Coinage of Awadh

08 Mar 2018  Thu

The history of Awadh depicts that in 1720, Muhammad Amin who was popularly known as Saadat Khan the Wazir of Mughal Empire, was made the Subhedar of Awadh. His dominion expanded from the divisions of Lucknow and Faizabad and the district of Ghazipur, Banaras, and Gorakhpur.

A mint was opened at Banaras in 1737 under the name of Muhammadabad Banaras. The mint produced coins in the name of Mughal emperors under the authority of the Nawab of Awadh. After the annexation of Rohilkhand in the Awadh, administration coins were also issued from Bareilly. But all these were issued in the name of the Mughal emperor.

It was only in 1819 that Nawab Ghaziuddin Haidar finally started to strike coins in his own name. He introduced his coat of arms which depicted two fish facing each other surmounted by a crown and a tiger on either side holding a pennon as a support. He also placed his own legend in the form of a couplet.

The obverse legend in the form of a couplet remained the fashion on the coins of all the subsequent rulers namely Nasiruddin Haider, Muhammad Ali, Amjad Ali and Wajid Ali. At first, Ghaziuddin Haidar placed the year 5 on his new coins as the regnal year, counting it from the date of his accession to the 'nawabi'. But soon he abandoned it and renewed the regnal year from the date of his assumption of kingship. The coins issued during the first year of his kingship had the mint's name 'Dar-ul-Amarat Lucknow Suba Awadh'. From the second year, the epithet 'Dar-ul-amarat' was changed to 'Dar-ul-Sultanate'.

The entire five kings issued gold ‘Ashrafi’ with its half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth parts. Similarly, five denomination of silver rupee were issued by them. In copper, the first ruler issued only ‘falus’.

Image Courtesy: Classical Numismatic Gallery

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