An extensive series of coins were struck for general circulation in the east by the Dutch East India Company at mints in their homeland itself. The provincial mints of Holland, Utrecht, Zeeland, Gelderland and Overysesel issued 'Ducatoons' and these coins were popularly known as 'silver riders'. The obverse side of the coins bore a cuirassier on horseback and the provincial monogram below with an inscription. The coins of the other provincial mints had the names of the State-General supported by two lions and below it there was the monogram 'VOC' in an ornamental frame that represent the Company. Above the crown of the arm the date was etched and this side also includes an inscription.
Apart from issuing 'Ducatoons', three 'Guilder', one 'Guilder' and half 'Guilder' in silver were issued by four of the provinces. These coins were issued for the use of the Company. These coins contained the standing Pallas (later known as Neerlandia), the date and an inscription. The other side of the coin bore the arms of the State-General, the value, the monogram of the Company and an inscription followed by the name of the issuing province in an abbreviated form. In 1726, copper 'Doits' were also issued for the company and half 'Doits' in 1749.these coins contained the crowned shield of the issuing province on one side and the 'VOC' monogram of the company on the other. In India these coins were current on the Coromandal coast and in Cochin.
The Dutch Company also used its monogram for counter striking the Persian Abbasid coins, the Indo-Portuguese 'Tangas', the 'Larins' and the Mughal 'rupees' of the Surat mint. These were converted by the Dutch into their own coins for trading purposes. Apart from these, the Dutch Company also issued some coins of the local type in its own name from Pulicat, Nagapatam, Masulipattam, Puducherry and Cochin. The 'Pagodas' contained a four armed deity on the obverse side of the coins and a convex granulated reverse, were also known as 'Porto Novo type'. These coins were issued from Nagapatam or Masulipattam. A few 'Pagodas' and 'Fanams' were also issued from Pulicat.
The coins of Dutch in India also bore a female figure which was reckoned as the figure of the Indian goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. It has also been evidenced that the people Dutch also issued some silver coins though no specimen has yet been found. As per some references, the coins also contained a Persian inscription connoting "silver coin for the use of the East India Company of the United Provinces of the same size and weight as the 'siccas'." It has been said that the Dutch people also issued some coins of the Mughal type. The only silver coins that can be attributed to the Dutch with some confidence were the Cochin 'Fanams' which demonstrate the figure of a female deity on one side of the coin. The other side of the coin contained a horizontal 'J' surmounted by 'OC' (Oostindische Compagnies) and twelve dots below it.
The historical evidences trace that some copper, lead and tin coins were also issued during the period of the Dutch. Copper and cash coins were issued from Nagapatam having the 'VOC' monogram with the initial 'N' of Nagapatam above or below on one side. On the other side of the coin there was 'Nekapattanam' in two lines in Tamil. It had also been included that some cash of a similar type were also issued from the same place in lead. In 1695, some copper coins were also issued bearing the crude figure of a female deity on one side and Tamil legend 'Nekapattanam' on the other side of the coin. Even some copper cash coins were etched with the Tamil legend 'Nekapattanam' on one side and 'Karaikal or Puducheri' on the other side of the coin, were also issued. It has been said that these coins were issued during the time of Dutch rule between 1693 and 1698. Copper 'Rasi' and half- 'Rasi', a type of the silver 'Fanams', were issued from Cochin. Simultaneously, copper 'Buzaruccos' with the Company's monogram were issued between 1663 and 1724 as well. Several coins were also issued from Pulicat. Later a Persian legend was etched on the reverse side of the coin and as per historical proofs, this legend during the long period of its currency became more and more corrupt. Due to inordinate corruption of the currency, only one part of the legend was left on the coins.
After issuing such a great deal of coins, the Dutch coins of India could not remained for a long time. In the eighteenth century the Pulicat 'Cash' was issued with the name 'PALEACATTA' on the reverse side of the coin and also included the initial of the fort of the place on the coin.
(Last Updated on : 23-02-2015)
|More Articles in Coins of Modern India (10)|