An exhibition on currencies and coins of the ancient period organised by the Tiruchi Numismatic Society at Tamil Sangam has been a major draw in the city. Coins from various time periods, dimensions, and material are on displayed at 40-odd stalls in the three-day exhibition, which will conclude by Monday.
Every piece of coin unravels important history. In addition to history lovers, research scholars and a large number of students make a beeline to the venue to have a glimpse of the ancient coins made of silver, gold, aluminium and copper.
The coins stand as a mirror of the hoary past, describing vital information. Some coins throw a surprise given their small size. They are neatly packed and kept for display. “You have to touch the coin to feel its presence inside the plastic wallet,” says S. Ganapathy Subramanian, president of the society.
Coins brought out during the Vijayanagar, Nayak of Madurai, and Tanjore, and Mysore Kingdom coins pertaining to the period of Hyder Ali, Tippu Sultan and Wadiyar are some of the other attractions. A total of 24 coins of the Vijayanagar era brought out during 1336-1649 AD and 21 coins the Nayak era between 1559 and 1736 are on display, he said.Commemorative coins
A collection of commemorative coins is another major attraction for visitors. The commemorative coins of the 150 birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya and Swami Vivekananda, 1,000 year of the Brahadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur and the platinum jubilee of the Indian Air Force are some of them on display. “I have been collecting all the commemorative coins released by the Reserve Bank of India,” says G. Giri, a members of the society.Old stamp papers
Old stamp papers released during the British era such as George V, George VI, Queen Victoria period have also been displayed. G. Kannaya Sharma says he used to collect old documents from wastepaper stalls. “It is a matter of pride to be in possession of these ancient records,” he said.
It has been planned to bring schoolchildren in and around the city on Monday, says Mr. Ganapathy Subramanian. The society, which was founded in 1994, has been organising the exhibition once in three years. Its membership strength has increased from 10 in 1994 to 220 now. The society organises monthly meetings in which articles about the ancient coins authored by research scholars are being released to the members.