*This was originally written on April 12th 2012, one of my first postings, and unmodified with the exception of the pictures are a bit different. Thanks for reading my writing. Enjoy.
Two surviving business strikes are known to exist from the original mintage of this coin/treasury Gold, and perhaps an “Ex-Jewelry” example that was sold was an impaired “Restrike Proof” made to look like a business strike. Was this “Ex-Jewelry” coin an impaired Restrike Proof or an original business strike? That’s the million dollar question. But certainly two are known to exist from the original striking mint issue.
The “Lion” design on the “Reverse” of this Gold was initially rejected by the Governor-General in Council during the mid Fall season of 1835. Almost one month later the Governor-General approved the “Reverse Lion” design to continue the die preparation(s) so the “One Mohur”, and “Two Mohurs/Gold Coinage” would not be delayed any further. What we can deduce from a number of sources is that the Calcutta mint minted roughly 1,000-1,174 “Double Mohurs” coinage in 1835/6. This coin/treasury Gold was never intended for circulation, and was mainly exchanged for silver by Merchants.
Trading rights to set up a port in Calcutta were granted to the East India Company (EIC) back in 1690 by Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzed Alamgir : one of SHAH JAHAN’S sons who imprisoned him, and forcefully took over the Mughal Empire’s Reign. This son is better known as “Aurangzeb”….which means “honoring the throne”. I beg to differ with that title bestowed upon him at a young age, and so would Shah Jahan from his grave. 145 years later The East India Company’s plan to establish a rate of exchange between silver and gold financially failed.
The EIC wanted to sort of be in the “Assay” business to probably play a game of “arbitrage” between the two precious metals. But, the EIC didn’t properly value/calculate the Gold/Silver ratio, and discounted that most Merchants preferred Silver for trade. Those Merchants were doing healthy business with the Chinese, and China is geographically located right around the corner from Calcutta. The Empire of China had massive silver reserves at the time, and gave it all back to the world’s biggest drug/opium cartel : The Ea$t India Company.
Essentially the Calcutta mint ended up with a boatload of Gold within the treasuries, and exchanged large amounts of Silver to the Mercantile trade. This leads me to believe Merchants were trading in gold to the EIC, and receiving Silver at a discount unbeknownst to the East India Company. But that topic needs to be further researched, and I speculate that the Merchants arbitraged the East India Company with Gold.
In any case, these scenarios bring me 1000 fold pleasure when so called “small money” armed with knowledge outwits “BIG MONEY” carrying very little knowledge, and arsenals of arrogance. The “Merchants” were a 5′ 7″ 208 lb MAURICE JONES-DREW from the NFL (National Football League), and the “EIC” a 6’4″ 250 lb Linebacker in the same game. Meaning the Linebacker has no chance from the beginning against the smaller player.
Anyways, the result of this endeavor was: rapid financial loss for this particular pecuniary…Making money makes you lose money sometimes even if you are the one making the money. In 1836 the British Government bought all the Gold reserves from the EIC Mint so this untimely venture did not continue losing money. More than likely most of this mintage was melted with the rest of the treasury gold that was stockpiled for a few months.
The Government continued the practice of “Restriking” this coin for many years because of growing collector demand, and sometimes offered the coin as a presentation piece. Minting of all East India and British India “Restrikes” ceased in 1970 at the Bombay Mint because of political pressures primarily by the Australian Government, and so the dies were destroyed in 1971/72. These 1835 TWO MOHURS coins are all “Restrikes”, and there are examples graded by NGC and PCGS as “PR” or “PF” designated as “Proof”. But this coin should never receive a grade of “Proof”, and only a “PL” or “Proof Like” grade should be assigned to any of these Two Mohurs. Also, there is no expert that can pinpoint any specific year this coin was struck as a “Proof” nor are there any concrete mint records that translate into an actual “Proof” which we can witness. The “Restriking” mintage is a mystery nobody will ever solve without concrete mint records.
These coins should all carry a grade of “PL” or “Prooflike” as mentioned before. There is another theory : the lesser the number of hairlines on the surface the earlier the striking comes to mind. There is one problem with this theory : what if there were multiple dies polished at different times? What an expert can guesstimate is when a particular coin may have been restruck : was it an “Early Restiking” or “Mid Restriking” or “Later Restriking” due to the characteristics of the coin. To date there has not been an 1835 Two Mohurs “Original Proof” or “Early Restrike” that has been recorded to my knowledge, and even if an “Original Proof” were to surface it’s probably a RESTRIKE!
*This information was cited from a number of sources:
Fred Pridmore: The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations, Krause, Vikram Deshmukh, Myself, NGC, PCGS, COIN PRICES MARCH 2011, Wikipedia, and Google.
SIZE : 32.5 MM
TYPE : RESTRIKE
MINT : CALCUTTA
POPULARITY : HIGH
WEIGHT : 23.32 GRAMS
METAL : 91.7% GOLD AND 8.3% COPPER
LAST PRICE PAID FOR THIS COIN “RAW” OR “UNGRADED” ON FEBRUARY 18th 2012 : $28,000+ as listed below
LAST AUCTION THIS COIN CROSSED : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/article2910682.ece?homepage=true
Sanjay C. Gandhi