Saturday, August 30, 2008

Denmark indian colony coins rare

Denmark established its first colony in India in 1620. A mint was later established to provide coinage for the colonies. Its coins tended to be small crude pieces that were hand struck from hand engraved dies. Due to falling profits and increasing costs of maintaining the colonies, Denmark sold its possessions in India to the British East India Company in 1845, thus bringing an end to its colonial era and the, coinage of Danish India. We recently obtained a hoard of these small, scarce, crude copper coins of Danish India. We have not had time to sort through the coins, so will offer them as they come. Because the coins are crudely struck grading them is sometimes difficult, so we will just call them crude and worn.
The trade was maintained with purchased pieces of eight which could be exchanged for Indian silver and gold coins on demand. The treaty with the nayak of Tanjore did not give the Danes the right to mint their own coins at Tranquebar. In fact no permission was needed for minting small coins as long as they were for use only within their own territory.

During the first 80 years or so, the smallest payments and trading transactions in the colony e.g. the fee for a stand and payment of duty for importing and exporting goods were enable by minting coins of the value of 1 kas and some few of the value of 2 kas, mainly in lead but a few in copper and from 1689 exclusively in copper. During the reign of Frederik IV the first silver coins were minted as well as 2, 4 and 10 kas coins in copper.

Tranquebar is the only place outside Denmark where the Danes minted extensively for their own local use. Many of the coins have inscription with Danish ship names or the name of a Danish Town. From Frederik III many of the coins bear the Danish coat-of-arms as inscription. There are minted several diffrent types (kas) in lead from the kings Christian IV to Christian V, and copper-coins from Frederik III to Christian VIII. Silver-coins are minted from Fredrik IV to Frederik VI and one gold-coin from Christian VII. The last Danish coin minted in Tranquebar, are a copper 4 kas from 1845, the same year Tranquebar was sold to England.

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