Coins tell tales of kings, their fancies
City’s numismatist has a rare collection of coins, including the first known in India.
BENGALURU: Though the first ever recorded demonetisation in India took place in 1946 followed by one in 1978, both to trip income-tax evaders, there were frequent monetary changes that took place in ancient India.
The longest reigning ruler Aurangazeb changed his monetary system so many times in his 49 years of reign that numismatist and author of the book South Asian Coins and Paper Money, Rajender Marudhar, says that it will take him years to count the changes.
The three-day annual numismatic exhibition concluded on February 26 with a display of Gandhiji’s Charkha. The eighth edition exhibited over 70 rare coins including Marudhar’s collection of India’s oldest-known coin.
“Coins are the best medium to give us an authentic history of the period,” says Rajender, from the Karnataka Numismatic Society.
Today, the Maru family boasts three generation of numismatists and philatelists. The story dates back to when Rajender’s father, Prem Ratan, was seven and developed an intense fascination for stamps as a “letter boy”. The fascination extended to coin collection and, when it struck him that there were too many coins, Rajender was sent to Mumbai to sell it in the 90s by his father.
The thousand coins turned the hobby into a business and today, Marudhar Arts, located underground in MG Road boasts more than 50,000 varieties of coins.