Mughal Coins of Akbar

Mughal Coins of Akbar : During the early years of his reign Akbar adopted the coinage and currency system of his predecessors and made only nominal modifications, such as the insertion of his name and titles and the place and year of mintage on his coins. His mints were in charge of minor officers, called chaudharis and there was little coordination between various mints.

In 1577 the emperor undertook the reform of the coins and currency and appointed Khwaja Abdus Samad Shirazi, to be the supervisro or head of the imperial mint at Delhi where the coins of Mughal empire were made. All the mints at provincial headquarters which had hitherto been under chaudharis, were placed under more responsible officers who were required to work under the supervision of Abdus Samad.

The Delhi staff under Abdus Samad consisted of a darogha (assistant superintendent), a sarafi (assayer), an amin (assistant to the darogha), a treasurer, a mushrif (accountant), a weighman, a melter of ore, a plate maker and a merchant whose duty was to supply gold, silver and copper.

The mints issued gold, silver and copper coins. The silver coin during the Mughal rule of Akbar, known as rupee was round in shape. The weight of the silver coins of Akbar was 172 grains. Akbar also issued a square shaped rupee coins, called Jalali. The rupee had its one-half, one-fourth, one-eighth, one-sixteenth and one-twentieth pieces. The weight of the copper coin was around 21 grams. Jital was the lowest copper coin. Ilahi gold coins were commonly used during Mughal rule. The value of a ilahi was equal to 10 rupees. Sahansah was the largest gold coin. Its weight was around 101 tolas. It was highly used in big commercial transactions. All the coins of various metals were characterized by ‘purity of metal, fullness of weight and artistic execution’. Akbar is entitled to high praise for placing the currency on sound scientific foundation, and his coins have been highly spoken of by modern numismatists.

Akbar introduced wide variety in his coins. The coin system of Mughals was based on scientific methods. The coins of Akbar are believed to be pure without any mixing.