Learning to Decipher the Copper Coins of Akbar Part III. The Ilahi Months.

We now move forward to the last section of the dates and that is the months on the new series of coins that are dated by Akbar's Ilahi year system.

Not only did these coins have a year inscribed on them but they also had the month of minting clearly inscribed on them. The twelve months of the new Ilahi year system can be seen and this makes for a fertile ground for collecting and recording these coins.

A full explanation on the Ilahi system will appear in our upcoming publication however the broad basis is discussed below.

The change may have been somewhat gradual at first however it escalated and in the 29th year of Akbar’s reign the Ilahi (meaning Divine for this exercise) Era commenced. However it took its actual start in year numbers from the date of Akbar’s accession to the throne, 28 Rabi-us-Sani 963 AH.

The calculations were that of a true solar year and it was divided into 12 months. The months followed that of the old Persian (Zoroastrian) calendar.

From the year Ilahi 29 the coins took a major change in design with the reverse showing both the Ilahi year they were struck and the month they were struck in for most of the mints (It should be noted coin 177 from the British Museum collection shows Ilahi Year 28. It is possible to consider this coin a trial piece for the new style.

On many coins the Persian word for month, Mah, precedes the inscription of the month name of the reverse of the coins.

As we have essentially learned the dating methods in numbers we now learn the months and some other words that may be inscribed on coins relating to dates.

Farwardin

Ardibihisht

Khurdad

Tir

Amardad

Shahrewa

Mihr

Aban

Azar

Di

Bahman

Isfandarmaz

So now we can see all the months available in the calendar. We can also see in this rather simple series of coins we have the year in numerals and two other words.

  1. One some of the coins the word Mah appears. This appears in two forms.

  2. The other word is ILAHI

These will now be demonstrated.

Mah

Note: This shows the first type.

Mah

Note: This shows the second type.

Ilahi

Note: This shows the first type.

Ilahi

Note: this shows the second type.

As can be seen by the illustrations shown of Mah and Ilahi there are a number of methods of inscribing the same word.

Image of a coin with the overlay (rough trial) shown below. This coin weighs 20.18 grams is 21mm in diameter and 8mm thick.

Ilahi (Year) 39 Month Amardad

General Notes:

This is the reverse of a series of coins. There are a number of series of coins and we will be working through them step by step.

A major collector has provided many of these images. Thank you.

All work, designs, overlays, etc copyright (as usual) Mohammed Tariq Ansari and Arthur John Needham

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