1695 - Dutch India

Negapatnam - Duit

Duit copper coin issued by the Dutch Mint in Negapatnam for circulation in Lanka.

SPECIFICATIONS
DenominationDuit
Alloy Copper
Type Struck ?
Diameter 14.5 mm
Thickness 3.1 mm
Weight Legal3.43±0.10 gms
Weight 3.50 gms
Shape Round
Edge Plain
Die Axis -135°
Mint Negapatnam
negapatnam_duit_cud_obverse negapatnam_duit_cud_reverse
Scholten #1245 ; Dutch India KM #26
Obverse : A degenerated human Facing figure of god Kali of Tanjore. Above to left OO two annulets. To right over the "left shoulder" an object commonly called the "club" and a thick dot. Sides end in dot which with the two additional rows; (3 dots and 2 dots below) form a tight 7-dot motif on the breast. Below 4 dots with tails pointing down. All within dot circle.
Reverse : Crude Tamil legend Nakapattanam divided by a horizontal line enclosed in a dotted circle.

This coin is listed as rare in Scholten who states that a large number of die-varieties with narrow, tall or broad "body", high and round "shoulders". Codrinton points out that the obverse is somewhat similar to the Viraraya Fanam. Although they bore the name Negapatnam on the reverse they were intended principally for Lanka.

Scholten says a Negapatnam 1 cash = 1.3725 grams. If this is the case 3.432 grams or 1 Doit would be 2.5 Cash. Codrington refers to as 5 Cash, and so does Grogan which lists 3 lots (496-498) with weights 3.69,3.51 and 3.11 grams. Since dutch coins were usually made with weight proportional to value IMHO this coin is a 2.5 Cash.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
  NEGAPATNAM Chapter X Dutch Page 138
* The Coins of the Dutch Overseas Territories-1601-1948 by C. Scholten, 1953,
  Amsterdam: Jacques Schulman. Chapter X NEGAPATNAM page 138.

This Extreamly Fine grade coin was scanned at 600 dpi and displayed at 400 dpi. It was purchased in 2004 November from a dealer in Colombo Fort, Lanka. Claimed to be from a hoard of 2800 found in a box hidden at a culvart in Buthala in south east Lanka. Another coroded coin found in Ruhuna from Mr A. Ratnayaka a collector in Katharagama, Lanka.