CoinWeek had a nice article back on March 15th about the revival of The East India Company as a brand and their issuance of commemorative coins.
Over three hundred years after The East India Company was first given the right to mint its own currency by Charles II in 1677, the company has announced the issue of its legal tender coins returning to its by-gone days in the bullion trade. The Limited Edition gold proof coins are struck by the Royal Mint, who first minted coins for The East India Company over two hundred years ago.
The coin designs are inspired by the main trading currencies The East India Company used in the 17th - 19th century ─ CASH and Mohur. The silver 'CASH' proof coins features a peacock design symbolizing immortality and rebirth and are available in a 1/2oz and 1oz coin equivalent to a 10p and 20p respectively. The gold Mohur proof coins bear the famous Lion & Palm Tree motif denoting wealth and prosperity and are available in a half and one Mohur coin equivalent to 50p and £1 respectively
Commenting on the launch of their legal tender coins Sanjiv Mehta, Managing Director and Chairman of The East India Company, said: "The East India Company is proud to present its first silver and gold coins. The company has been known in the precious metal trade since 1800. It was and still is the only corporate in history to mint its own trading currency. It made sense to commission our own silver and gold coins in this day and age. The precious metal trade formed an important part of The East India Company's trading activities and we plan to re-establish this position for the company today."
Thanks to CoinsWeekly for pointing out the article in their March 29 issue; I'd missed it when it first came out.
Coins of the East India Company have always interested me, although I never became an active collector. Do any of our readers have this as a specialty? Does anyone know who designed these latest EIC coins?
To read the complete article, see:
The East India Company Issues its First Legal Tender Coins Since 1874
From the company web site:
Initially East India Company coins were minted in England and shipped to the East. In England over time the word 'Cash' was adopted from the Tamil word "Kasu", meaning 'a coin'. East India Company coinage had both Urdu and English writing on it, to facilitate its use within trade. In 1671 the directors of The East India Company ordered a mint to be established at Bombay, known as Bombain. In 1677 this was sanctioned by The Crown, the coins, having received royal sanction were struck as silver Rupees; the inscription runs The Rupee of Bombaim, by authority of Charles II.
At about this time coins were also being produced for The East India Company at the Madras mint. The currency at The Company's Bombay and Bengal administrative regions was The Rupee. At Madras, however, The Company's accounts were reckoned in "Pagodas", "Fractions", "Fanam", "Faluce" and "Cash". This system was maintained until 1818 when the Rupee was adopted as the unit of currency for The Company's operations, the relation between the two systems being 1 Pagoda equaling 3-91 Rupees and 1 Rupee equaling 12 Fanams.
Over time, coins of The East India Company achieved an almost universal circulation in India. The use of a national single value of Cash facilitated internal trade between the regions, laying foundations for a national commercial system.
To visit the company web site, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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