There is a thick
cloud of differing opinions about Sikh Coinage. Some that are in very
high favour of their authenticity while others portray them fake or copies
of many existing mint-oriented traditions. The originality and uniqueness
of the Sikh Coins has been ruthlessly damaged in the scholarly numismatic
world. Our observation and brief study is based on published material,
on the subject, during the last two centuries. We don't hesitate to accept
the shortcoming of our own postulates presented some thirty years ago.
We don't claim to put the final word but certainly we initiate a much
sought after issue to a wider audience. Pantopotamia - the land
of five rivers was well known in the ancient times for her arts, culture
and highly advanced civilization. As early as the 4th century BC the historians
of Greek invader Alexander found gold, silver and copper coins of the
Panchal Desh (Punjab). The tradition goes back to the times immemorial
during the Harrapan Age when this region was known as Arya Varat or Sapt
Sidhu by the sages of Vedic period. The Punch Mark coins are undated but
the Alexanderian coins of the Punjab are the oldest dated coins in our
collection.We have an evidence of King Samant Dev's Punjab Coins, which
were accepted in India and Western Asia up to old Iran, as legal tender.
The value of Punjab coins in the antique numismatic market is growing
rapidly but the unbiased and systematic study is in oblivion.
was revitalized from
Madho Das Bairagi to a conscientious warrior by Amrit Sanchar. The Master
sent him to Punjab with symbolic five arrows. He re-organised the scattered
Sikh bands and smashed and annihilated the callous regime of oppressors.
He established his final capital at Mukhlispur (near Ambala) and wiped
out the Mughal atrocities - ridden phenomenon. At the capital he incepted
the Gobindshahi Taxal. The popular legend of 'Degh Tegh Fateh' was created
and used by this mint for the first time. It says,
|The Seal and edict of Banda Bahadur|
the Misl Period
A new Mint, 'Zarb' came into being. It was called,
"Zarb Rakab Bakhat"
"The Mint on Horse-back."
The Nanakshahi couplet was first used in the mint:-
"Sikka Zad Bar Seem O Zar
Fazl Sacha Sahib Ast.
Tegh-I-Nanak Wahib Ast."
"Coin struck in silver and gold by the grace of the true Lord.
Of the victory of Gobind Singh, Lion of Kings,
Nanak's sword is the provider."
There are, however, many variations in these legends, which partly appear in the coins struck at various mints of Sher-e-Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. These mints were based in eight places: Amritsar, Lahore, Anandgarh, Derajat, Multan, Peshawar, Kashmir and Jammu. All silver coins bear the Nanakshahi year. Guru Nanak Dev was born in 1469 AD. i.e 1526 Bikrami. Sher-e-Punjab Coronation took place in 1801 AD or 1858 B. So his coronation coins bear year 332 Nanakshahi. The gold coins were Double Mohar, One Mohar and Half Mohar. The silver, one rupee, half rupee, one-fourth rupee and the copper, one Anna, half Anna, Paisa, half Paisa and Dhela. All Sikh Coins have a mintmark of 'Leaf' with ten variations.
Some coins bear a very special of Lions, Kataars, Lotus and Flags. On top of coins and tokens there existed lot of Sikh Medals issued during Misls and Sher-e-Punjab regime (to be discussed in another article entitled Sikh -Decorative Titles).
|Silver Coins during the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who had no currency named after his name. These coins are known as Nanak Shahi coins having Persian inscription, which mean Kettle (symbolises the means to feed the poor). Sword )symbol of protection), Victory, an unhesitating patronage obtained from Nanak-Guru Gobind Singh. These coins were made of copper, silver and gold.|
|ALL THE ABOVE COINS IN ORIGINAL FORM AND OTHER ORIGINAL ARTEFACTS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE SIKH HERITAGE MUSEUM -CONTACT CAN BE MADE THROUGH US|