A couple of days ago when the rains kept us indoors, Mr. Ed started working on cataloging his coin collection. This is an occupation that’s ongoing in much the same way genealogy and family history persuits tend to be for me. So he gets his head into looking at coins and just comes up for air, a cup of coffee and eventually dinner. Anyway, on Monday he was talking about a coin from the East India Company and of course my ears perked up since it appears my ancestor Captain Alexander Daly worked for this company. The coin Mr. Ed has is an 1835 Quarter Anna, not at all a valuable coin in monetary terms but quite beautiful. Here’s our scan:
Front of coin showing date of 1835, letters on the banners on the bottom are too worn to read.
Back of the Coin with “East India Company” clearly visible
The East India Company was formed as a trading company and granted an English Royal Charter in 1600 by Queen Elizabeth I. Although it’s purpose was to trade with the East Indies, the company traded with the Indian Subcontinent and China and eventually became very powerful and turned from trading to ruling, including the exercise of military power. It remained a force in India for over 250 years (1600 to 1858). Coins were struck from 1835 to 1853 when the company lost its trading monopoly and its powers were transferred to the British Authority.
I mentioned that the monetary value of a Quarter Anna is very small, one Anna being equal to 1/16 Rupee, and subdivided into 4 Paise equalling 64 Paise in a Rupee. The Anna isn’t in common usage now as India decimalized its currency in 1957.
The interesting thing about this coin is, of course it’s link to the Daly Family who were living in Calcutta just a few short years before the Quarter Anna was in common use. Quite possibly Captain Daly carried similar coins with him during his employment with the East India Company.
Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington, April 16, 2009, All Rights Reserved
Coin and scanned images are the sole property of Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington