The Gulbarga Bahmani Numismatics Research and Educational Trust recently published a book titled ‘A Legacy of Bahmani Sultans through coins’ authored by Numismatist Mohammad Ismail in which he depicts the numismatic journey of Bahmani Sultans through his collections.
The book traces the journey of coins belonging to all the 18 Bahmani Sultans starting from Alauddin Hasan Bahman Shah (1347-58), till the last Sultan - Kalimullah Shah (1526-1538). Mr. Ismail has meticulously worked, richly illustrated, about each coin issued during Bahmani Sultans period.
Mr. Ismail has got a rare treasure of antique coinage, belonging to Bahmani Sultans from 14th Century to 16th Century. The numismatist has more than 2,500 coins in his collection of various rulers, dynasties and kingdoms. Among his treasury are also coins dating back to 1,600 years ago.
The numismatist also organises a campaign “Save Coin Save Heritage.” The objective of this campaign is to spread awareness about ancient coins at schools and to take forward the legacy to younger generations.
Speaking to The Hindu, the numismatist explained the legacy of Bahmani Sultans and displayed a collection of nearly 80 copper coins issued in one year period between 1378-1379, and said that all the four Sultans including Dawood Shah-I, Muhammad Shah-II, Ghiyasuddin Tahmathan Shah, Shamshuddin Dawood Shah–II (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th sultans, respectively), have ruled for less than a year. His collection has got nearly 500 coins issued during Tajuddin Firoz Shah (8th Bahmani sultan), followed by 400 coins of Muhammad Shah-I (the second Bahmani sultan), and 300 coins of Kalimullah Shah (18th Bahmani sultan) Period.
According to Mr. Ismail, the study of coins gives insights into history as no other source does. The enthusiast numismatist tries to enhance his collection by getting in touch with collectors across India. His collection includes coins of various shapes, sizes and weights issued during different reigns made up of gold, silver, bronze and copper, some very rare.
When asked about the estimated value of coins in his collection, Mr. Ismail said that the value of each coin varied depending on its age, rarity and material. “But for me, as a numismatist, it is the coin’s age and rarity which matters more than its price,” he said.
Some of the rarest coins in his collections are of Tahmatun Shah, Dawood Shah, Ahmed Shah III, Muhammad Shah IV and Mujahidin Shah. Mr. Ismail’s rare collection includes 10 copper and one gold and silver coin minted during the Tahmatan Shah period. It took him eight years to find those coins. His collection also includes the rare gold and silver coins of Ahmed Shah II and Mujahidin Shah.
He also has coin collections belonging to Chalukyas, Kakatyas, Rashtrakutas, and the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Mr. Ismail wants to bring out a catalogue of these collections too.