BENGALURU: If you hand Kalyan B a coin, he will most definitely turn it over to observe the metal, the year it was released, where it was minted and other such details. The CTO of Amstar Technologies, an informational technology custom learning services venture, has been an avid coin collector since the age of 13 and has over 250 coins in his collection today. “People often tell me these don’t have value, aren’t accepted anymore or may depreciate over time but I don’t bother. Collecting coins and currencies from world over makes me happy,” says the 41-year-old.
Some of the ‘noteworthy’ pieces in Kalyan’s collection include a `10 coin introduced on India’s 25th Independence Day, a coin released to celebrate 150 years of the Indian Railways, the first `100 note released after the country gained Independence, anna coins that are no longer in circulation and a `2 coin released in 1982 for the Asian Games. Besides this, he also has currency from Israel, Britain, Russia, South Africa, USA and Australia. “My father used to collect coins too and he passed on his collection to me,” says Kalyan while explaining how he amassed this collection over the years.
Now, every time a friend or family member visits a place, Kalyan always asks them to hand over some coins or notes for him to add to his collection. Interestingly, Kalyan’s colleagues – Joseph Jayakumar and T G Venugopalan – have similar hobbies and are both into philately. Conversations at office often include animated discussions around each of their latest finds and the best places to scout for their next ones. Interestingly, Jayakumar has also helped Kalyan expand his collection by handing over a King George V and VI coin that he found at Madurai.
Every six months, Kalyan goes through his collection to review it. Trading these coins, he says, will never be the agenda. “I’m now looking for coins that date before the 1800s and will probably have to check online fourms for this. Those are harder to find,” he adds.
Currently, Kalyan’s moment of joy comes from having acquired the new `20 note released by the government. “I sent a picture of it on my family WhatsApp group as soon as I got it,” he says. Finding the note was a complete chance encounter during a festive marketing trip. “The flower vendor had a bunch of `10 notes but for some reason, he handed me the new `20 one instead. It’s almost as if people seem to know about my love for numismatics,” he says with a laugh.