‘Scandalous’ Coins of Jahangir
In the world of numismatics or the study of coins the appearance of Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s coins always causes a bit of a sensation. These are prized by experts and coin collectors all over the world for their uniqueness and rarity. Unique because they were different from any coins minted before or after by Islamic rulers and rare, because they really scandalized the orthodox clergy in Mughal India… so much so that Jahangir’s son Shah Jahan ordered these coins to be melted. He even ordered the death penalty to anyone who used or possessed the coins minted during his father’s time!
Jahangir took over the reins of the Mughal Empire after his father Akbar died in 1605 CE. Though mostly portrayed as a debauched, opium addict Jahangir did carve a niche. He was a great open-minded, aesthete and connoisseur of the arts. A man with an insatiable appetite to learn about the world, Jahangir is famous for the many folios of the flora and fauna of the subcontinent, that he commissioned.