King of coins: This Guinness world record holder has over a million of them
Manish Dhameja is pursuing PhD in coin and museum management and wants to set up a coin museum.lucknow Updated: May 08, 2017 20:24 IST
He is a millionaire -- not rupee-wise, but coin-wise – and the years of labour he put in collecting the million-plus coins has earned him the Guinness Book recognition.
Meet ‘King of Coins’ Manish Dhameja, 30, whose huge collection of bi-metallic coins got him the Guinness certificate recently. He has coins of single metal also.
“I feel glad on receiving such a renowned recognition for my achievements,” he said proudly. “I never knew my hobby would bring me such an honour,” said Dhameja, an admirer of Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
- Biggest coin: Diameter of 5.4 cm from Republic of Palau
- Heaviest: Coin of Akbar empire (100 gm)
- Oldest: Mughal coins from 16-17 century
Dhameja, who has some coins dating back to 16th century, is an executive in a public sector enterprise. Born in Bahraich, he was brought up in Lakhimpur Kheri in his joint middle class family.
It was since childhood that Dhameja fell in love with coins. “I remember when I was 5 years old, my father had a piggy bank full of coins, which he got from my great grandfather, who was the one who started the coins collection habit in the family,” he recalled.
“Coins are something like a treasure to me,” says Dhameja while narrating how he once in his childhood broke his father’s piggy bank and hid the coins in the store room.
“Few days after the piggy bank episode, I was asked in school to make something out of waste material. Then I presented all those coins in my craft file and was appreciated by my school teachers and friends. It was then that I started taking more interest in coins,” he said.
“Appreciation and encouragement by my guardians inspired me to pursue my hobby vigorously. Today I am happy that I upheld this custom of coin collection,” he said.
Presently, Dhameja is pursuing PhD in coin and museum management and wants to set up a coin museum. He is also looking forward to government help for his bid to encourage children develop hobby for collecting coins.
Dhameja, who claims to be have achieved eight Master’s degrees, 2 bachelor’s degrees and six certificates from top universities of India and abroad, said: “Education has always been an important aspect of my life. Today I am a record holder of being the “youngest person with most number of degrees.”
He also claims to have received 25 national and international awards for achievements in social work. They include Rajiv Gandhi Excellence awards (All India Human Welfare), Rajiv Gandhi Excellence awards (Pehchan), ministry of telecommunication (Madagascar), Golden Book of World Records (USA), World Record India (Genius foundation), Asia Book of Records, India Book of Records, Limca Book of Records etc.