Friday, 23 September 2011

On being a Numismatist

Numismatics is the hobby of collecting coins. I was hooked on to this hobby later than I became a Philatelist. Since I was living in Ethiopia at that time, I came across a large number of Foreign Nationals and they willingly gave me coins of their countries. I had a lot of friends from the Erstwhile Soviet Union, and they willingly gave me Kopeks. Cubans gave me Pesos, while friends from the G.D.R. (German Democratic Republic or East Germany) gave me Marks. I initially started collecting coins belonging  to the Haile Selassie Era. When my parents shifted to Addis Ababa, I was introduced to an old lady who had lots of coins which she sold to  me. In those days all my meagre pocket money would be spent in purchasing coins from this lady. Later, when I came to India for further studies, my relatives willingly gave me Indian coins belonging to the British Raj. Later when I joined a Government Aided School as a teacher, one of the peons would bring me coins for which he charged me exorbitant sums, but then nothing thrills a numismatist more than to see coins of different countries, even if they are worthless! An interesting incident once took place with me when I was in Mumbai to attend a cousin’s marriage. I purchased a lock from a street vendor, and noticed how he rather hastily pushed the change including what seemed to be a five rupee coin into my hand. While walking away I was curious about the amount the vendor had returned, and when I opened the palm I saw that he had fobbed me off with a coin that was not an Indian five rupee coin. Angered by this, I started to walk towards him, but, then when I closely looked at the coin, it was a One pound coin! How glad I was that I had been fooled! I have pasted below some of the snaps of some of the coins I had early on:


image                       image

This is a silver fifty cents coin belonging to the Haile Selassie era.


image                        image

This is a one shilling coin belonging to the British Colony of East Africa of the year 1924.


image                              image

This is a Tanzanian five shilling coin. What makes it interesting is that it displays the crops grown in the country and the fact that it has a generous amount of Live Stock. The Agrarian nature of the country is displayed here!

image                          image


This is a Cuban coin made of Aluminium. It is said that the quality of the metal used in a coin reflects the economy of the country!

image                           image

This is a one Mark coin of the German Democratic Republic or East Germany. It is made of aluminium, and don’t be swayed with the words, “democratic” because East Germans were victims of a Repressive regime!


image                              image

This is a fifteen Kopek coin of the erstwhile Soviet Union.Those were the days when Ethiopia too was a Socialist Country.


image                               image

This is an older  Ethiopian coin of the Haile Selassie Era. You can see the legendary Lion of Sheba on the coin.

I have a lot more coins which are rare and strange, but to write about all of them would be time consuming and time is exactly what I don’t have right now!


Technorati Tags:

No comments:

Post a Comment