Small change: Rare coins go under hammer, find big takers Dec 1 - AnushreeMajumdar,RICHA BHATIA
New delhi, December 1 The older you get,
the more interested they are in you. Only if you are a copper
pattern coin circa 1820, that is. And if you are a punch-marked
silver coin that did the rounds during the lifetime of Gautam
Buddha, theyll move heaven on earth to possess you.
Todywallas Auctions, the countrys
only licenced numismatic auctioneers, held Delhis second
auction of coins, tokens, medals and paper money on Saturday.
And going under the hammer was a rare collection that most
museum collections in the country have little knowledge of.
The auction house began 38 years ago when
Farok S Todywalla worked out the economics of rare coins and
his passion rubbed off on his family. Today, sons Kaizer and
Malcolm assist their father in running the Mumbai-based auction
house. How do they source all these treasures? From coin vendors
and collectors across the country, says Malcolm. What
is surprising is the coin collecting hobby has penetrated
to even villages today.
The value of a coin, he says, depends on demand, supply, mint
that issued it, condition, metal content, rarity and so forth.
Coins containing gold and silver have greater market value
but, on occasion, a very rare copper coin can be worth more
than a gold or silver one.
Todywalla says the market in India is still
very nascent. Not many are aware of the investment opportunity.
We are trying to create awareness, and a market, through these
Farokhs elder son Kaizer conducted todays auction,
held at Bapu Sewa Sadan, and the big bets were on a gold coin
of Chandragupta (Gupta Empire), gold and silver coins of Mughal
emperors Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan. A whopping Rs 2.50
lakh was estimated on an East India Company silver pattern
coin of King William-IV (1834); a copper pattern coin of 1828
was estimated at Rs 1.25 lakh. The coins in copper, silver
and gold ranged back to the 13th century; Masonic and Parsi
medals were the most sought after.
Among modern coins, East India Companys
Princeps contract coins in copper elicited good response,
finally going for Rs 6,500. King Williams silver coin
also lived up to its promise. Most 1834 patterns are
seen with a comma after IIII and not a dot; that is why the
coin is exceedingly rare, Todywalla says.
The second highest bid went for an 1828 copper
coin of Bombay Presidency issued by Robert Gordon of 2nd Battalion
of Bombay artillery for Rs 1.90 lakh. The rarity of this lies
in its design it was prepared at the Bombay mint but
not approved for circulation, as the insignia of Bombay artillery
was not in the centre.