Dutch India, Gold Fanam

Date: 1663 - 1724 CE

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Item Description:

These gold coins, worth 1 fanam, were minted in Dutch India from about 1663 to 1724. They were worth 1/24th of a rupee, weigh approximately 0.44 grams, and have a purity of about 58%. The obverse shows the degenerated goddess Kali, while the reverse shows a "J" with three rows of dots beneath.

Dutch India refers to the settlements and trading posts established by the Dutch East India Company on the Indian subcontinent from 1605 to 1825. The term is used geographically as there was no unified political authority overseeing all of Dutch India. Instead, it was divided into several regions including Dutch Ceylon, Dutch Coromandel, Dutch Malabar, Dutch Bengal, and Dutch Suratte. The Dutch initially established themselves in Dutch Coromandel, particularly in Pulicat, in search of textiles to trade with the spices they acquired in the East Indies. They later expanded to Dutch Suratte and Dutch Bengal in 1616 and 1627 respectively. The Dutch also took over Portuguese forts on the Malabar coast and Ceylon, both significant spice producers, to monopolize the spice trade. Trade in Dutch India was diverse, involving precious stones, indigo, silk, saltpetre, opium, and pepper. Indian slaves were also exported to the Spice Islands and the Cape Colony. However, by the mid-18th century, Dutch influence began to wane. The Kew Letters ceded all Dutch colonies to the British to prevent French takeover. Despite brief restorations of Dutch rule in Coromandel and Bengal due to the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814, the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 returned these regions to British rule. By mid-1825, the Dutch had lost their last trading posts in India.

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