Friday, July 13, 2007

Coin shortage in Assam

The BBC reported a few weeks ago that millions of Indian coins are being smuggled into neighbouring Bangladesh and turned into razor blades. A new token currency has arisen: “To deal with the coin shortage, some tea gardens in the north-eastern state of Assam have resorted to issuing cardboard coin-slips to their workers. The denomination is marked on these slips and they are used for buying and selling within the gardens.”

(via Marginal Revolution)

I couldn't find any photos of the cardboard 'coin-slips'. They are the same size as the coins they replace.

The USA has taken steps to prevent this from happening here: It's illegal to melt pennies or nickels. It is also illegal for travelers to carry more than 100 nickels out of the country.


Anonymous said...

Issue of tea garden tokens is not a new phenomenon.From 1870 to 1957 A.D. such tokens made of brass, copper, tin etc. were in circulation, almost as a parallel currency, which were acceptable in nearby village markets and shops. In fact, during the second world war, almost all the gardens in Bengal and Assam had such tokens. The information given by you will be useful for my further research on this topic.
S.K.Bose, bosecoins&

Anonymous said...

My corect e-mail address is

Anonymous said...
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