Which Coin Should I Buy? Part 1.
We write on the coins of India. Specifically at this time on Mughal and Sultanate coins. I am frequently asked "Which coins should I buy"?
Well that becomes a difficult question to answer of course. I could by asking questions about what is your budget, etc. etc. but really it comes down to a simple answer: What do you really want to collect? Over a collectors lifetime this interest may change many times but several key things should never change.
1. Research your subject thoroughly.
It has never been easier to do this because of wealth of information available.
2. Collect what YOU want to.
Do not fall into peer pressure. You collect what your heart desires not what someone else thinks you should. Remember there is always someone who has more money than you do so do not become envious of what you see.
3. Collect the BEST you can within your budget.
This is the second most important point after knowledge. Frankly it is better to collect one good coin than five poor ones. However when one becomes more experienced at collecting it becomes easier to find and purchase good coins.
4. Where do I buy?
I always recommend to buy and create a relationship with major and well known dealers. There are on the internet many itinerant 'sellers" with little or no knowledge who often try to sell coins of dubious quality and provenance.
So now we come to which actual coin I should purchase. Within, for example, the Mughal and Sultanate coins of the Indian subcontinent there are many wonderful secrets held within the legends on the coins. many of the coins not only have the rulers name but frequently the name of the mint, other mint descriptions such as mint epithets, dates of issue that may also include a date pertaining to the years of reign of the ruler, dates written in alpha or numeric or both, poetic couplets that have minor variations even from the same mint etc. etc.
BUT there is a major problem. Often the coin flans are smaller than the coin dies and these means that often for these coins all the information cannot be seen on a coin. So there becomes the primary aim of the collector: to collect coins that can be fully and totally attributed. Hmmm we might go because there seems for many of these coins that people are often dismissive of types.
We often hear:
1. The coin is very common because it is common ruler who ruled a long time.
2. The coin is from a common mint and therefore isn't worth much.
3. The coin has a Shroff mark (test punch) on it and it is ruined.
4. The coin has been cleaned and has lost its value.
In PART 2 we will explore the four points above. This will lead us on the search for the BEST coins for our collection.
In the meantime check out the illustration of the coin below. This is a page from one of our books. It shows our method of illustration and description of the coin legends. This coin has ALL the attributes for a great collectible coin.