A glimpse into history through a Chandigarh teen’s rare coin collection
“I was always interested in Indian history and started collecting coins towards the end of the Covid-19 lockdown. It is like a stress-buster for me,” said Aviral, a Class-12 science student at Strawberry Fields High School, Sector 26, Chandigarh
Aviral Aggarwal’s collection of ancient coins from different eras is a testimony to his love for history. He believes that the transcriptions on these coins are a means to learn about the period they are from.
“I was always interested in Indian history and started collecting coins towards the end of the Covid-19 lockdown. It is like a stress-buster for me,” said Aviral, a Class-12 science student at Strawberry Fields High School, Sector 26.
The oldest coin in his collection is a 2,200-year-old Indo-Greek coin. He also has a coin of Sur emperor Sher Shah Suri from 950 AD and Mughal emperor Akbar’s coin from Fatehpur Sikri minted in 988 AD, shares Aviral, the son of an IAS officer father and a home-maker mother.
In a collection that has coins from the Mughal period, and the Malwa, Delhi and Gujarat sultanates, the 17-year-old’s most prized possession is the coin from the reign of Mahmud Ghaznavi. “The coin is unique as it is transcribed in Arabic on one side and in Sanskrit on the other. In Arabic it has the Kalima Shahadah and in Sanskrit, it says – The invisible is one; Muhammad is his manifestation; Mahmud is the king,” he said. He learned Urdu a few years ago and has also been dabbling in Persian and Arabic.
Aviral shares he has spent around ₹25,000 on these coins that he procured through auctions around India. He said, “The copper coins are easy to acquire and cost around ₹50 or ₹100 per coin. Getting silver coins is harder and they start from ₹1,000 per coin.”
Although numismatics is a hobby for him, Aviral says he wants to expand his collection and display it. He also plans to set up a history club in his school where the coins can be studied by other students. He uses capsules to seal the coins and prevent degradation.