1/2 Paisa coin, issued by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in the Kashmir Princely State, India
Hammered copper coinage struck at the Jammu mint in 1939 VS (1880 AD)

Obverse Description

Near centre, a leaf within a Persian legend, mostly off flan, final numeral of date, 9, to left of leaf; (Valentine gives the legend as Zarb Jamun sanbat (date))

Reverse Description

Legend in Dogri Takari characters; below, a scimitar


Kashmir was taken from Afghan control by the Sikhs in 1819 and from them by the British in 1845. A year later it and Jamu were sold to Gulab Singh (father of the issuer of this coin) for 3/4 million pound sterling. The small denomination 1/2 paisa coin was introduced in 1876 during a great famine which had brought trade to a standstill. At this time also, Ranbir Singh had a cart road built from Srinagar to Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan) to facilitate importation of food. The denomination was well recieved and was struck almost every year until 1890 (during the reign of Pertab Singh) when it was discontinued.

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