few grains in weight. Gigantic pieces are also
to ambassadors, and appear to have been merely used as a convenient form in
which to store treasure.
Types of Coins The standard gold coin of the Mughals was the muhar, of
about 170 to 175 grains, the equivalent of nine rupees in Abul Fazl’s time.
Half and quarter muhars are known to have been issued by several emperors,
and a very few smaller pieces, also.
The rupee, adopted from Sher Shah’s currency, is the most famous of all
Mughal coins. The name occurs only once, on a rupee of Agra minted in
Akbar’s forty-seventh regnal year. Halves, quarters, eighths and sixteenths
were also struck. In Surat the half rupee appears to have been in special
In addition to the regular gold and silver currency, special small pieces were
occasionally struck for largess; the commonest of these is the nisdr, struck in
silver by Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. Jahangir also issued similar
pieces, which he called nur af shan and khair qabul.
The Mughal copper coinage is based on Sher Shah’s dam which with its half,
quarter and eighth, continued to be struck until the fifth year of Aurangzeb.
The name dam occurs only once on a half dam of Akbar. The usual term
employed is fulus (copper money) or sikkah fulus (stamped copper money).
The names nisfi (half dam), damra (quarter dam), damri (one eighth of a
dam) also appear on Akbar’s copper.
Main Features Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Mughal coinage
is the diversity of mints. Akbar’s known mints number seventy six. Copper
was struck in fifty nine of these, the largest number recorded for any
emperor, while silver is known from thirty nine. Aurangzeb’s conquests in
the Deccan raised the silver mints to seventy, whereas copper mints sank to
Such was the coinage of the Great Mughals. Considering it as the output
of a single dynasty, which maintained the high standard and purity of its gold
and silver for three hundred years, considering also its variety, the number of
its mints, the artistic merit of some of its series, the influence it exerted on
contemporary and subsequent coinages, and the importance of its standard
coin—the rupee—in the commerce of today, the Mughal currency surely
deserves to rank as one of the great coinages of the world.