The Sikh coinage started in the second half of the eighteenth century, reached its apogee during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and ended abruptly with the annexation of the Panjab by the British in 1849. Although the Sikhs struck coins in about 20 mints, there coinage remained quite uniform until the end.
Their rupees bear religious legends and never mention their issuer, but Amritsar, their main economic and religious center, produced the most complex system of mintmarks in modern India. Early observers were often baffled by the first major non-Mughal coinage of northern India and their descriptions of Sikh coins are commonly full of errors, errors that have all too often survived until today.
In a first part the present book gives a short historical introduction and a general survey of the Sikh coinage. The second part consists of an illustrated catalogue of all actually known Sikh coin types arranged by mints. Several appendices offer a brief survey of Sikh tokens and medals and a few important numismatic texts in extensor. This book is not only intended as a useful tool for coin collectors, but also as a source of material for historians and students of the economy of the Sikh empire.