It's the case of the Missing Monster Mohurs. The government of India is seeking two large rare gold coins that went missing decades ago. Have any of our readers spotted them?
The gold coin that finds a mention in the travelogues of Venetian traveller Nicolao Manucci and Capt Hawkins was last seen in the possession of Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, Mukarram Jah, in the late 1980s.
The Central government has resumed the search to look for two special gold coins minted during the Mughal period, one of which, a 12kg gold coin, is touted as the biggest coin ever minted and has been missing for nearly four decades.
The special gold coins
The 12kg gold coin was minted during the rule of Emperor Jahangir, who referred to it as Kaukab-i-Tali, while the other one, weighing a kilo, belonged to Emperor Shahjahan.
According to a report by the Times of India, the missing 12kg gold coin is regarded as the property of the Nizams of Hyderabad, and was last seen in the hands of Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, Mukarram Jah. It was passed down to Jah by his grandfather and last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan.
As per a book written by former joint director of CBI, Shantonu Sen the CBI officials found that Jahangir had minted two such coins. While one was presented to Yadgar Ali, ambassador of the Shah of Iran, the other one had become the property of the Nizams of Hyderabad.
Jahangir in his autobiography, Tuzuk-i-Jahngiri has mentioned a gold coin weighing 1000 tolas (1 tola is nearly 12 grams) that he presented to Yadgar Ali, ambassador of the Shah of Iran.
As per the TOI report, the gold coin 20.3cm in diameter was minted at Agra.
Renowned historian Prof Salma Ahmed Farooqui of HK Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, who has conducted research on the history and legacy of the coin, said it was invaluable to Hyderabad's pride.
Prof Salma said such large coins were also mentioned by foreign travellers like Nicolao Manucci and Capt. Hawkins and others in their travelogues.
Venetian traveller Manucci said that although the coins were not current, Mughal emperors like Jahangir and Shahjahan gave them as presents to ambassadors and special guests.
How it went missing
As per reports, the Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, Mukarram Jah, auctioned the coin at the Swiss Bank.
Farooqui told TOI that in 1987, Indian officials in Europe alerted the central government about auctioneer Habsburg Feldman SA auctioning the 11,935.8 gm gold coin in Geneva at Hotel Moga on November 9, through Paris-based Indosuez Bank's Geneva branch, the CBI came into the picture.
Investigations further revealed that Mukarram Jah was trying to auction two gold mohurs in 1987 at the Swiss auction. One of which was supposedly the 1,000 tola coin which was valued at $16 million in 1987," she added.
There is a REPLICA of the 1,000 tolas gold coin on display at the Saifabad Mint Museum discussed last month. We discussed the 1987 Habsburg-Feldman auction in 2019 - see the earlier articles linked below.
To read the complete article, see:
India resumes hunt for world's biggest gold coin after 35 years: The history of the 12-kg coin and how it was lost
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
REPLICAS OF WORLD'S LARGEST COIN OFFERED
MORE ON THE MUGHAL MULTIPLE-MOHUR COINS
THE SAIFABAD MINT MUSEUM
Wayne Homren, Editor
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