Where collectors clamoured for coins of yore

Penny-wise

Where collectors clamoured for coins of yore

The familiar clink of metal had a spin of antiquity to it. The air of excitement about the old currency notes and collectable stamps was just infectious.

The event was the fifth national numismatics exhibition that opened at a hotel in the City on Friday. While it was curiosity for the laymen who came to the expo, the same coupled with academic interest for philatelists and numismatists. There were rare artefacts too on display for the probing eyes. A number of stalls were set up by philatelists and numismatists from across the country to sell an assortment of prized coins, stamps and currency notes from far and wide.

Sapna Chaurasia, who hails from Indore, said, “My passion started five years ago and today, I am selling coins here. That is the kind of addiction one gets from collecting stamps and coins. I have coins dating back to the period of Chandragupta Maurya. These are extremely rare.”

There are over 75 dealers participating in the three-day exhibition and several schools are bringing children to show them the wonderful collections.

“Any financial instrument used by the government becomes a thing of fascination us. When it comes to stamps, there are theme-wise collections like those featuring flowers, animals, places of interest and more. The market value of a coin, after 10 years, could be many times higher than its face value. This could go up to lakhs and crores of rupees,” said Archie Maru of Marudhar Arts, the organisers.

“I am astonished to see some of the collections here. I have several albums, but this event makes it all feel so tiny. People have really dedicated their lives to this passion,” said Anandakumar, a school teacher from Basaveshwaranagar.

Coins are also being auctioned at the exhibition. Rare items like the first known silver coin of India, which is about 2,800 to 3,200 years old, the silver double rupee coin of Tipu Sultan, handwritten and signed letter of Rabindranath Tagore, one and five rupee notes printed during King George VI’s reign, to name a few, have gone under the hammer here.

Seminars and talks by eminent philatelists and numismatists are part of the exhibition.
“I do not subscribe to the belief that this is an affluent man’s hobby. I have bought coins worth Rs one lakh for just Rs 2,000. It is all about having an open eye and mind.
The hobby increases your outlook immensely,” said Prashanth Kulkarni, one of the speakers and the vice-chairman of the Indian Coin Society, Nagpur.

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