Learning to Decipher the Copper Coins of Akbar Part VI: Collecting Equipment, Miscellaneous Coins an

We now have the basic knowledge set to start to attribute coins that are the copper coins of Akbar the Great. However we do need some basic equipment to help us work through the attribution correctly other than learning some words inscribed on the coins.

1. Something to weigh the coins.

We know that there are a number of coin sizes and we have the list of weights. Remembering that weights of the copper coins are approximate given their method of production we still need to be accurate in our weighing. In recent times a new series of accurate electronic machines have become available and these are cheap. With this highly portable equipment we have an instant weight to check against our weight chart.

2. Something to help read the coins. A magnifying glass.

Most of the copper coins of Akbar do not have his name on them so we need to check the dates to ensure the coin we have was issued during his reign. A magnifying glass of a small magnification, certainly no more than 4X, is a necessity.

3. Perhaps a camera.

With mobile phones in general use having a camera there is generally no need to purchase a specific camera unless you wish to become a dedicated coin photographer. There are many programs for image work available that can turn a poor photograph into one that is acceptable.

4. Recording the collection.

There are many ways of keeping track of a collection. The use of Excel spreadsheet style programs that allow for full attribution data, manipulation of data and photographs. However any reasonable system of data collation can be used. In future parts of our learning spreadsheets applicable to the copper coins of Akbar will be shown and this will help in an orderly method of data compilation.

4. Care and storage of the collection.

This will form a separate major section. The preferred supplier of a comprehensive storage system is Kointainers.


Before we look at some other types of coins let us do some homework and hone our newly acquired skills. Check out the following coins and see what you can attribute. Answers will be provided later. Note: We have not discussed mint recognition yet so the exercise is recognising what we have learned.

Coin 1 (above). Weight 20.63 grams. Diameter 21 mm. (Internal Ref. 984)

Coin 2 (above). Weight 19.54 grams. Diameter 24 mm. (Internal Ref. 237)

Coin 3 (above). Weight 20.18 grams. Diameter 21 mm. (Internal Ref. 26)

The three above should give a good start to proceeding through an attribution system.

There are a small number of other legends written on a number of coins. These include the much discussed "Allahu Akbar" and the use of the term "Riwani" meaning current (or similar) from one mint. These will be viewed step by step at a later date.

There are also a small number of coins with geometric patterns on them.

We have also introduced in the photographs above the size of the coins. As can be seen they are rather "chunky" in the dam size and very large in the full Tanka size.

The next step will take us into looking at the mints the coins were minted at. Some coins are "mintless". That is to say no mint name is engraved on the coin die. The mint name Urdu Zafar Qarin is used extensively on coins. This mint appears to be a travelling mint thus in any location it was temporary. Akbar greatly expanded the empire and perhaps needed a mint or at least the essentials of a mint to travel with his armies to instantly coin money in the style of his empire. The Urdu is often translated as "camp" being in general a moving settlement. The word is of Turkic origin and perhaps a more fitting translation to english might be "army". Therefore regardless of debate and for the purpose of this exercise it will be translated as "of the victorious army".

There are also some square (or rectangular) coins generally termed "Malwa " issues of a different weight system. There are also coins of a similar shape from the mint of Ujjain and a small number of other mints.

In the next section we will show a provisonal list of the mints of Akbar. From here we will move forward in three areas.

1. A comprehensive advice on how our unique coin coding system (alpha numeric) works for researchers and collectors and supports our unique colour coding system.

2. A new open chat type board to examine each mint step by step.

3. Special sections on the blog following further coin collecting and Akbar topics.

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