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A business in old coins

Mr. P.K.Keshavamurthy is a BSNL employee presently stationed at Hunsur. His passion is collection of stamps, coins and notes.

With his huge collection of rare and unique coins and notes from all over the world and of different periods of history, he attracts even researchers and scholars for study and obtaining history’s missing links, apart from a large number of students and children having stamp collection as their hobby.

Prof. A.V.Narasimha Murthy, former Professor of Ancient History of Mysore University and a renowned numismatist says, “Old coins are part of our heritage. They are historical evidences. By arduously collecting them over the last 20 years, Mr Keshavamurthy has contributed significantly to preserve this heritage.”

With his unique and large collection, Mr. Keshavamurthy has come to preserve the history of coinage. He held his 100th coin exhibition in Mysore for three days from December 9. “This is a record. No one has done so many exhibitions in India,” adds Prof.
Narasimha Murthy.

Mr. Keshavamurthy’s collection begins from 6th century B.C. The punch-mark coins and includes coins of Greek, Roman, Kushan, Shathavahana, Chola, Pallava, Pandya dynasties, Delhi Sutlans, Moguls, British, Portuguese and post-Independent era. He has plastic and gold currency notes, defective notes, fancy number notes, rare lead coins, gold coins of Ganga, Kadamba, Hoysala
dynasties of Karnataka, gold and silver coins of Vijayanagar kings, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and Mysore Wodeyars are also in his prized collection.

Besides attracting hobbyists and students, he also trades in coins and notes during the exhibitions. He has turned his hobby into a business also. Asked about the genuiness of ‘rare’ coins sold on pavements in several places, Prof. Narasimha Murthy, who is the General Secretary of Numismatists’ Association of South India, cautions, “Unfortunately all those are not genuine coins. To fake rare coins has become a business for some today. A genuine Ram Tanka costs around Rs. 20,000-30,000. But you can buy
one for Rs. 25, after a bargain.”

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