Mystery coin likely from India
- Published: Jan 14, 2012, 7 PM
Can you give me some insight about this old coin that I purchased from a coin dealer 35 years ago. I cannot remember what I was told about this coin.
It appears to be a copper quarter-anna coin from the Indian state of Jodhpur, circa 1937 to 1939, struck during the reign of King George VI of England.
According to Krause Publication’s Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, this coin has values of $1 in Very Good, $2.50 in Fine and $3.50 in Very Fine condition. It has a Krause-Mishler identification number of KM-141. All in all, a rather common piece, but intriguing to “Western” eyes.
Ancient coin dealer Wayne C. Phillips (www.vcoins.com) contacted “Readers Ask” with more information regarding the copy of A Guide Book of United States Coins (aka the “Red Book”) that featured the embossed name “John R Slusher” on its cover. He writes:
“Slusher was a coin dealer in the 1950’s. He had a shop at 510 SW 5th Avenue in Portland, Ore.
“Although my lifelong specialty has been in the field on ancient coins, I handled U.S. in my ‘salad days,’ and I saved a copy of the July 20, 1959, Numismatic Scrapbook, because it contained my first nationwide advertisement of coins for sale. Mr. Slusher’s ad appears on page 1772 of that issue, and I recall seeing his ad in other coin publications of that period as well. I even recall doing a little business with him at shows here on the West Coast, including the ANA Show in Portland that year, where he had a bourse table.
“As for the reason Mr. Slusher’s name is on the cover, I can suggest two possibilities. The current owner of the ‘Slusher’ Red Book should take a look at the degree of wear and tear the book has seen.
“If it’s a well-worn copy, it’s likely that Slusher had it engraved in order to mark it as a ‘store copy.’ The ‘Red Book’ was the ‘Bible’ in those days (no ‘Greysheet’ yet!), and when I had a store, I put a label marked ‘Store Copy’ on the front of one copy that remained on the counter for everyone (including me) to use. This discouraged removal by a customer (accidental or otherwise), and reminded me not to grab a fresh one from the pile of brand new copies on the shelf every time someone needed to look something up.
“If your reader’s book is still fresh and new, the ‘Store Copy’ theory can’t be right. In that case, my guess would be that Mr. Slusher routinely had the books in his reference library personalized, another common practice then — and now.”
Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins or other items for examination without prior permission from staff member Erik Martin. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety coins. Materials sent to Readers Ask without prior permission will be returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-673-8311, Ext. 274.