Coin collectors and numismatists will have enough to celebrate this year as the Government Mint, Mumbai has kick-started sale of commemorative coins to mark the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa and the Komagata Maru incident. The coins have been made on the theme ‘Centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Return from South Africa’ and will be available in denominations of Rs 100 and Rs 10. The Komagata Maru incident dates back to May 23, 1914 when the ship carrying 376 passengers, majority of whom were Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus — was denied entry into Canada after an immigration dispute. Some of the passengers were killed in protests on their return to India. The government mint office in Mumbai has put up for sale these commemorative coins which can be booked from July 26 till September 26, both online and offline.
‘Centenary of Komagata Maru Incident’ themed coins are available in Rs 100 and Rs 5 denominations. The proof coins cost Rs 3,225 each while uncirculated coins (UNC) carry a tag of Rs 2,644 each which are all inclusive of the goods and services tax (GST), the India Government Mint, Mumbai said in an advertisement.”The coins will be delivered through India Post within six months from the date of closure of booking,” it said. The coin on Gandhi’s return from South Africa in 1915 bears two images of the Father of the Nation — a young man in western attire and the other is the legendary thinly clad old man wearing round-shaped spectacles. The centenary completion year ‘2015’ is engraved at the opposite corner to that of ‘1915’. The proof coin embossed letter M — meaning printed at Mumbai — have a frozen effect on the surface design with a mirror finish. The coin commemorating Komagata Maru incident depicts a big ship named ‘Komagata Maru’ sailing in the sea, with year 1914-2014 printed at the periphery of the coin.
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These types of coins commemorate events of historical and social importance as well celebrates achievements of public or private organisations. These high quality coins hold great value for collectors and those who study currencies, tokens, paper money and related articles — the numismatics. The Mumbai mint, a unit of Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL), has been manufacturing these commemorative coins apart from circulation coins. The first commemorative coin was issued in 1964 in the memory of India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. In 2016, the mint had come up with only one commemorative coin themed on Centenary of Banaras Hindu University.
Year 2015 saw issuance of three commemorative coins on International Yoga Day, 125th birth anniversary of B R Amdebkar and Golden Jubilee of Indo Pak War 1965.In 2014, coins were issued to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru. While in 1972, coins were issued to mark the 25th year of India’s independence. Also, 2010 was a dedication to ‘1000 Years Of Brihadeeswarar Temple’ and birth centenary of C Sbramaniam as well as platinum jubilee of Reserve Bank of India.The mint office has been issuing commemorative coins all through the years since 1964 on various themes.