Numis What Again?

“Is this a real Shivrai coin?”, my grandfather smiled as a 13-year-old me asked him about this irregular piece of copper which had a rather gibberish script. During one of the annual Diwali cleanups, I was helping my grandfather(dadaji) to clean his room when I came across a very big heavy pouch with tons of old coins. On enquiring further, I found out my grandfather was a numismatist – someone who is enthusiastic about collecting and studying coins. Even though this term was added to my vocab much later when I was writing my MBA essays, I understood the feeling he would withhold having his collection. At the same time, like the other teenagers, I collected everything from stickers, tattoos that came free with chewing gum, WWF cards (including a lot of rare ones), matchbox tops, and stamps. The thought of having one of the biggest (if not the biggest) collections in my classroom filled me with utter joy. So much so that I think I even took pride in showing off my collection to other enthusiasts. Seeing my Dadaji’s collection made me super excited that someone in our home may understand why I liked collecting what most others thought was junk.

The thought of adding all his coins to my own collection gave me an adrenaline rush, and I instantly blurted out that I’m a collector myself and would love to add all his coins to my collection (13 year-old-boys can be annoyingly irrational when they want things). My Dadaji knowing exactly what he is doing, very calmly asked me to display my collection first. While I rushed to bring those, I was thinking all along, why he hasn’t given them to me right away. When he saw all the items in my collection neatly kept, he appreciated them and asked me to start collecting coins by myself. He promised me when I show genuine interest and collect half as many coins – regardless of new or old – he would give me his entire collection. I was thrilled and thought it was a fair deal.

Many years passed, and as I became more interested in coins and my coin collection was getting better than the other collections. When I moved to the USA for work, I started adding international coins to my collection. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away a month after my marriage when I was in the USA, and I was never able to present my collection to him. A small boy in me would have been so delighted had he seen my now-grown collection and I like to think he would be proud of me for keeping the legacy of numismatic alive.

Here are some of the coins from my collection for those who are into them.