Of money and its stories! – Ankur DasApril 22, 2016
Hi ! My name is Ankur Das.
On being asked to pen a piece for Khiski Khopadi, I realised it would be prudent on my part to check out the website and see for myself the stories others has written about themselves. I came across tales of people tiding over insurmountable odds to achieve something they really longed for, of people making their once-in-a-life solo trips, of people battling illnesses and overcoming fears – and emerging as better persons at the end of it all.
It was then that I realised my story would be different. My story isn’t about any struggle I faced; nor is it about any challenge I overcame. It is about a journey, a journey on a path where I like to take long and deep walks – walks that give me immense joy and a sense of fulfilment.
I started collecting coins when I was around 10 years of age. It all started when my father got me a few coins from foreign countries, a couple of them being countries I didn’t even know about! He asked me to take out my atlas and look for those countries on the world map. It was then when it dawned on me that every coin has a story to tell. I realised that the image embossed on a coin represents the hopes and aspirations of a million people of that country. It baffled me as to how the very coin I had in my hand might have passed through the hands of so many interesting people from around the world and travelled thousands of miles to tell me its story. And that was when a love affair was born.
My father guided me on the Internet and showed me about online communities dedicated to numismatics – the study of coins. I wrote to a few people there from different countries and offered to share coins from India with them, in return for coins of their own countries. My collection steadily began to grow that way. I now possess coins from 36 countries from around the world – some from countries which no longer even exist, like the former USSR or East Germany. In fact, I was once amazed to find that a coin from the USSR I possessed was put up for sale on eBay for $450!
In the same vein, I also got interested in historical coins. The oldest coin I currently hold in my collection is a silver ¼th of an Anna dating to 1897. The journey of Indian independence can be traced through its coinage too, with British monarchs almost being replaced overnight by the Lion Emblem as our country stepped into freedom!
In recognition of my efforts in the field of numismatics, the Royal Numismatic Society, London conferred on me the title of Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society in April 2012. The Royal Numismatic Society is a learned society under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom dedicated to the study of coins and medals. It does feel great to have your efforts recognised at the international level!
They say that money makes people happy. It definitely does – in more ways than one!
Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org