EARLY COINAGE OF INDIA
The word 'Coin' is derived from the Latin word "cuneus" and it is believed that the first Recorded use of coins was in China and Greece in around 700 BC and in India in the sixth century B.C.
A Coin is a piece of metal of prescribed weight, embellished with design and produced under the directions of an authority, for its use as a medium of exchange and commercial transactions and so it has become a part of our daily life. Collecting old, rare, and obsolete coins is a fascinating and extremely educative hobby, and one that has gained immense popularity and momentum in the course of Last century.
The study of coins and medallions is known as NUMISMATICS.
In India , when coins of sufficiently small denomination, were not available, cowries, the hard outer shells of shellfish, were also used to supplement coins and were widely utilized by the poor.
CHOWRI AND PHUTI CHOWRI
There are, believed to be, some 130 varieties of cowries in the world of which around 40 are available in India. Those ceased to be used when the Indian government issued coins of very low denomination. Almost all the rulers of the various Indian States issued their own unique coins of different shapes, sizes, weights and denominations, in gold, silver, brass and other metals.
Early coins were die-struck manually and therefore were not uniform in shape and design. The earliest of such coins were casted coins & die-struck only on one side, and were thus uniface and because they had one to five marks incused on a single side, they are termed 'Punch Mark' coins.
These punch mark coins are uniface & remained in use till 300 B.C; subsequently both sides began to be embossed with the bust and legend. All that changed in India , as in 1829 A.D. the British set up the first two mintsin India.
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