There is a starting point for history lovers and they start by reading books, but for some people, it doesn't stop there. Numismatic experts always believe that one way of getting close to history is by studying evidence of objects and in particular, currency. Many people see coin collectors as hobbyists and fanatics. They collect all sorts of objects from stamps to coins, jewellery, diaries, even tokens sold in canteens. But there is an entire world operating on history, heritage and intrigue.
AIFACS is hosting a three-day exhibition displaying Indian coins and currency dating back to more than 2,500 years. Close to 50 stalls and 25 collections will offer a mixed bag of coins, paper currency, stamps, paintings and other objects that are not just artifacts but historical rarities as well.
Banaras Hindu University, which has one of the oldest numismatic societies, offers a course in numismatics, but usually the field falls under the broad spectrum of history. However, hardly any of the people actively involved in collecting and trading old currency or stamps have come to it through academia.
Rajendra Maru, living in Bangalore, runs his own auction house Marudhar Arts. He specializes in the currency of ancient India until the Mughal era. His collection amounts to around 10,000 items and that is in coins alone.
Currency has always been a sound identifier of region, reign, and prosperity, among other things. And at times, it is not just evidence, it is history itself.
From discovery to collecting and pricing, almost everything in the world of numismatics works according to the market-decided format. But that doesn’t mean that it is easy or can be operated without know-how.
Why do they hold regular exhibitions and spread the word on something they would want to keep limited? People should understand the importance of these things. Sometimes you throw them away or give them to the scrap dealer but they are of huge historical importance. You might not know why. So the more people understand this, the better this field will grow.
Paintings, coins, currency and stamps fair 2017 Timings: 10:30 am - 6:30 pm, till November 23 Venue: All India Fine Arts & Craft Society, 1 Rafi Marg