The first, handy and comprehensive book on numismatics has hit the book stalls of Jammu and Kashmir and is also available on Amazon. Its digital issue is very much available on Amazon Kindle. The author has also made available it in PDF format, generally for the students and particularly for aspirants of various competitive exams, offering special discounts for the students.
The book on numismatics is basically a well illustrated documentation of coins and currency notes titled ‘The coins and currency of Jammu and Kashmir”. In this book, hundreds of ancient coins of Janaphada, Mouryan Greek, Indo Greek, Indo-Scythian, Indo Parthain, Kushan, Kidara, Heptithlites, Karkota, Shahmeri, Chak, Mughal, Durrani, Sikh and Dogra periods have been illustrated and catalogued.
These coins are believed to have been minted here during the respective historical periods and most of the coins have also carried mint name as Zarbi Kashmir and Zarbi Jammu, and are believed to have been time to time found from the distant places of this land.
These coins and currency notes have been scientifically investigated and are illustrated in a very systematic and chronological order. The book carries hundreds of illustrations of rare coins and currency notes.
The brief description of the historical period is followed with numismatic illustrations and with the description of coins. It looks just the coins are telling us the story not only of various historical period but of their respective circulations as well.
Karashapan or the Punch-mark coin in silver bearing four to five symbols punched over the face of the coin is illustrated here as the earliest coin of this land.
It has been in circulation in the subcontinent including Jammu and Kashmir about 2500 years back during the Janapadha and Maryoun period, roughly dated to (350-200) BC. Such coins have been found at Semithan Bijbehara in south Kashmir and several such pieces of Punch Mark are also preserved in various numismatic collections and in numismatic cabins of Jammu and Srinagar museums.
The book is authored by reputed archaeologist and numismatist, Iqbal Ahmad, who has been voluntarily involved in study of ancient coins. Originally from arts field, with no academic background in history, he has turned to become the first historian of Jammu and Kashmir who has been reconstructing history by his numismatic researches and elucidates a series of important questions bearing on the ancient historiography of Jammu and Kashmir.
Iqbal has done a commendable work in the archaeology, numismatic and epigraphic researches of this land. Unbelievably, Iqbal has no formal education in history, but his passion for numismatic, epigraphic and archaeology studies has made him the researcher of repute. He has written about twenty five books and thousands of research papers on history, archaeology, numismatic, epigraphy and architectural heritage, of Jammu and Kashmir.
This time he has documented and catalogued the coins and currency of Jammu and Kashmir right from the earliest Karshapana coins up to the first currency notes called Sri Kar.
The author in the introduction of these books claims that this monogram on coins and currency has been actually drafted for general readers, but indeed it is a scholarly work and very good read for university, college and school students and teachers.
The people working in banking and commercial units shall also not miss to read this well illustrated cheaply priced book on ancient coins and currency notes. It is really an interesting journey into the world of ancient medium of exchange of the people of this land.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.