1839 silver pattern rupee achieves $204,000 record with Baldwin's

Part II of The David Fore Collection of British Indian Coins has sold at Baldwin's in London, with an exquisite 1839 silver pattern rupee achieving a new world record for any British Indian silver coin.

1839 silver pattern rupee
The record can be attributed to the surge of interest in rare Indian coins, prompted by the nation's growing economy

The coin, the first Indian rupee to feature a portrait made by an Indian engraver, was crafted at the Bombay Mint.

Although very little is known about the coin, collectors relished the opportunity for further research, fuelling the coin to a 120% increase on its £60,000 high estimate to realise £132,000 ($204,162) at the May 31 sale.

It is the first British Indian coin to have sold for a six-figure sum.

Fred Pridmore, a respected authority on British Commonwealth coinage, provides much of the information that we have on the coin. He states it was submitted to the Supreme Government in 1839, but rejected.

We also know that the engraver at the Bombay Mint in 1838 was Jewram Shamji, and therefore the coin was likely produced by him.

An early 20th century catalogue of the coins at the Calcutta Mint states that two further examples were once housed there, but it remains to be seen if they are still present.

The new record reflects the growing interest in coins - and collecting in general - in India, with the country's strong economy boosting sales across the auction world.

"Steady growth in the Indian economy has produced a buoyant market of new collectors willing to pay top prices for rare and quality items and Baldwin's are uniquely positioned to offer them, having operated at the forefront of this emerging market for the last twenty years," commented the auction house's Randy Weir.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a magnificent selection of rare coins for sale.

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