Saturday, January 23, 2016

India considers banning the melting of ancient coins

An article by Shakti Singh in The Times of India quotes Indian Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Hansraj Ahir promising to “Pursue with the government the need to frame rules to prohibit melting of ancient coins.”
"I personally believe that melting such precious heritage is a cruel act and the government should work on making strict laws to stop it from happening," he said. "Ancient coins which form a very important proof of ancient civilization have been underrated by several generations. All they see is the value of metal the coin holds," said Ahir while addressing a three-day first international seminar on 'Gupta coinage' organized by the Coin Society of India ...

The article also quotes the former president of the Numismatic Society of India, S. K. Bose, who credits the work of coin societies in raising awareness. “Instead of melting coins [people] are coming to us to know the historic value of such coins.”

(Note that the Indian Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 allows ancient coins to be sold within India. Coins 100 years or older require permission to be exported. Think twice before trying to rescue coins dated 1916 and earlier from

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