Rajasthan man collects coins to chart world’s numismatic history

Shyam Sunder Sadhnani was recently presented the World Record Holders Excellence Award for collecting the highest numbers of coins in the world.

jaipur Updated: Nov 16, 2017 21:22 IST
Zakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Vatican City,United Arab Emirates
Shyam Sunder Sadhnani with his sons after receiving the award. (HT Photo)

“I have coins from every corner of the world, from the smallest country, Vatican City, to the biggest, former USSR,” said Beawar-based businessman Shyam Sunder Sadhnani, who was recently presented the World Record Holders Excellence Award for collecting the highest numbers of coins in the world.

The award was given to him at the Siri Fort Stadium in New Delhi on November 12 by the World Records Union—a conglomeration of publishers of world records from six nations. The ceremony was organised by the India Book of Records.

“Recently, I bought a coin online from Umm al-Quwain, United Arab Emirates, with a face value of 4 Dinar (Rs 20000). It’s the most expensive coin in my collection,” said Sadhnani, whose name also features in the Golden Book of World Records (2015) and Limca Book of World Records (in 2014 &16) for collecting highest number of coins in the world from 363 countries (193 of UN recognised nations and 170 old states).

According to the 53-year-old utensil seller, till now he has spent around ₹20 lakh in acquiring coins in online auctions from all over the world. “I have sacrificed my leisure to continue my passion, which started in 1975,” he said.

His collection includes coins belonging to ancient, medieval and modern periods of Indian and world history. He has coins issued during the reigns of sultans of the Delhi Sultanate, emperors starting from Babur till the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and British India till the modern times. The most interesting are the limited edition ₹50, 75, 100, 125 and 1000 coins besides coins from 160 princely states across the country. The collection includes coins of all shapes, sizes and weights issued during different reigns and they are made of gold, silver, bronze, aluminium, tin, lead, brass and clay.

The one rupee coins introduced during the Mughal empire between 1526 and 1836 and one penny introduced during the British era in 1803 to the last coins in 1937 depicts the numismatic journey of modern India.

Sadhnani’s collection depicts lions, tigers, peacocks and other animals and various languages. He says his family has always been supportive of his passion. “My wife Jyoti, two sons and their wives have always supported me in pursuing my passion, without their support the journey would not have been possible.”

In the last two years, Sadhnani has increased his coin tally to 5000 coins, which includes coins from 515 countries (193 UN recognised states and 322 countries including ancient, princely and countries which no longer exist).

First Published: Nov 16, 2017 21:22 IST