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Item Description:

These brass coins were struck under the Delhi Sultanate, a late medieval Islamic empire in India. They are often known as "forced currency" due to the an edict issued by sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq, who attempted to force his citizens to use them in place of silver and gold coins—ending in disastrous results.

Known as the "Eccentric Prince" or the "Mad Sultan," Muhammad bin Tughluq was infamous for his cruelty and his bizarre and inconsistent policies. The sultan implemented severe punishments and heavy taxation, which was often difficult if not impossible to pay—for example, crops were taxed at a staggering 50%.

This came to a head in 1330, after the expansion of the Delhi Sultanate and a failed mission to Deogiri made the state treasury devoid of precious metals for currency. Muhammad bin Tughluq then issued these coins as a token currency—coins of brass or copper that were to be equal value to gold and silver coinage. This strategy proved a miserable failure as these base metals were available in everyday households and citizens forged counterfeits, causing the value of the currency to “be as worthless as stones.” People were unwilling to exchange their gold and silver coins for the token coinage, ultimately causing the Sultan to have to buy back both the real and counterfeit currency at great expense. This, along with a famine that followed, severely weakened his empire.

Each includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

Muhammad Tughlak orders his copper coins to pass for silver, 1330 CE (illustration from Hutchinson's Story of the Nations)

Muhammad Tughlak orders his copper coins to pass for silver, 1330 CE (illustration from Hutchinson's Story of the Nations)

Your order will include:

  • The historical item(s) shown above
  • Glass top leatherette display box
  • Information card and Certificate of Authenticity

Our original glass and leatherette display boxes showcase your relic above a custom information card, with a design unique to History Hoard.

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