First Sikh Coin

ca. 1712
American Numismatic Society South Asian Collection

The fist Sikh coinage, minted by Banda Singh Bahadur (1670-1716), the first political leader of the Sikhs in the post Guru era. He established the foothold of the first sovereign Sikh state in 1710 with the conquest of Sarhind in Punjab and eventually controlled territory from the neighbourhood of Delhi to the river Ravi. Banda Singh first established the Sikh tradition of coinage in the name of the Sikh Gurus rather than a rulers own name. This tradition was also followed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Obverse
Persian Script: Sikka Zad Bar Har Do Alam Fazl Sachcha Sahib Ast Fath-i-Gur Gobind Singh Shah-i-Shahan Tegh-i-Nanak Wahib Ast

"Coin struck through each of the two worlds (spiritual and temporal) by the grace of the True Lord. Of the victory of Guru Gobind Singh, King of Kings, Nanak's sword is the provider."

Reverse
Persian Script: Zarb Khalsa Mubarak Bakht Ba-Aman Ud-Dahr Zinat At-Takht Mashwarat Shahr. Sanah 3

"Struck by the Khalsa of auspicious fortune at the Refuge of the Age, the Ornament of the Throne, the City of the Council. Year 3"

The year refers to the third year since Banda Singh's initial conquest of Sarhind in 1709/1710.