Learning to Decipher the Copper Coins of Akbar: Part IV Miscellaneous Words.

For collectors and researchers we have covered a number of simple attribution steps. The two main ones are:

1. The weights of the copper coins (metrology).

2. The dates on the coins.

Most of the coins produced at the time of Akbar do not have the ruler's name inscribed so we are guided by the date. So we now understand;

1. How to read the AH dates written in both numerals and words.

2. How to read the dates of the Ilahi era.

Now we have the dates available we need to peel away the other words by demonstration to show what is actually left. What is left for the most part will be a series of words describing the sizes of certain coins. These can of course be checked by weighing them. Other words are merely descriptor or explanation words with specific meaning.

We are peeling away the inscriptions to be able to define the other part of full attribution and that is the name of the issuing mint if it is inscribed on the coin.

So let's start with the "other words".


In this sense the simple meaning of the word Falus is "copper coin". The calligraphy shown is the standard form. Can you find another form?


Zarb means "struck". That is to say the coin was "made" as a highly simplified meaning.


Sikkah means (for simplicity's sake) "a piece of metal that is used for a coin". Full explanations will be given in the forth coming book. here we are trying to show a simplified understandable version of process. Sikkah is shown in the same colour (provisionally) as the word Zarb.

So we can have, but not always, a coin legend inscription that can say Sikkah Zarb Falus. "A piece of metal struck as a copper coin" would be a reasonable translation.

Because we have difficulty in describing obverse (front) and reverse (back) of these coins we will for call the obverse for these early type coins the side that contains the word Falus.

So we have a number of combinations all that contain the word Falus.

1. Mint + Mint Epithet + Zarb (Falus does not appear here but because of the type we place it here).

2. Mint + Mint Epithet + Zarb + Falus

3. Mint + Mint Epithet + Zarb + Falus + Date shown in numeric

4. Mint + Mint Epithet + Falus

5. Mint + Mint Epithet + Falus + Sikkah

6. Mint + Mint Epithet + Falus + Sikkah + Zarb

So here for collectors and researchers we have a wonderful range of different types of coins to collect before we even look at things like mint names.

For the purpose of our work these words appear on the obverse (front) of the coin.

Now let us look at the back (reverse) of this style of coin.


Fi is a preposition with a number of meanings such as "in, on, at, by, during and like" meanings. It can be translated as "best fit" preposition.


Tarikh is another interesting word with a number of meanings such as "history, chronology, dating etc."


Sanah in this case means simply "year".

So now we also find that when Sanah and Tarikh appear the preposition Fi is with them. So for the illustration of Tarikh above can you see the calligraphy for the work Fi?

Now on the reverse we can have the following combinations.

1. Date in Alpha

2. Date in Alpha + Numeric

3. Date in Alpha + Fi Tarikh

4. Date in Alpha + Numeric + Fi Tarikh

5. Date in Alpha + Fi Sanah

6. Date in Alpha + Numeric + Fi Sanah

7. Date in Alpha + Fi Sanah + Fi Tarikh

8. Date in Numeric + Fi Sanah + Fi Tarikh

Here we have for the simple series a complete collection range and that is without even looking at the final attribution piece of the puzzle which is the mint (and mint epithet if present).

Now we move to the TANKA and TANKI series from the Ilahi era to complete the simple coins of Akbar.

Please note again that these are working drawings following our methods first introduced in our books published by Manohar (and other prior working studies).

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