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Coining a unique history

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  • JK
    http://www.hindu.com/lf/2004/11/01/stories/2004110101470200.htm The history of the region that once formed Kerala, right from the Sangam age to the reign of
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2004
      http://www.hindu.com/lf/2004/11/01/stories/2004110101470200.htm

      The history of the region that once formed Kerala, right from the
      Sangam age to the reign of the rulers of erstwhile Travancore, has
      been brought alive through coins at an ongoing exhibition organised by
      the Numismatic Research Society of Kerala in the Museum auditorium in
      the capital.

      The coins on show include the silver Purana, issued by the Ay-Chera
      chieftains between 600 and 200 BC and which is believed to be the
      oldest coin of southernmost India; the silver Makotai, the earliest
      known portrait coin of South India, which was issued by the Cheras
      during the Sangam age; Roman dinarii; the minute Quarter Taras of
      Vijayanagar, which weigh just 0.06 gm; and the Vellichakram, issued by
      the Travancore king, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, in the mid-18th
      century.

      All the exhibits have been provided with detailed notes while the
      exhibits from the Travancore era are accompanied by colour portraits
      of the monarchs themselves. The aim of the exhibition is to generate
      interest in the public, especially students, in coin collection,
      explains Beena Sarasan, president of the newly formed society. "We
      have tried to include all the coins issued during various periods in
      the Kerala region," she says.

      Roman trade coins, ranging from the silver dinarii, issued by Augustus
      (27 BC to 37 AD), to the gold aurei, minted by Tiberius and Nero (54
      to 68 AD), are a highlight. The gold coin issued by Tiberius shows a
      vertical cut on the emperor's face, indicating that Roman authority
      stood cancelled here and that the coin was traded only for its
      intrinsic value.

      The coins, which were in circulation in Malabar, such as the famed
      Gold Mohur; the Venetian Ducat; and the coins issued by the East India
      Company, the French in Mahe, and Hyderali and Tipu, are displayed.
      There is a collection of the gold coins minted by the Gangas, Hoysalas
      and Yadavas.

      A `chakra palaka,' which was used to count minute coins, and a copper
      vessel in which a hoard of copper coins was found buried, evoke
      curiosity. Large uniface British Indian notes are among the paper
      currency on show. Coin sellers have chipped in with their ware, which
      includes magnifying glasses and albums used by collectors.
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