World Coins: Counterfeit British India 1888 Calcutta Gold Mohur

Posted by Jay Turner, NGC Grader on 12/10/2013

This counterfeit British India Gold Mohur was produced using the transfer die method.

As a result of the growing market for Indian coins, counterfeiters have shifted some attention towards this area. While a lot of collectors and dealers are aware of high quality China-made counterfeits of Chinese and United States coins, counterfeiters in China as well as India and other countries have started to produce fake Indian coins recently.

A little over two years ago, a deceptive counterfeit British India 1888 Calcutta Gold Mohur appeared. This spurious piece is made from gold, weighs within the normal tolerance, and its color is only slightly different from that of authentic 1888 India Mohur coins. The fake was produced using the transfer die method, which creates coining dies from an authentic piece and results in all of the correct design elements.

British India 1888 Calcutta Gold Mohur
Left: Coin 1 Obverse; Right: Coin 2 Obverse
Click images to enlarge.

British India 1888 Calcutta Gold Mohur
Left: Coin 1 Reverse; Right: Coin 2 Reverse
Click images to enlarge.

Since the coin was produced by the transfer die method it features several repeating depressions that will occur on all of the pieces produced by the counterfeit dies. On the obverse of the coin, repeating depressions include a prominent hit on the neck at the throat area as well as hits above and below the “E” of “EMPRESS”. On the reverse of the coin, notable repeating depressions occur under the “H” of “MOHUR”, between the “DI” and on the “A” of INDIA, and below the “1” and first “88” of the date.

British India 1888 Calcutta Gold Mohur
Click images to enlarge.

Authentic examples of India 1888 Mohur coins can bring over $3,000 on the market today and with around $450 in gold content at current prices, producing fakes can be a profitable venture for counterfeiters. Dealers and collectors should carefully study these coins, or consult an expert, to avoid being duped by a counterfeit.