Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Over The Moon

There has rarely been a day that I was as happy as I was few days back. Two things made my day - which occurred on the same day:

I received a gift of a very authoritative book on Bhutan’s coinage titled “The Coinage of BHUTAN up to the mid 20th Century” autographed by the Belgian author Kris Van Den Cruyce, a collector of Bhutanese coins and a numismatist:

If that were not enough, a selfless couple friend gifted me a set of two very rare Bhutanese coins: the silver Thala of 1928 and another of 1929, both of which are in mint condition:

This silver Thala is Bhutan’s first milled coin, minted in 1928 under the command of His Majesty the Drukgyal Ngipa. An Englishman by the name of Albert Pearson Spencer rendered the engravings of the coin’s dies. Historians acknowledge that the engraver’s work on our Thala’s dies was his best work ever. Unfortunately there was a mistake in the word "Druk". The Ba-Ra-Ta-Da was erroneously rendered.

To correct the error on the coin of 1928, another order was given to mint some 30,000 more of the silver Thala, the following year – 1929. This time the word “Druk” was correctly rendered as seen from above. Sadly, there was a mistake in the year of coinage. The year of minting was marked as “Tsa Druk Lo”. The Year should have been marked as “Tsa Druel Lo”

I spent two days (my PhotoShoping skills are very poor) recreating the 1929 Thala - as it should have been rendered.
The silver Thala of 1929 should have been marked as above

I am now looking to own the other 2 Zangtrums coined in 1928. Two sizes of these coins were released that year. The larger of the two measured 26.5mm in diameter while the smaller one measured 25.1mm. The larger coin weighed 7.0g and the smaller one weighed in at 4.9g.

This coin is perfectly minted! The word “Druk” is rendered correctly and the year of coinage is also spot on.

It baffles me - if the dies for this Zangtrum was correctly rendered, how did it happen that there was a mistake in the silver Thala? After all, they were minted in the same year, in the same mint and the dies were produced by the same engraver.


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