Flip back in time: Ambernath numismatist has amassed 2,000 rare coins

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Published on Dec 29, 2019 01:19 AM IST
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ByAnkita G Menon, Kalyan

Prakash Gohil, 51, fell in love with numismatics at an early age.

In his twenties, working in the construction business often took him to Colaba, where he was awed by shops selling rare coins.

The Ambernath resident often walked to save money to buy them.

Over the years, he collected more than 2,000 coins of different periods in Indian and world history and started his own YouTube channel to document them.

“Initially, I intended to use these coins as a mode of savings. This is better than any savings account as the value of the coins double with time. But now, I have grown fond of them and go looking to collect interesting and unique ones. People from different countries also get in touch with me to exchange their coins with Indian ones. I eagerly exchange them with Victorian-era coins, hence widening my collection,” said Gohil.

His collection includes coins from the Gupta Empire (4th century) that resembles the Greek Drachma coins, the are very small coins the size of a pea.

From rare Kashmiri coins called Didda Rani (1000 AD) to Falus coins from the times of the Gujarat sultanate (15th century) adorn his collection. He shares his stories about coins from the Maratha era, Hyderabadi coins and also of those with imprints of King George and King Edward. He also has a collection of Suryakamal coins which are 20 paise coins that were in circulation in India for a brief period only. The coins, as the name suggests, have imprints of both the sun and lotus and were in circulation in 1970s.

In one of his anecdotes, he shares that during his early years of coin collection, he went to Sinhagad Fort near Pune.

While touring the fort, he found a strange looking stone with some imprint and design on it. He picked it up and noticed that it was made of metal. He cleaned it at home and found that it was a coin. Some research revealed that it was the Samanthadeva coin that was in circulation between 800-1000 AD.

He lives with his mother, wife and son, all of whom encourage him and help him with his collection.

“Some of the coins such as the Indian Pice were given to me from my mother. My son helps me clean and arrange the coins properly. I was earlier part of the construction business and hence would travel often. I came across people who helped me increase my coin collection,” added Gohil.

He also started saving coins that are currently in circulation.

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