Over three hundred years ago The East India Company was awarded the right to mint its own coins in the territories it administered by King Charles II in 1677. The Company was already heavily associated with the export of precious metal and by 1835 had established 14 mints across India, including Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras. The Company’s coins are still revered and collected all over the world by numismatists and collectors and have for centuries, displayed an array of intricate designs, capturing moments in history for future generations to admire. Designed and crafted with the world’s leading experts, The East India Company continues to this day to design some of the world’s most beautiful coins which draw on the inspiration of the past, with a fresh and modern twist.
Each coin requires many hours of dedication from the finest designers, engravers and coin minters to produce the highest quality proof and brilliant uncirculated coins suitable to be included in The East India Company’s collection. The quality and craftsmanship of each coin is a testament to the care and expertise of the modern minting processes and technologies used by The East India Company for collectors, connoisseurs and curators alike to collect, treasure and invest.
Our vision is to create beautiful coins which continue to be admired by many generations and as we continue to capture moments of history and continue the journey of The East India Company.
THE ART OF COIN MAKING
The art of coin making is believed by scholars to be over 2,500 years old. From the first hammered coins with their intrinsic metal value to the coins used today in every day all over the world, these small but valuable pieces of metal have captured the imagination of historians, collectors and numismatists for centuries often giving an insight into otherwise lost moments of time.
BY ROYAL APPROVAL
Drawing on the expertise of some of the world’s most talented coin designers, a series of drawings are submitted for consideration and refined to create a new coin design.
Submitted to the Issuing Authority and Buckingham Palace to formally approve, each design carries the Royal Approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Once approved the process of converting a drawing to a precious metal coin begins.
Typically each drawing is converted into a clay or plaster model. Highly skilled sculptors/engravers ensure every detail of the design is carefully engraved into the model. The model is then attached to a transfer engraver which traces the image using a ruby tipped stylus to allow the template to be reduced in size and digitally refined. The designs are transferred to a computer modelling software for final tweaks, lettering and further perfecting.
Once happy with the finished digital design, a set of master tools are produced out of a steel blank from which working dies can be hobbed. The working dies are then hobbed and polished carefully to ensure any impurities are removed and the intricate detail of the design is achieved.
The working dies are then fitted to the top and bottom arm of a striking press. An annealed, polished and perfect quality metal blank is placed in the central collar of the press. The press then squeezes the metal forcing it around the design to ensure the metal is forced into each area of the impression. The coin is then checked and approved and ready to be packed into its protective capsule to ensure the quality and authenticity of its standard.
The East India Company works carefully and diligently to ensure every coin is authenticated by weight, diameter and alloy. Using the most exacting standards the authenticity of each coin is guaranteed by its certification. This guarantee affords the collector the peace of mind of being assured that the coin purchased is authentic, original and verified by The Company.
THE MERCHANTS MARK
Soon after its creation inception in 1600 the Company began to use a Merchant’s mark as an identifying mark on its goods arriving in busy ports or sold on the trading floor.
Initially a simple mark, by the 1700s it had evolved into a heart shape scribed with the company’s initials EIC, which was surmounted by a figure four, believed to be a sail.
The Merchant’s Mark was not only a mark of ownership but also became a symbol of the quality of the wares traded by The East India Company. Our coins issued today now feature a special mint mark as a guarantee of trust and quality.