Odisha coin collector to auction 2 lakh coins to donate money for Covid-19 fight

Debiprasad Mangaraj is quite well-known in Odisha for his massive collection of coins and had started collecting them for over 20 years now.
(HT Photo)
(HT Photo)
Published on Apr 25, 2020 10:04 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty

A 27-year-old numismatist in Bhubaneswar with over 8 lakh old coins dating back to the time of emperors Ashoka and Chandragupta Maurya and Maratha king Shivaji is planning to auction at least 2 lakh of them., the proceeds of which he plans to donate to the state and central funds in their fight against coronavirus.

Debiprasad Mangaraj is quite well-known in Odisha for his massive collection of coins and had started collecting them for over 20 years now. He said the contribution to PMCares fund as well as CM Relief Fund of Odisha government was his attempt to help the governments in mounting a fight against the pandemic.

“Everyday I see in newspapers and TV channels the surging deaths in India and countries outside due to Covid-19. This is the biggest crisis that humanity is encountering right now. So I decided to do something on my own,” said Mangaraj, who recently completed his B. Tech degree.

Mangaraj said some people in Mumbai, where he is now staying with his filmmaker sister, had approached him for selling his coins and offered him several crore for his collection.

“The thought of selling the coins never occurred to me. Rather I was collecting and buying coins all these years. But now I want to auction it for helping people,” he said. The auction, to be held offline in Bhubaneswar, is scheduled sometime next month.

The numismatist’s collection is indeed a treasure- starting from coins from the period of emperors Ashoka and Chandragupta Maurya, the Gupta dynasty and the Maratha king Shivaji. Among British coins, he has several coins issued during the reigns of King George V, King George VI and Queen Victoria. Some of the coins are not even metals as they are made of baked earth. The youth has collected metal and paper currencies of US, the UK, Hong Kong, Belgium, France, Australia, Italy and Nepal.

“I even have some coins that date back to the time when the barter system was used. There are also coins from around 20 different countries and coins made of plastic, gold and other precious metals,” he said.

The decision of the numismatist to hold auction to help the government fight the pandemic has come at a time when everyone is coming forward to donate money to the relief funds of Centre and the state.

Earlier this month, a 9-year-old boy of Bhubaneswar broke his piggybank and donated the entire amount of 2020 to the PM CARES Fund and Odisha CM’s Relief Fund. A 10-year-old boy in Soro block of Balasore district donated his entire pocket money to Chief Minister’s Relief Fund putting his plans of buying a bicycle on hold.


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