceremony of the latter Sanskrit alone was used. The legends, in either script, are always enclosed within dotted borders (Pl. XII, 8). These thick rather solid-looking coins, though attractive on account of their unusual shape, are entirely without artistic merit; they ceased to be minted with the cession of Assam to the British in 1826. The broad round silver pieces of the Rājas of Jaintia (Jayantāpura) of the eighteenth century, and the coins of the hill state of Tipperah, bear legends similar in style to the Assamese Sanskrit coins, and, like them, are dated in the Śaka era. The dates on the Ahom coins of Assam are reckoned according to the Jovian cycle of sixty years.


[S. 101] The considerable Mughal influence exhibited in the modern coinage of the Malla kings of Nepāl, which starts in the early years of the seventeenth century, finds expression in the native legend which affirms that [S. 102] Rāja Mahendra Malla of Kāthmāṇḍū obtained permission to strike coins from the Dehlī court. Although none of his money has come to light, the story gains some support from the weight of the early Nepalese coins, which are all half-rupees, and from a curious piece of Pratāpa Malla of Kāthmāṇḍū (1639-89), which imitates Jahāngīr's coinage, even adopting fragments of the Persian inscription.

Nepāl, at the period when the coinage begins, was divided into three principalities -- Bhatgāon, Pātan and Kāthmāṇḍū -- and probably the earliest coins are those of Lakshmī Narasiṃha, ruler of the last province (1595-1639), although the earliest date, Nepālī Samvat1 751 (= A.D. 1631) appears on one struck by Siddhi Narasiṃha of Pātan. The usual design on the coins, perhaps suggested by some of Akbar's and Jahāngīr's issues, consists of elaborate geometrically ornamented borders surrounding a central square or circle, with the legends in Nāgarī fitted into the spaces left in the design. On the obverse appear the king's name, titles and date, and on the reverse various symbols, accompanied sometimes by a further title or a religious formula. The Gūrkhas, who conquered the country in 1768, continued the style of their predecessors (Pl. XII, 6), but occasionally struck full as well as the ordinary half-rupees. Gīrvāṇ Yuddha Vikrama (1799-1816) and Surendra Vikrama (1847-81) also struck gold similar in design to the silver coins, and the latter introduced a copper currency.

1 This Nepālī or Newār era was introduced by Rāja Rāghavadeva in A.D, 879.

The silver tang-ka (tankah) of Tibet was directly imitated from the coinage of Jagajjaya Malla of Kāthmāṇḍū (1702-32).


The confusion into which the coinage of India fell on the break up of the Mughal power, when independent mints sprang up in every part of their wide dominions, may be gathered from the calculation made [S. 103] in the early part of the nineteenth century, that there were no less than 994 different gold and silver coins, old and new, passing as current in the country. The complexity of the subject is further accentuated by the impossibility of distinguishing at present the earlier coins of independent mints from the imperial issues. Later on, the gradual debasement, caused by the addition of special local marks and the evolution of distinctive types in certain states, makes classification easier. Few of these coinages have hitherto been treated comprehensively, and all that can be attempted here is a bare outline, according more detailed treatment only to the more considerable moneying states.

The papers of the East India Company, fortunately, have preserved for us a record of events typical of what was taking place in many parts of India. They show that, besides coining the South Indian pagodas, already noticed, and copper and silver coins in European style, the English factories were early engaged in reproducing the rupees of the Mughal emperors. The first which can be fixed with any certainty are those from the mint of Bombay, or Mumbai, as it appears on the coins, opened in the reign of Farrukhsiyar (1713-19); and in 1742 the emperor, Muḥammad Shāh, granted the Company a sanad permitting them to coin Arkāt rupees. Gradually the Company assumed control of all mints within its increasing territories. In 1765, for example, after the battle of Buxar it took over the Bengal mints. Uniformity of standard was maintained, first by engraving special marks on the coins (Fig. 9, 4), and then by fixing the regnal year.1 Thus the gold and silver coins of the Banāras mint of the Hijrī years 1190 to 1229 all bear the same regnal date 17.2 So also the year 19 [S. 104]  was fixed for the Murshidābād mint, the year 45 for Farrukhābād. These coins, still inscribed with the Mughal emperor's name, became more and more European in style (Pl. XII, 9), those of Farrukhābād being even struck with a milled edge, until finally superseded by the British Imperial currency of 1835.

1 This was to stop peculation on the part of money-changers, bankers and even revenue collectors, who made a rebate on all rupees not of the current year.

2 On the Banaras coins the actual regnal date, i.e. of Shāh 'Ālam II, is added beneath the conventional date 17 ; this was not adopted for other mints.

A similar evolution, but in the direction of deterioration, can be traced in the issues of the Marāṭhās, Rājpūts, and other powers. The Marāṭhās seized the important mint of Aḥmadābād in 1752 ; and the coins struck there in the Mughal style (until it was closed by the British in 1835) all bear as a characteristic mark the "Ankūs," or elephant-goad. The Peshwa also had a mint at Pūna ; and numerous private mints in Mahārṣṭhra, some striking pagodas and fanams as well as rupees, were worked with or without his permission. Other Marāṭhā mints were those of the Bhonsla Rājas at Katak in Orissa and at Nāgpūr ; rupees of the latter bear the mint-name Sūrat. So also the Gaikwār had a mint at Baroda, Scindia at Ujjain and later on at Gwāliār, Holkār at Indor. Jaśwant Rāo Holkār issued, in 1806, a notable rupee with Sanskrit legends on both obverse and reverse (Pl. XII, 7).

Numerous Rājpūt states copied the imperial coinage in their local mints, Jaipūr (opened about 1742), Bikāner, Jodhpūr, and many others; but in the nineteenth century the names of the ruling chiefs were substituted for that of the titular emperor. Silver and gold were struck in the emperor's name by the Nizām s of Ḥaidarābād, who were content to distinguish their several issues by the addition of their initials (Pl. XII, 4) until 1857, after which the full name of the Nizām took the place of the emperor's. The Rohillas during the period of their ascendancy had a group of mints in Rohilkhand, the chief of which were Najībābād, Murādābād, Barelī and Sahāranpūr. The copper coinage of these independent states is excessively crude, and the practice of striking to local standards, which began under the later Mughals, now became general. The copper mints were probably entirely in private hands.

[S. 105] Here it will be convenient to deal with a coinage, which, though partially of Mughal lineage in other respects, stands by itself. The reign of Tipū Sultān of Mysore, though lasting only sixteen years (1782-99), was productive of one of the most remarkable individual coinages in the history of India, comparable in many ways to that of Muḥammad bin Tughlaq. His father, Ḥaidar 'Alī, as we have already seen (Chap. VI), struck pagodas and fanams. Tipū continued to strike both these, retaining the initial "hē" of Ḥaidar 's name, but adding a mint name on the obverse or reverse (Pl. VI, 10). In addition, he coined muhars and half muhars, in silver the double and full rupee, with its half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth and thirty-second parts, and in copper pieces of 40, 20,1 10, 5 and 2½ cash. The 40-cash piece weighed 340 grains. To each of these coins, following perhaps the example of Jahāngīr, he gave a special name. The pagoda, equal to the quarter of a muhar, he called, for instance, Fārūqī ; the double rupee, Ḥaidarī ; the rupee, Aḥmadī ; the 20-cash piece, Zohra ; and so on. The Persian inscriptions on gold and silver are religious in character, that on the rupee runs as follows: obverse, "The religion of Aḥmad (i.e. Islam) is illumined in the world by the victory of Ḥaidar, struck at Nagar, the cyclic year Dalv, the Hijrī year 1200" ; reverse, "He is the Sultan, the unique, the just; the third of Bahārī, the year Dalv, the regnal year 4." For his copper coins Tipū adopted the elephant device of the Wodeyar kings of Mysore (1578-1733), and the animal appears in various attitudes on the obverse, sometimes to right, sometimes to left, with trunk raised, and with trunk lowered. On the 40-cash pieces he carries a flag. The reverse gives the mint and, later in the reign, the distinctive name of the coin also (Pl. XII, 5).

1 The 20-cash piece had been struck by Ḥaidar 'Alī in the last two years of his reign, A.H. 1195-96. Cf. J. R. Henderson, The Coins of Ḥaidar 'All and Tipū Sultan, Madras, 1921, p. 5.

At least thirteen mints were working under Tipū, the most important being Pattan (Seringapatam), Nagar (Bednūr), and Bangalūr ; for some mints merely [S. 106] honorific titles appear, thus Nazarbār, "scattering favour," for Mysore.

The most remarkable and perplexing of Tipu's innovations was his method of dating the coins. For this purpose he used the Jovian cycle of sixty years, according to the Telugū reckoning, inventing special names for each of the sixteen years of his reign, in accordance with their correspondence with that cycle, and composing the names at different periods from the letters supplied by the two systems of numeration known as abjad and abtas. For the first four years of his reign, when he employed the abjad system, he also dated his coins in the Hijrī era ; in the fifth year he invented a new era, the Maulūdī, reckoned from the date of Muḥammad's birth in A.D. 571; dates in this era appear written from right to left. The execution of most of Tipū's coins is exceptionally good.

Kṛishṇa Rāja Udayar (1799-1868), the restored Rāja of Mysore, for a time continued the elephant copper pieces of Tipū, but later changed the device for a lion. Kanarese inscriptions (Fig. 6) were, however, at once substituted for Persian.

We must now turn to Hindustān proper. Both Nādir Shāh, in 1739, and Aḥmad Shāh Durrānī (1748-67) and his successors struck rupees and muhars to the Mughal standard for the districts they temporarily occupied. Nādir's issues are Persian in fabric, but the Durrānī coins, struck at Shāhjahānābād (Pl. XII, 2), Farrukhābād, Lāhor, Multān, Kābul, and several other mints, are largely Mughal in style. On the whole, the issues of these princes, especially those of Qandahār and Peshāwar and the rare pieces of the pretenders, Sulaimān and Humāyūn, reach a much higher artistic level than the contemporary Mughal coins.

One of the most important results of Aḥmad Shāh's repeated invasions of the Panjāb was the formation of the Sikh League, known as the Khālsā. After the seventh invasion, in 1764, the League assumed the right of coinage ; and from that date till 1777, with a gap of two years, 1766-67, for Aḥmad Shāh's last invasion, "Gobindshāhī" [S. 107] rupees were struck at Lāhor, so called from the name of the Guru Gobind being included in the Persian couplet, which formed the inscription. Amritsar, Ambratsar on the coins, became a mint in 1777. Its earliest rupees, known as "Nānakshāhī," bore a different couplet (Pl. XII, 10). A few coins were also struck at Anandgarh. All Sikh coins are dated in the Samvat era.1 The coins of Rañjīt Singh (1799-1839) are of two distinct kinds, those with Persian (often very faulty) and those with Gurmukhī2 inscriptions. Rupees of the Persian couplet type appear regularly from the mints of Lāhor and Amritsar throughout his reign, from Multān after 1818, from Kashmīr after 1819 ; and a few rupees are known from Peshāwar, Jhaṅg and Pind Dadān Khān. The king's name was never inscribed on the coinage; but the characteristic Sikh "leaf" mark makes its appearance upon his earliest rupee, dated S. 1857 (=A.D. 1800). During the Samvat years 1861-63, first a peacock's tail and then a thumb-mirror appears on the Amritsar rupees ; these are said to bear reference to Rañjīt's favourite dancing-girl, Mora. A curious rupee of Lāhor of S. 1885 displays the figures of Guru Nānak and his Muhammadan follower, Mardānāa. Rañjīt Singh also coined muhars similar in style to the rupees.

1 The Samvat, which corresponds with the Vikrama era begins in 58 B.C.

2 Gurmukhī is a Panjāb provincial form of the Nāgarī script (cf. Fig.10).

About the year S. 1885, apparently, the Gurmukhī coins were introduced. A few gold and silver coins are known, but most are copper, some weighing as much as 600 grains. The inscriptions are generally religious in character ; the commonest is Akāl Sahāī, Guru Nānakjī, "O, Eternal one help us! Guru Nānakjī!"3 The reverse gives the date and mint, generally Ambratsar. The script is usually very crude, and the "leaf" mark is almost invariably present. Some coins, like those of Kashmīr, have bilingual legends in Persian [S. 108]

3 The two parts of this legend are quite separate in sense.

and Gurmukhī. Rupees of the Persian couplet type continued to be struck after Rañjīt's death, in S. 1896, till S. 1905 (= A.D. 1848). The chiefs of the Sikh states, Patiāla, Jhind, Nābha and Kaital, and the Dogra Rājas of Kashmīr, after A.D. 1846, also coined rupees of this type. On some of these last was inscribed, on account of its supposed talismanic power, the Christian monogram I.H.S.

In conclusion, we must consider the coins of the Nawāb-wazīrs and kings of Oudh or Awadh. The existence of this province as a separate principality

began in 1720, when the wazīr, S'ādat Khān, was created Ṣūbahdār. From 1754 to 1775 the Mughal mint of Muḥammadābād-Banāras was under the control of the third Nawāb-wazīr Shujā'u-d-daula. From 1784 till 1818 succeeding nawābs continued to mint in Lakhnau (Lucknow) the famous "Machhlīdār" rupees, so called from the fish (Fig. 9, 5), the royal badge of Awadh, appearing on the reverse. All of these bear the regnal date 26, and continue the mint name Banāras. Other mints worked by the nawābs from time to time were Barelī, after 1784, Ilahābād, 1776-1780, and Āṣafnagar.

In 1818 Lord Hastings persuaded Ghāzīu-d-dīn Ḥaidar to assume the title of king, and from that time the regal series of coins begins. The royal arms of Awadh, in various forms, appear on the obverse of gold, silver and copper of Ghāzīu-d-dīn and his four successors, until the forced abdication of the last king, Wājid 'Alī Shāh, in 1856. On the reverse, the inscription, following the Mughal example, takes the form of a couplet ; and silver and gold are struck to the Mughal standard (Pl. XII, 3). Fractional pieces of the rupee and muhar were struck in all reigns. Though better executed and finer in metal than those of most other successors of the Mughals, these coins display a certain monotony, all denominations in the three metals following the prescribed pattern for the reign. Certain modifications in the inscription, however, take place from time to time. The coins of Wājid 'Alī Shāh's seventh and eighth years, of which five denominations [S. 109] in each metal are known, are probably the finest of the series.

Two large silver medals are associated with the Awadh dynasty, the first commemorating Shujā'u-d-daula's victory over the Rohillas at Mirān Katra, in 1774, the second struck by Ghāzīu-d-dīn Ḥaidar, in honour of his coronation on 1st Muḥarram A.H. 1235. On the obverse of the latter is an ornate and very realistic portrait of the king, and on the reverse the arms of Awadh. Certain "Machhlīdār" rupees and muhars, bearing the date A.H. 1229, on which the mint name Ṣūbah Awadh occurs, are believed to have been minted by the Lucknow mutineers. It is not unfitting that this short history of Indian coins should close with a description of the money of the Awadh kings ; for this latest scion of the great Mughal currency not only received its sanction from an English Governor-General, but manifested, in the adoption of armorial bearings of a Western type for its obverse, the beginning of that European influence, which, later on in the nineteenth century, was to revolutionise the coin types of the few Indian states, Ḥaidarābād, Travancore, Gwāliār, Alwar, Baroda, etc., which retained the right of minting after the introduction of the British Imperial currency.



J. PRINSEP : Essays in Indian Antiquities, Ed. E. THOMAS, London, 1858 ;

E. J. RAPSON : Indian Coins (Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde) , Strassburg, 1897;

C. J. RODGERS : Coin Collecting in Northern India, Allahabad, 1894 ;

V. A. SMITH : Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, Vol. I, Oxford, 1906 (for Chaps. I VI and X) ;

E. THOMAS: " Ancient Indian Weights "(= International Numismata Orientalia, I, Part i), 1865.



A. CUNNINGHAM : Coins of Ancient India, 1891 ;

E. J. RAPSON : Catalogue of the Coins of the Andhra Dynasty, the Western Kṣatrapas, etc., in the British Museum, London, 1908 ;

W. THEOBALD : Notes on Some of the Symbols found on the Punch-marked Coins of Hindustan, J.A.S.B., 1890, p. 181 ;

E. H. WALSH :  An Examination of a Find of Punch-marked Coins in Patna City, Journal of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society, 1919, p. 16, p. 463.


A. CUNNINGHAM: Coins of Alexander's Successors in the East, 1873 (= Num. Chron., 1868-1873) ;

id. : Coins of the Indo-Scythians, 1892 (= Num. Chron., 1888-1892);

P. GARDNER : Catalogue of Indian Coins in the British Museum : Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India, London, 1886 ;

E. J. RAPSON : Cambridge History of India, Vol. I, Chaps. XXII, XXIII ;

R. B. WHITEHEAD : Catalogue of Coins in the Punjab Museum, Lahore, Vol. I, Oxford, 1914.


J. ALLAN : Catalogue of the Coins of the Gupta Dynasties in the British Museum, London, 1914.


R. BURN:  Some Coins of the Maukharis and of the Thanesar Line, J.R.A.S., 1906, p. 843 ;

A. CUNNINGHAM: Coins of the Later Indo-Scythians, 1894 (= Num. Chron., 1893-1894) ;

id.: Coins of Medieval India, 1894 ;

C. J. RODGERS : Coins of the Mahārājahs of Kashmīr, J.A.S.B., 1897, p. 277 ;

id.: Coins of the Mahārājahs of Kāngra, J.A.S.B., 1880, p. 10.


G. BIDIE: The Pagoda or Varāha Coins of Southern India," J.A.S. B., 1883, p. 33 ;

W. ELLIOT: Coins of Southern India, 1886 (= International Numismata Orientalia III, Part 2);

E. HULTZSCH: The Coins of the Kings of Vijayanagar, I.A., 1891, p. 301;

id.: South Indian Copper Coins, I.A., 1892, p. 321 ;

id.: Miscellaneous South Indian Coins, I.A., 1896, p. 317 ;

R. P. JACKSON: The Dominions, Emblems and Coins of the South Indian Dynasties 1913 (= British Numismatic Journal, 1913);

E. LOVENTHAL : The Coins of Tinnevelly, Madras, 1888 ;

T. W. RHYS-DAVIDS: Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, 1877 (= International Numismatia Orientalia, I, Part 6);

R. H. C. TUFNELL : Hints to Coin Collectors in Southern India, Madras, 1889.


S. LANE POOLE : Catalogue of Coins in the British Museum, Sultans of Dehli, London, 1884 ;

E. THOMAS: Chronicles of the Pathan Kings of Dehli, London, 1871 ;

C. J. RODGERS: Coins Supplementary to Thomas, Chronicles of the Pathan Kings, Nos. I VI., J.A.S.B., 1880-1896 ;

H. N. WRIGHT: Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, Vol. II, Oxford, 1907 ;

id.: Addenda to the Series of Coins of the Pathan Sultans of Dehli, J.R.A.S., p. 481, p. 769.


S. LANE POOLE : Catalogue of Coins of the Muhammudan States of India in the British Museum, London, 1885 ;

H. N. WRIGHT : Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, Vol. II, Oxford, 1907.


E. THOMAS:  The Initial Coinage of Bengal, J.A.S.B., 1867, p. 1, 1873, p. 343 ;

A. F. R. HOERNLE: A New Find of Muhammadan Coins of Bengal (2 papers), J.A.S.B., 1881, p. 53, 1883, p. 211.


C. J. RODGERS : "The Square Coins of the Muhammadan Kings of Kashmir," J.A.S.B., 1885, p. 92.


O. CODRINGTON: Coins of the Bahmani Dynasty, Num. Chron., 1898, p. 259;

J. GIBBS: Gold and Silver Coins of the Bahmani Dynasty, Num. Chron., 1881.


G. P. TAYLOR: Coins of the Gujarat Saltanat, J.B.B.R.A.S., 1904, p. 278.


L. WHITE KING: History and Coinage of Malwa, Num. Chron., 1903, p. 356, 1904, p. 62.


E. HULTZSCH: Coinage of the Sultans of Madura, J.R.A.S., 1909, p. 667.


C. J. BROWN : Catalogue of the Mughal Coins in the Provincial Museum, Lucknow, 2 Vols., Oxford, 1920 ;

S. LANE POOLE : Catalogue of the Coins of the Moghul Emperors in the British Museum, London, 1892 ;

R. B. WHITEHEAD : Catalogue of the Coins of the Muqhal Emperors in the Panjab Museum, Lahore, Oxford, 1914;

id.: The Mint Towns of the Mughal Emperors of India," J.A.S.B., 1912, p. 425;

H. N. WRIGHT: Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, Vol. Ill, Oxford, 1908.

[Also a large number of articles scattered through the J.R.A.S., LA., J.A.S.B., especially the Numismatic Supplements to the last, starting from 1904.]


J. ALLAN: The Coinage of Assam, Num. Chron., 1909, p. 300;

C. J. BROWN: The Coins of the Kings of Awadh, Num. Supp., XVIII, J.A.S.B., 1912 ;

M. LONGWORTH DAMES: "Coins of the Durranis," Num. Chron., Vol. VIII, 3rd series, p. 325 ;

C. J. RODGERS : On the Coins of the Sikhs, J.A.S.B., 1881, p. 71.

East India Company.

E. THURSTON : History of the East India Company Coinage, J.A.S.B., 1893, p. 52 ;

id. : History of the Coinage of the Territories of the E.I.C. in the Indian Peninsula and Catalogue of the Coins in the Madras Museum, Madras, 1890.


A. MASTER: The Post-Mughal Coins of Ahmadabad, Num. Supp., XXU,J.A.S.., 1914;

M. G. RANADE: Currencies and Mints Under Mahratta Rule, J.B.B.R.A.S., 1902, p. 191 ;

G. P. TAYLOR: On the Baroda Coins of the Last Six Gaikwars, Num. Supp., XVIII, J.A.S.B., 1912.


A. F. R. HOERNLE: Notes on Coins of Native States, J.A.S.B., 1897, p 261 ;

W. W. WEBB : The Currencies of the Hindu States of Rajputana, London, 1893.

Tipu Sultan.

R. P. JACKSON: Coin Collecting in Mysore, British Numismatic Journal, 1909;

G. P. TAYLOR: The Coins of Tipu Sultan (Occasional Memoirs of the Numismatic Society of India), 1914.


W. H. VALENTINE: The Copper Coins of India, I, II, London, 1914.



Indian Museum, Calcutta (all classes) ;

Dehli Museum of Archaeology (Sultans of Dehli, Mughals) ;

Panjab Museum, Lahore (Indo-Greeks, Śakas, Pahlavas, Sultans of Dehli, Mughals, Sikhs);

Provincial Museum, Lucknow (Ancient Indian, Guptas, Sultans of Dehli, Mughals, Awadh) ;

Government Central Museum, Madras (South Indian, Ceylon, Mysore, East India Company, Mughals, Sultans of Dehli, Indo-Portuguese) ;

Prince of Wales' Museum, Bombay (Gujarat, Mughals, Marathas);

Provincial Museum, Shillong (Sultans of Bengal, Assam, Koch, Jaintia) ;

Central Museum, Nagpur (Sultans of Dehli, Mughals, Marathas, Bahmanis) ;

Dacca Museum (Sultans of Bengal);

Patna Museum (Punch-marked series, Mughals, Sultans of Dehli, Bengal Sultans);

Peshawar Museum (Indo-Greeks, Śakas, Pahlavas, Mughals, Durranis),

Macmahon Museum, Quetta (Durranis, Mughals, Barakzals).

London. British Museum (all classes).


Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris ;

Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin.


American Numismatic Society's Collection, New York.

Zu: 2. On the Copper Works at Singhana near Khetri in the Shekhawati Country (1831)