Three Victorian coins were found during digging work in the Barwani central prison on March 9, officials said on Saturday.
With 1862 inscribed as the year of minting, the jail department said the coins were recovered during digging work being carried out in the jail for installation of poles for the close circuit televisions to keep tab on prisoners.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Barwani central jail superintendent NS Thakur said workers recovered three coins each weighing 11.6gms and containing images of Queen Victoria.
“The silver coins dating back to Victorian era,” officer said.
“SN Yadav, renowned historian and former vice-chancellor Awdhesh Pratap Singh University Rewa examined the coins and confirmed that the coins are of immense antiquity value,” jail superintendent said.
About how the coins reached the prison, Thakur said it might be possible that some priest had put three coins at the place as it is common practice in India to put coins in a foundation before any new construction or it was possible that any prisoner might have hid the coins keeping in mind that he would recover it after his release but forgot to do so.
Thakur informed said jail that was established in 1860 with only four barracks has district jail status till 2014 and was transformed into the central jail last year.
He added that they have already informed jail headquarters in Bhopal and the district administration.
“The jail department will take action as per the report from additional district magistrate and may surrender these coins to the museum or archaeological department,” Thakur added.