India - A.H. 1113 Aurangzeb 46th year Surat Rupee

Treasure of the Great Basses Reef, Lanka

A few extra images of the shipwreck silver Surat rupee coin showing slightly different parts of the flan. Note that all these Surat rupees are Aurangzeb 1113 year 46 with mintmark four dots around a cross ( 193 from Brown's table ) which was only used from 1113-1115.

Both the Whitehead, Lahore Museum catalogue, and the Brown, Lucknow Museum catalogue list Aurangzeb, Surat rupees of 1113/yr 46. Both of these catalogues were published well before the wreck was discovered.

Fig. 51 Coins after cleaning (right) Muslim date 1113 (+1702 A.D.)
From 1964 Book The Treasure of the Great Reef By Arthur C. Clarke.
Note this book mentions year 45 which may be a typographic error.

1701_surat_1r_obverse 1701_surat_1r_reverse
Source : ebay# 1234243682

1701_surat_1r_obverse 1701_surat_1r_reverse
Source : Image sent to me by Carl Fismer

Image of Coin for sale at this web-site for $650 :-)
Note that this site also mentions year 45 an error copied from Clarke's book, and it association with the TajMahal the most famous Moghul structure in India built by Aurangzeb's father is a gimmic for US marketing The certificates printed for this Indian silver Rupee from GreatBases; and also for Copper Dutch Duit from Galle and Copper Lankan Massa from Polonnaruva reflect their skill on spinning a story. The border of each certificate with a jumbled meaningless mix of letters in both Sinhala and Tamil taken from Lankan currency notes is quite amusing.

The few wreak associated coins have sold on ebay for about $75, while similar Aurangzeb Surat rupee from this era sell for under about $20.
It is often errornously claimed that the full years production was found on shipwreak. Not even half an year in which 1113/46 was issued. What was found on the wreck was a typical one days production from the Surat Mint.
There could be coins not from the wreck which match the same basic description. However since very small fraction of the coins minted of a particular issue from this era survived without being melted for making jewelry or newer coins most of the coins of this particular issue on the market are probably from the 10,000 found on the Great Basses Reef wreck, 3,000 of which remain within the three intact silver lumps remaining.

The description of the wreck find clearly indicates a single Mint strike. The coins illustrated in Clarke's book, and this site, 1993 WCN article are all Surat rupees of Aurangzeb 1113 year 46 with mintmark(M.193) four dots around a cross (Lucknow catalog #2985). There clearly could have been few circulated coins on the wreck of different mintage on the wreck.

I thank Robert Hoge, Curator at ANS for his E-mail of 2002 July in which he says, Among the 1,700 or so coins which I was shown--all purportedly from the Great Basses wreck of Arthur C. Clarke fame--there were perhaps five which were dated year 45 rather than year 46, and another few which were year 46-dated half rupees. The year 45 pieces seemed to show slight evidence of wear, whereas the year 46 coins did not. The overall condition, in terms of corrosion and encrustation, seems to have depended upon whether or not the coins were exposed to salt water effects on the outside or the inside of the clumps (bags) in which they were deposited.
I had an entire clump of the Clarke coins (all year 46-dated), and part of another clump (also all year 46) on loan for a time at the ANA for the purpose of undertaking a die study. They had been cleaned less harshly than those originally marketed by Peterson and Fismer--particularly those from the larger clump, which had just recently been cleaned after coming directly to Mr. Fismer from Dr. Clarke. I was not able to complete the die study because of time constraints and inherent difficulty. As I recall, I had found about 25 die pairs, with no linkages.

In the January 1994 issue of ANA Numismatist Robert Hoge, at that time Curator of ANA, illustrated ANA(1993.45.1) of the Aurangzeb 1113 year 45 with mintmark(M.90) four dots (Lucknow catalog #2982) The Southern Cross Entertainment Group headed by Robert Lewis Knecht who made the documentary videotape on the shipwreck and Arthur Clarke, gift to the ANA had one example of each of the three kinds of coins included in the group which Fismer had purchased from Mr. Peterson.