Three-day Nanyadarshini 2012 draws passionate numismatists from everywhere

Evolution of coins from copper, nickel, brass to stainless steel is a fascinating history that spans millennia.

At the Nanyadarshini 2012, a three-day all India exhibition of coins and currency which opened here Friday, the exhibits ranged from rare silver, lead and copper coins from the Indus Valley civilisation to punched coins belonging to 600 BCE to 200 BCE, Maurya period, the medieval period, Vijayanagar empire, and post-Chola period.

Rare collection

K.G. Subramanya, an agriculturist from Hassan and a passionate numismatist, here to exhibit his rare collection of British India notes as well as post-independence currencies — said he turned a serious collection 10 years back. His cache has notes with fancy numbers, both in sequential ascending and descending order.

“Even though this hobby is expensive, I feel happy when I find an antique note of significance in such exhibitions and buy them,” he said.

For Girija Shankar, a numismatist whose day job is law, this hobby is her lifeline. She says she constantly on the lookout for unique currencies.

Her collection boasts more than 1,000 antique coins from different countries, sorted by themes like environment, animal kingdom, natural vegetation and waterfalls. This numismatist, who describes her hobby as educative, has exhibited her collection in Baroda, Chennai, Mumbai and Kanyakumari. “Each time I visit a new city or a new country, I preserve the currency of that place and study its history,” she said.

A word of caution

“I bought the commemorative proof set of new ten-rupee coin here by paying Rs. 8000,” said V. Gopal Krishna, a retired Assistant Manager in the Ministry of Defence from Bangalore. A collector for the past 40 years, his interest is more in uncirculated currencies (UNCs). “We should be careful of the fake dealers who often pass off their collection as original as this hobby is really expensive. Newcomers are often cheated by fake dealers.”

N. Rafeek, from Kerala, was in search of a ten rupee note with Haj theme to complete his collection. “My collection of coins dates from British India to Republic India,” said this enthusiastic numismatist, who has been at it for two decades.

Weekend display

The three-day exhibition, inaugurated by the Reserve Bank of India General Manager Ashok Narain, is organised by Karnataka Numismatic Society at the Shikashakara Sadana on K.G. Road, is on till Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Numismatists from across the country have put up more than 50 stalls for sale of antique coins and currency.