The collecting of international numismatic items (coins, currency and exonumia) can be a fun and interesting hobby. Anyone with a desire to learn of the history of civilizations and countries can learn what was considered to be so important that their money proudly displayed it. Others wish to learn or teach finer details of unique coins. Education and the sharing of knowledge is a primary focus of NI, with the scholarly NI Bulletin, the library and the publications. In addition, the semi-annual Bid Sale allows members to acquire items of interest or to sell excess numismatic items. This is done in a spirit of friendship with members who have similar interests.
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Numismatics International’s Coin Spotlight:
BHUTAN - 1/2 Rupee (DEB) - Silver 1st Period Type - 1790 to 1840
The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has been called the “Dragon Kingdom”. It was established as a priestly monarchy in 1652. For many years it used coins from the nearby Indian state of Cooch Behar. It started to strike its own coins about 1790, after the British East India Company closed the Cooch Behar mint. The undated coins, denominated as Deb (1/2) Rupees, were originally good silver; however by about 1840 the coins became heavily alloyed with lead and then copper. The copper Deb Rupees continued to be struck until about 1910. The Deb Rupee was the only denomination struck by Bhutan until the 20th century with the rare exception of a full Rupee KM# A[&B] 23. Though the basic design remained unchanged, there are numerous varieties, making for a fascinating and challenging collecting area.
This First Period type is listed in KM as #1.1, (1700's Vol.). I'm not sure if this is a separate variety officially but I've seen this type described as an 'extra dot' variety. This exceptional example is a good solid silver example from the 1st Period of coinage. The first period (1790 - 1840 A.D.) includes coins struck on a Cooch Behar (India) model. This is KM# 1.1 with the 'ball' symbol incorporated into the design. It's about 20 mm in diameter and weighs 4.55 grams. If you'd like to delve more into the fascinating numismatic field of Bhutan and Cooch Behar follow this LINK where you can see a scarcer copper 1/2 Rupee with swastika incorporated into the design. There you'll also find two viewable and downloadable articles on the subject. The model for the Bhutan types of coinage can be seen at this LINK.
The NI Bulletin:
The July/August 2019 edition of the NI Bulletin is now available on this website for members to download. The July/August 2019 NI Bulletin includes the following articles:
- Ephemeral Camp tokens of "Empressa Nacional de Bolivia, by William Camacho Mendoza
- Mysterious European Countermarks 2: 15 More Obscure European Countermarks, by Robert Ronus
- A Suggested Achaemenid Ancestry for the Kings of Parthia: The Numismatic Evidence, by Joseph Uphoff
If you are not an Numismatics International member, and you wish to view a sample of the NI Bulletin, please visit the "NI Bulletin Sample" page on this website.