1823 - Ceylon
Madras Arcot Quarter Rupee
Counter-Marked with a Crown

The persistent shortage of coin led to a special import of East India Company's Madras "Arcot" quarter rupees. To retain these coins in local circulation they were counter-marked with a crown. Declared current by local proclamations dated 1823 March 22nd to pass at 1/3 rix-dollar or 4 fanams

Denomination1/3 RixDoller
AlloySilver (0.917Ag)
Diameter17.4 mm
Thickness mm
Weight2.92 gms
EdgeIndented cord
1823_cm_1Qrm_obverse 1823_cm_1Qrm_reverse
Pridmore #25; Mitchiner #2225; Krause #85

Obverse : Within a beaded border a Persian legend: 1172 Sikka Badshah Alamgir = 1172 Money of the Emperor Alamgir. Dated AH 1172 - Frozen year 6 of Alamgir II (1759 CE) - Crown CounterMark on left.
Reverse : Within a beaded border a Persian legend: Zarb Arcat sanat 6 = Struck at Arcot in his 6th year. A closed lotus flower indicating Madras Mint.

The coins counter marked with the British crown is the Madras Mint Arcot 1/4 rupee with closed lotus form (Krause Madras Presidency #413) the issue of which was authorized by a proclamation dated 1817 December 9th in Fort St. George (Madras).

The number issued from the 1824 Ceylon Blue book also lists that 282,337 Arcot rupee coin of the same mint issue ( Krause Madras Presidency #415 - 28.3 mm diameter and 11.66 gram weight) were similarly imported into Ceylon and counter marked for local use by a later proclamation dated 1823 December 31st. to pass at 4/3 rix-dollar or 16 fanams. (Pridmore #24; Mitchiner #2224; Krause #86)

Withdrawn from circulation after British Sterling was introduced in the island just 2-years later, both these coins are very rare and difficult to find. One of the few Ceylon coins of this era with no image illustrated in the Krause catalog.

Text from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
  Page 151 Chapter XI British - I : 1796-1825 - Plate 167.

The coin was scanned at 600dpi and the images are displayed at 300dpi.
The almost uncirculated coin was purchased in April 1999 on ebay. The image of this coin above is used in the 3rd Edition of the Krause 19th century Volume, which had not illustrated this coin previously.