The story of the East India Company is an incredible one. It was established in 1600 with a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I, to trade in the Indies. They were instrumental in the tea industry in India; they were the cause of the opium wars with China, and they would grow to eventually have a private army twice the size of the British army. At their peak they accounted for half the world’s trade.
Charles II would also give them the authority to mint its own money, with a Mint established in 1643 at Fort St George, now the city of Chennai. One of the coins struck there was the Star Pagoda, which featured Indian motifs and circulated in the East India Company’s Madras Presidency, becoming the ‘Sovereign’ of the region in the 18th century.
Another interesting fact is that the famous ‘Military’ Guinea, struck for the Duke of Wellington's army, was made from melted gold Mohurs and Pagodas.
East India Company, Madras Presidency, gold Star Pagoda
Struck in Fort St George (1740-1807)
Obverse - Half-length figure of the Hindu deity Vishnu
Reverse - 5-pointed star on granulated surface
Weight 3.5g gold approximately
10mm in diameter approximately
In Extremely Fine condition
|Alloy||22 Carat Gold|
|Pure Metal Type||Gold|