Bidder from north east India laps up rare coin for Rs 6.25 lakh

A ‘rebel issue’ dating back to CE 1791 has generated quite a buzz in the numismatists’ circle.

The gold coin issued by Bharat Simha, an 18th century ruler of Assam, which was hitherto unlisted, was auctioned for the first time in the country here.


The coin, described as “exceedingly rare”, weighs 11.2 gram. It was lapped up by a bidder from the north east for Rs. 6.25 lakh.

With hammer commission, service tax, VAT and insurance, the total cost for the bidder is expected to exceed Rs. 7 lakh.

A ‘rebel issue’ in numismatic parlance is one that is issued by a person anticipating to become the ruler, even before the coronation.

Though some “rebel issues” from the Mughal period come for auctions, they are normally rare.

“The Assam ‘rebel issue’ was auctioned for the first time in the country. It is extremely rare for two reasons, first being a gold coin from Assam and for being a ‘rebel issue’,” Archie Maru of Marudhar Arts, which auctioned the coin here on Saturday, told The Hindu.

He said Bharath Simha, after releasing the rebel issue, went on to become the king.

The coin has also not been listed in the South Asian Catalogue, which is considered an authentic source of information for numismatists with a list of known coins, he added.


While a coin collector from the north east had put this rare issue on the block, Mr. Maru refused to provide details about the buyer, who placed and won the bid online.

“Collectors look for issues from the region that they belong to. In this case, the online bidder may have bought it to add to his collection from the region,” he added.

Meanwhile, a silver coin, issued in the name of 18th century Mughal ruler Shah Alam II by the Marathas, and considered very rare was also bought by an online bidder for Rs. 2.75 lakh, which will exceed Rs. 3 lakh with commission, taxes and insurance.

This coin, minted at Murtazabad, weighs about 11.5 grams and has a diameter of 20.17 mm.

“This coin is extremely rare and has nagari legend Sri Ganapathi and Persian legend Shah Alam Bahadur Badshah Ghazi,” Mr. Maru said.

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