Numismatics is a widespread hobby embraced by enthusiasts of various ages. It involves the collection of coins, spanning from the 1st century BCE to the 20th century (1900s). Exhibitions featuring these numismatic treasures are commonly organised in schools and colleges. They offer a glimpse into the diverse world of currency that predates our time.
Recently, word spread about an intriguing exhibition in the neighborhood. Mr. Rajagopal, a fond collector of coins and currency notes, had organised an exhibition recently. It showcased such coins from ancient times as well as recent times at Carmel School. He had curated displays in over 300 schools in and around Bangalore. He says, ” The main objective is to create awareness for students of different ages to see such rare and expensive coins that have existed in the past.”
Mr. Rajagopal says that he started this hobby a decade ago while working as an Assistant at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. Inspired by children who possessed rare coins without knowing their significance, he decided to start collecting and, eventually, exhibiting these numismatic wonders. “No turning back since then,” he says.
His impressive collection includes coins from ancient periods, such as the Maurya period (324 – 298 BCE), Akbar’s rule, and Chhatrapati Shivaji’s reign in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Some coins even date back to the 1st century BCE. Displayed alongside are coins and notes from the era of the renowned mathematician Ramanujan, as well as currency notes released during the times of the freedom struggle, featuring figures like Mahatma Gandhi and Subash Chandra Bose.
Noteworthy are the gold and silver coins used centuries ago for barter. Mr. Rajagopal invested a substantial amount of money and the rare items are received through donations from colleagues and well-wishers. His collection is not limited to Indian coins and currencies; it spans across countries such as Britain, USA, Korea, South Africa, Japan, China, Malaysia, Venezuela, and more. Each coin and note carries its special feature and beauty, accompanied by fascinating stories of how he got them and the struggle associated with the acquisition.
The collection also features half and quarter anna coins, which were in use in India until the 1950s. Mr. Rajagopal’s exhibition provides a comprehensive journey through the evolution of currency, from colonial times to recent decades. His work has brought many people together to see such rare and expensive valuable numismatic pieces in person.
Maitreyi Aravindan lives in the garden city of India, Bangalore. She is a very passionate animal lover. Loves reading and writing poems and blogs. She is also a budding Classical dancer and singer. Her hobbies include drawing, painting, cooking, travelling. She likes to be associated with nature and animals in her daily life, in some way.