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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 47, November 22, 2009, Article 22

M.V. LAKSHMINARAYANA'S NUMISMATIC MUSEUM

Dick Johnson spotted this article about a new numismatic museum in India. Who know, maybe numisma-tourist Howard Berlin will show up at their door someday. -Editor

In this new era of e-mail, ipods, DVDs and other electronic gadgets of entertainment, the hobby of collecting stamps and currency is still alive in late M.V. Lakshminarayana's residence ‘Aparoopa' at Agrahara in city.

Lakshminarayana, an employee of State Bank of Mysore (SBM) in city, was in the habit of collecting postage stamps, greeting cards, ancient coins, currency notes, war medals, antique pieces, first day covers and comme-moration stamps, photography.

Over a period of 40 years, he has collected more than 15,000 stamps, coins and currency notes of about 150 countries and more than 350 war medals.

"My husband first began his collection in 1954. Initially it was only stamps, but later in 1963, when he got a job in the Bank, he took to collecting currency notes and with the help of his pen-friends in different countries, he started collecting currency notes of all countries," says Shantha.

"During the course of his job, when he had an opportunity to work at the Foreign Exchange Department, he befriended foreigners who visited the Bank to encash their Traveller's Cheques into Indian currency. He bought currencies of their countries by paying them their equivalent in Indian rupees. In this way, he collected both currency notes and coins of nearly 150 countries."

"Lakshminarayana also started collecting rare Indian currency notes bearing unusual serial numbers. At first he started collecting currency notes of denominations of Re.1, Rs.2, Rs.5 and Rs.10, bearing serial numbers 111111 to 999999. He used to wait for fresh currency notes that were being regularly sent to his Bank by the RBI from its Press (Cash Remittance). Whenever currencies with unique features were received, he immediately exchanged them with ordinary currency. It took nearly 10 years for him to collect notes bearing serial numbers in the above denominations and only nine such notes can be collected from 1,000,000 pieces of the same series," says Shantha.

"Then his hunt began for notes bearing serial numbers 123456 and 654321 (ascending and descending order). Since our currency notes start with the serial number 0000001 and end with 1,000,000, notes with the above numbers appear only once in a bundle of 1,000,000 pieces.

Among the ancient coins were forceps-shaped silver coin (Larin) minted in 1077 by Ali Adil Shah II of Bijapur and gold coins of Kanishka period. A coin released by the Ontario Government to commemorate the role of mining in the development of Canada issued in 1967 is an alloy of gold, nickel, zinc, platinum, silver, copper and iron.

Others in the collection include silver coins of East India Company minted in 1768 AD at Murshidabad, West Bengal, coins of Arcot Nawabs with Walajah as their capital minted perhaps in Tiruchi and gold and silver coins of Tipu Sultan. Silver pagodas of Madras Coinage minted in 1870-1808 had the figure of Lord Venkateshwara on one side with value in Tamil and Telugu and on the obverse a Gopuram with value written in English and Persian characters.

To read the complete article, see: Aparoopa: A unique museum to keep alive a unique hobby (www.starofmysore.com/searchinfo.asp?search1=4313&search2=specialnewsnew)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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