Numismatist in Chennai tells about his collections

By Santhosh Mathevan Published on Aug 06, 2018 03:55 PM IST

Chennai: While people nowadays learn history through books and websites, Raj Kumar from Virugambakkam lin the city learns it from coins.

Being a numismatist for over 25 years, Raj Kumar, who runs Chennai Coins Society recently interacted with ‘News Today’ in the sidelines of the society’s coin expo that took place recently.

The expo took place at Aruna Palace in Saligramam from 20 July to 22 July 8 pm. “We have collected the rarest of rare coins. I personally have coins of Sangam age that are at least 2,000-years-old,” Raj Kumar said.

Being the founder of the CCS, Raj Kumar has been sensitising people in the area about the importance of coins and the stories they tell.

“For instance when you take Sangam age coins, that were minted during the age of Chera, Chola and Pandiya dynasties and do not have any image of gods. All they possess are images of the sun, the moon, and animals like elephants, symbolising power. While on the other side of the coin, they have their emblem namely, bow and arrow, tiger and fish, etc,” Raj Kumar said and added that images of gods were stamped onto coins only after the Nayakas came to rule in Tamilnadu.

From this, Raj claims that Tamils did not do idol worship during the Sangam age. “These kind of information can be learned through coins only.”

When asked from where he gets coins, Raj said, “We have a large network. There are people who work in river beds, where coins are usually found. I have sources in Thanjavur from whom I buy these coins.”

When asked if there could be faking of coins due to this, he said, “No. Coins minted by Cheras, Cholas and Pandiyas cannot be faked. It is because they had uniqueness in printing which cannot be followed. But coins in and after British Colony rule can be duplicated with normal coin dyes.”

Adding a word about the coin expo, Raj Kumar said, “These kind of expos are the places where numismatists across the country meet and exchange the coins they have. Some also put up rare coins to exhibit. This expo is open to all and so the public can walk in and buy the coins they want.”