The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 37, September 8, 2013, Article 5


I came across this review online about a recent book on Kashmir coins. -Editor

Kashmir Coins Title: Ancient coins of Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and its frontier Districts Author: Iqbal Ahmad Publisher: Dilpreet Publishers, New Delhi Distributors: Ariana Book Distributors, New Delhi Publishing Date: August, 2013 Reviewer: Irfan Naveed

The numismatic heritage of Jammu and Kashmir more or less has remained unattended. A very little of this heritage has been studied by the British numismatists during surveys of 19th and 20th century. Alexander Cunningham was perhaps the first archaeologist and numismatist who under took the study of Kashmir archaeology. He is also learnt to have few coins of medieval Kashmir. He was later followed by other European missionaries like Rodgers. Lane Pole and Nelson Wright. But all of these scholars had remained stuck to medieval ages of the Kashmir numismatic history. Few local historians that include PN K Bamzai , GMD Sofi and Mohibul Hassan, also studied some Muslim period coins and incorporated them in their respective historiographies.

Since centuries passed the numismatic heritage remained neglected as there was no body technically trained to undertake the scientific study of this significant heritage.

Iqbal Ahmad, noted Kashmir based archaeologist and author, became the first Kashmiri to undertake the numismatic studies of the state and published a monogram titled ‘Kashmir Coins’. In his first phase of research of this kind , Iqbal has made the first documentation of ancient coins and currency notes of the state available in his fresh monogram on ancient coins of the entire Jammu and Kashmir state and in its frontier Districts title.

The archaeologist born at Parigam in the South Kashmir’s District of Kulgam has deciphered and studied thousands of ancient coins found in the state and kept in its various museums, coin collections and with individual keepers of Jammu, Kashmir Ladakh and of its frontier districts.

Iqbal Ahmad, who has got the technical qualifications of investigating the ancient coins, has been engaged in the research and study of these coins for last one decade. Trained in numismatic studies from Indian Institute of Numismatic Researches, Nasik Maharashtra, Ahmad also learned classical Greek, Khoroshti, Brahmi, Sharda, Persian and Arabic alphabets to decipher the legends devised on these coins.

He had deciphered a number of these classical legends on these coins and identified, chronologically, hundreds of ancient coins of Janaphada , Mouryan Greek, Scythian Parthain , Kushan , Kidara, Heptithlites . karkota, Shameri, Chak , Mughal , Durrani , Sikh and Dogra periods.

According to him the Punch mark coin in Silver bearing certain motifs has been the earliest among the un-inscribed coins of Kashmir stuck here during the Janapadha period dated ( 600-350)B C. Such coins, according to him, had been found at Semithan Bijbehara in south Kashmir and few such pieces of Punch Mark are also preserved in the numismatic cabins of the state museum at Lalmandi.

The researches made by this scholar are incorporated in the monogram on Kashmir coins authored by this scholar and published by a reputed Delhi based publisher. This monogram carries illustrated documentation and identification of coins with descriptive notes on metallic analysis, typology, and weight standards. The monograms also carry the classification of various treasure troves found in entire Jammu and Kashmir State including the parts administrated by Pakistan. The noted author and archaeologist have already authored a number of books and research papers on Kashmir Art, Culture and Archaeology.

To read the complete article, see: The Kashmir coins Book review (

The review didn't mention the price or where to buy the book, but I found it at -Editor

Author: Iqbal Ahmad
ISBN(13): 9788186762442
Year: 2011
Format: Hard Bound
Price: Rs.1795

No doubt numismatic studies have a great passion and excitement for its readers but for the authors and publishers it is a very difficult field. It involves certain special expertise and knowledge of ancient scripts and mythologies. To identify and decipher an ancient coin one should be able to read and make out the legends and motifs of the either faces of the coin and later on interpret them to their respective periods.

The European Archaeologists were first to introduce the numismatic study in India. They studied the ancient Roman and Greek coins found in various Indian states. The initial Kashmir coinages were also deciphered by these experts. The first article on the ancient coins of Kashmir was authored by a British expert called Alexander Cunningham, which was published in 1843 AD. C J Rodgers British numismatist published his research paper on the copper coins of the Sultanate period in 1885. G.B.Bleazby another coin expert worked as the first Accountant General of Jammu and Kashmir during the period of Maharaja Pratap Singh. He in 1900 prepared the first list of about 1500 coins preserved in the S.P.S.Museum at Lal mandi Srinager, Subsequently in 1923 Ram Chandra Kak in his Handbook of the Shri Pratap Museum gave brief account of the numismatic section of this Museum.


For more information, or to order, see: kashmir Coins : Ancient Coins of Jammu ,Kashmir, ladakh & its Frontier Districts (

Kolbe-Fanning website ad2new

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster