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Re. 1 coin is the star attraction here

Staff Reporter

This coin of 1960 is expected to sell for at least Rs. 2 lakh

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Drawing crowds: Visitors taking a keen interest in the coins and currency at an all-India exhibition in Bangalore on Friday.

Bangalore: The star attraction at the auction of coins and banknotes being held on the sidelines of the exhibition of the Karnataka Numismatics Society at Shikshakara Bhavan here is the one rupee pattern coin of 1960.

The coin, which is expected to sell for at least Rs. 2 lakh, looks like an ordinary rupee, but its design is different and it was never issued for circulation.

“This is (only) the third such coin that has been found,” said Farokh. S. Todywalla of Todywalla Auctions who is conducting the 26th and 27th Todywalla Auction at the venue.

The exhibition of coins and banknotes has some magnificent displays of vintage coins that enthral the viewer as each and every coin and banknote has some interesting history behind it. The collection of M. Kesavara Rao, with its assortment of notes from the British India period, is a major draw at the exhibition. Other highlights of his display are Rs.10,000 and Rs.5,000 notes that were legal tender between 1950 and 1965 in India and Rs.1,000 notes of the Nizam of Hyderabad’s regime.

There are also some unusual banknotes like the Burma Black Overprint quarter note, which is a note that has been cut into four quarters with each quarter having been used as legal tender currency in Burma during the Second World War.

Also on display are some early Pakistani notes which were essentially Indian notes with the overprint of the Government of Pakistan.

Murali Thanthry, senior member of the Numismatics Society, said the society, set up in 1974, has 480 members. “This is the biggest exhibition we have had so far. We usually have one every year, but this one is being held after two-and-a-half years.”

More than 65 dealers from across India are participating with many selling some rare coins, banknotes, stamps and old medals.

Mahesh Jambulingam, president of the society, said: “This is a hobby that is interesting and we want to spread the idea that numismatics is interesting. We are really interested in encouraging young buyers and destroy the perception that it is a costly hobby.”

Several enthusiastic schoolchildren were keenly admiring the display. Umang, a seventh standard student, at the venue, said: “I was earlier into stamp collecting, but I’m more interested in collecting coins now after seeing this beautiful display.”

The exhibition is on till August 17 at the Shikshakara Bhavan, opposite Cauvery Bhavan on K.G. Road.

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