“Each coin, stamp and currency narrates the history of an era,” says Daniel Samuel. Neatly arranged around him are heaps of coins, currencies, antiques, stamps and medals. A passionate numismatist for nearly three decades, the 62-year-old owns a solid collection he proudly flaunts.
“Coins and currencies are the remnants of history. They will tell you all about the period of their circulation- art, culture, war, hierarchy and financial state of the place. I started this as a hobby 27 years ago, but now it has become my livelihood,” says Daniel who sits outside the Secretariat where he has put up the coins for sale.
Originally from Kayamkulam, Daniel used to exhibit his collection in schools, colleges and clubs. His love for antique collection began well during his school days. Later, he joined the local chapter of numismatic society.
“My elder sister also helped me a lot in adding to my collections,” he added. Daniel has coins and currencies of almost 193 independent nations in his collection which includes coins and currencies of various dynasties like Chola, Chera and Pandya. “Coins from pre-independence era enjoy a great demand in market. I also have a collection of articles from British India and Dutch India,” he added.
Coins from civil war-affected countries
The most unique item in his collection include coins from countries which were affected by civil wars. “It is very difficult to obtain coins from such countries.
I also collect postcards, first day covers (FDC) and special covers,” says Daniel who is always willing to to share his experience to young aspirants. Coins and currencies from the period of Chandragupta Maurya, Vijayanagara, Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali are also some of his valuable exhibits. “Most of my coins are collected during my travels. In North India, you can find a lot of dealers. I also approach foreign agents for my collection,” he says.
Quiz him on the profit of his business and Daniel says, “The price of old coins are very high but for me it is more of a hobby than business. I want to conduct more exhibitions even if it means taking a break from sales.”