First Coin of Portuguese India

24 Dec 2020  Thu

Struck at Goa in the months of that town’s first occupation by the Portuguese viceroy Afonso de Albuquerque, this is an extremely rare Manoel (or cruzado).

The first nation to begin exploring alternative routes was Portugal. Beginning with Prince Henry the Navigator, the Portuguese slowly began to embark on voyages. Rounding the Cape of Good Hope in December 1497, da Gama edged his way up the eastern coast of Africa on 20 May 1498 he reached India, landing at the port of Calicut. The following year, upon da Gama’s return to Portugal, Manoel I established the Estado da India.

Among those who followed in da Gama’s footsteps was Afonso de Albuquerque who was eventually installed as viceroy of Estado da India. In 1510, he besieged and captured Goa. From January to August, the Portuguese controlled the town, when this coin was struck.

The Coin depicts Open-work cross on the obverse with central pellet within the circle; pellet at each angle; border composed of pellets within two circles. The reverse has an Armillary sphere set on the base; border composed of pellets within two circles.

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