Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 4, p. 515.
/'ITrTDBT' r? A X -rr - X l--l-
XVI] LUCtA VL-C 1 /ilU IAILr1 515
Khafi Khan records in 1694 that 'some rupees which the
English had coined at Bombay with the name of their impure
king' had displeased Aurangzeb. In i686 James II authorized
the Company to issue at all their forts copies of current native
coins, on condition that they maintained the proper weight and
fineness. In 1717 Farrukh Siyar granted the first permission
to coin his money at Bombay; and in I742 permission was
given to coin imitations of Arcot rupees, which were issued at
first from Fort St. Georgel and later on at Calcutta, and also
by the French at Pondicherry. The Calcutta mint was first
recognized by the Nawab of Bengal in 1757 ; and soon after
the battle of Buxar, in 1764, the Nawab's mints at Patna,
Dacca, and Murshidabad were closed, but coins continued to
be struck by the Company at these places as well as at Calcutta.
The Benares mint was taken over about I786, and that at
Farrukhabad about I803.
Four main denominations of rupees gradually replaced the
old miscellaneous coinages. The Murshidabad rupee, of the
nineteenth year of the reign of Shah Alam, was adopted for
the coinage of the Company's Province of Bengal and became
the sikka rupee2 of the Calcutta mint, which weighed I79 - grains
and contained 175.9 grains of pure silver. This was the only
British coin which retained the full value of the old Mughal
system; in the remaining cases deterioration had progressed
some way before it was arrested by the arrangements introduced
by the Company. The Surat rupee, which was adopted as the
currency of the Bombay Presidency, contained I64-7 grains of
pure silver. The Arcot rupee had a weight of I66-5 grains
pure when first coined at the mint of Fort St. George. The
Lucknow rupee struck by the Wazir of Oudh had deteriorated
to i65-2 grains pure when it was adopted as the standard of
the Farrukhabad mint. The sikka rupee was the principal stan-
dard of value, but in Bengal and Bombay accounts were usually
kept in what were called 'current' rupees. The 'current'
rupee was only a denomination of account, representing the
estimated value of the standard coin after making an allowance
for wear. A variety of gold coins were current during this
period: for instance, the gold mohur of Bengal; the old Bombay
mohur and the Bombay gold rupee; various gold pagodas of
' Copper coin made in Birmingham was used in Southern India towards
the end of the eighteenth century.
2 The word sikka means a die and hence coin. The term sikka rupee
refers probably to newly coined money, as distinguished from sonaut, or
coin of past years 'sanl :d).