Madras Presidency Coins

By the end of the eighteenth century the British, in the facade of the East India Company, had extended their power to control large tracts of Southern India, either by direct or indirect rule. They had become the dominant power in the region, with their center of government at Madras, where they had first established themselves in the middle of the previous century. At that time they had obtained the right to mint their own money, and from then until about 1800 the coins consisted mainly of gold pagodas, silver fanams and copper cash, supplemented during the eighteenth century with silver rupees.

The earliest coins of British East India Company in Madras were small silver pieces issued from their factory at Fort St. George in about 1670's. These coins were undated with two interlinked C's on the reverse (assigned to the reign of King Charles II)

During the 18th century silver coins were minted bearing the Company's bale mark (an orb and a cross) inscribed C.C.E (Charter Company of England) and in some cases G.C.E (Governor and company of merchants trading into the East Indies). All these issues were meant for use within the company's factory and surrounding areas and also for exchange with European traders. They were not meant for circulation in the interior of the country.

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