Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Cleaning of Dirty Coins

The collector should take great care in the cleaning of the coins. The coins should never be cleaned if one is not sure about the process/result of cleaning especially with any chemical or wire brush. However it depends on how you would like to deal with your coins. Since I like to see my coins all shiny and clean, I used a chemical which is easily available in the Indian market for cleaning copper vessels and utensils. The chemical is available in the name of 'PITAMBARI'' and can be easily found in any nearby grocery store. I have cleaned all my republic india coins except silver coins with pitambari and a soft toothbrush and I am satisfied with the results.
Some of the other methods of cleaning coins are described as under : 

(a) Silver Coins may be cleaned with soap or tooth-paste and rubbed between the thumb and the index finger. Personally
 I have cleaned all my silver coins with Colgate tooth powder and the results were excellent. I have applied little bit of Colgate tooth powder and rubbed the coin with a soft bristle  toothbrush for cleaning my silver coins. However I would recommend doing this on your own risk.
(b) Copper, brass and bronze coins should be dipped in sour curd (Khatta dahi) and rubbed with soft tooth-brush. The coins can also be cleaned in Tamarind (Imli) and later with Lemon juice diluted with water. 
(c) Copper and Bronze coins may have greenish deposit (Patina) on them. These can be cleaned by dipping them in coconut or seasame oil and rubbing with hard tooth-brush. Tamarind water or Lemon juice can also be used. Any edible oil may also be applied to all obsolete copper; Bronze and Brass Coins, for protecting them from the greenish deposit. 
However nothing should be applied to UNC coins.

Monday, 23 July 2012

India Republic - Monetary System

4 Pice = 1 Anna (Untill 1957)
16 Annas = 1 Rupee (Untill 1957)
15 Rupees = 1 Mohur (Until 1947)
100 Naye Paise = 1 Rupee (1957 - 1963)
100 Paise = 1 Rupee (1964 onwards)

Mint Marks

Mint Marks usually appear below the date:

1/ Mumbai (Bombay) Mint - Diamond
2/ Calcutta Mint - No Mint Mark
3/ Hyderabad Mint - Star
4/ Noida Mint - Dot

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Minting and Issue of Indian coins

The Government of India has the sole right to mint coins. The responsibility for coinage vests with the Government of India in terms of the Coinage Act 1906 as amended from time to time. The designing and minting of coins in various denominations is also the responsibility of the Government of India. Coins are minted at the four India Government Mints as mentioned below:

1/ Mumbai
2/ Alipore(Kolkata)
3/ Saifabad(Hyderabad) and Cherlapally (Hyderabad)

The coins are issued for circulation only through the Reserve Bank in terms of the RBI Act.

Coins in India are presently being issued in denominations of 10 paise, 20 paise, 25 paise, 50 paise, one rupee, two rupees and five rupees. Coins upto 50 paise are called 'small coins' and coins of Rupee one and above are called 'Rupee Coins'. Coins can be issued up to the denomination of Rs.1000 as per the Coinage Act, 1906.

Coins are received from the Mints and issued into circulation through its Regional Issue offices/sub-offices of the Reserve Bank and a wide network of currency chests and coin depots maintained by banks and Government treasuries spread across the country. The RBI Issue Offices/sub-offices are located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Belapur (Navi Mumbai), Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jammu, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram. These offices issue coins to the public directly through their counters and also send coin remittances to the currency chests and small coin depots. There are 4422 currency chest branches and 3784 small coin depots spread throughout the country. The currency chests and small coin depots distribute coins to the public, customers and other bank branches in their area of operation. The members of the public can approach the RBI offices or the above agencies for requirement of coins.

Source: RBI website

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Approaches to start your Collection

Collecting Approaches

There are several popular approaches to collecting coins. For example, you can collect by series, type, theme and date. You can start collecting commemorative of coins you use everyday such as 50paise, 1 Rupees, 2 Rupees, 5 Rupees and 10 Rupees or buy specially minted coins made by the Government of India including proof coins, uncirculated coins, mint sets. You can also collect foreign and ancient coins.

Types of Collections

1/ Commemorative Indian Coins - Government of India print many commemorative coins of different denominations every year taking a theme into consideration eg. Birth centenary of lokmanya tilak, commonwealth games, 150 years of Indian post, Reserve bank of India etc. (Check my list of Indian commemorative coins for different denomination in a separate post.). This is an easiest method of starting your collection from the commemorative coins in circulation. 

2/ Foreign Coins - There are several ways to collect foreign coins:
  • You can collect by country. 
  • You can collect commemorative coins of a particular country (eg. US, South Africa, UK etc.)
  • You can collect Euros. Although euro is one common currency but every country in European union has a different mark on the euro coin as an identity of that particular country.
3/ Paper currency - You can start your collection by collecting different paper currency notes from different countries and of different denominations. In India, you can find paper currency notes of different denomination and different designs.

Before starting your collection, do keep one pont in mind that its an hobby, hence try to collect the coins rather then spending money and buying the coins from online stores. Buying coins should be the last option and should be used only in case where you need to complete a set or for any particular reason. Try finding out different ways of collecting the coins rather then simply buying them from market. Trading coins from other coin collectors is a nice way of increasing your coin collection. Try making contacts and swapping coins from collectors.

One interesting way of collecting foreign coins is to ask for the coins from the foreign visitors in your country. Not much but just a couple of coins or paper currency. This will not cost them much and sometimes they even feel proud of contributing. Its a personal experience. Do give it a shot!!! You can also request your relatives visiting a country to contribute the left over change from their vacation or business trip.

Another way of collecting foreign coins and paper currency is to make friends from another countries and ask for their currency in return for the coins and paper currency from your local country. Its a costly method but sending paper currency would not cost you much. You need to be careful in sending coins and paper currency by post as its not allowed to transport currency via post, hence you need to be careful with the packing thing. I used to do it using old wedding cards, pasting paper currency inside the card and sending it via post. There is always a risk of not getting anything in return, hence you need to be confident of your relation with the person from other country and its purely based on trust.   

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

About Me?

I do not know what it may appear to the world..... but to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on sea shore and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary..... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me…


My name is Ankit Jain and I am a Chartered Accountant by profession, putting up in Gurgaon. To me, coin collection is not just a hobby but a way to spend my leisure time. I love to spend sometime with my collection everyday, admiring the beauty of different coins and paper currencies of the world, organizing them and thinking of different ways to get some more.

I started my collection when I was in my 8th standard (year 1998) when I found a 1 mark note from Finland in my dad's old papers. I was facinated by the language, design, colour of the note and that's how my journey began.