Perhaps there are over 100 coin collectors in Chennai, but S. Hunsuldeen of Saligraman stays distinctive among his fraternity.
The 45-year-old automobile spare-parts dealer not only owns a range of Indian and foreign coins but has created eye-catching models of famous structures using them.
Hunsuldeen's love for coins started from his teenage days when his father Sheik Udman used to have a cache of coins for the money collected from his hotel business those days. “He used to save some coins with unique symbols and images in a glass jar which inspired me in a big way. Thereafter, I started collecting Indian coins,” said Husuldeen who has been pursuing his hobby for more than two decades now.
Today, Husuldeen's prized possession includes coins dating back to the Raja Raja Chola era, Mughal period, East India Company rule and modern India. “I have silver coins that were released during the rule of Akbar and Shah Jahan and coins of Tipu Sultan's period,” he added. The oldest in Husuldeen's collection is four 1000-year-old copper coins from the Raja Raja Chola period.
He also owns a currency note collection including some rare foreign notes and Indian rupee notes released from 1933 till 2010. He also has a 1000-rupee note released in 1954 with the photo of the Thanjavur temple, which he claims as the rarest. In a quest to achieve a unique feat with his coin collection, Husuldeen thought of creating structures by piling up his coin collection innovatively. “In the beginning, I created 30 different timepieces which I exhibited at an event in 2006 and even received an award,” said the coin collector.
He later made famous structures including the leaning tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower and Petronas twin towers. He also made models of Chennai's landmark structures such as the Anna Nagar Tower, Gandhi Mandapam and Ashok Pillar.