Items of Trade and Commerce
Exports Textiles, especially various kinds of cotton fabrics, indigo, raw
silk, sugar, salt petre, pepper, opium and various kinds of drugs and
Imports Bullion, horses, metals, perfumes, drugs, China goods especially
porcelain and silk, African slaves and European wines.
Coins of Surs and Mughals
Sur Coinage Sher Shah was ruler of great constructive and administrative
ability, and the reform of the coinage, though completed by Akbar, was in a
great measure due to his genius. His innovations lay chiefly in two directions:
first, the introduction of a new standard of 178 grains for silver, and one of
about 330 grains for copper, with its half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth parts.
These two new coins were subsequently known as the rupee and the dam.
The second innovation saw a large increase in the number of the mints: at
least twenty three mint names appear on the Sur coins. Genuine gold coins of
the Sur kings are exceedingly rare. The rupees are fine broad pieces; the
obverse follows the style of Humayun’s silver; the reverse bears the Sultan’s
name in Hindi, often very faulty. In the margin are inscribed the special titles
of the Sultan, and sometimes the mint. On a large number of both silver and
copper coins no mint name occurs.
The importance attached to the currency by the Mughal emperors is revealed
in the accounts given by Akbar’s minister, Abul Fazl, in the Ain-i-Akbari, and
by Jahangir in his memoirs, the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, and by the number of
references to the subject by historians throughout the whole period. From
these and from a study of the coins themselves scholars have collected a mass
of materials, from which it is now possible to give a fairly comprehensive
account of the Mughal coinage.
Abul Fazl and Jahangir mention a large number of gold and silver coins,
varying from 2,000 tolahs to a