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.
|Source : ebay# 1234243682|
|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 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.