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Coining History: Tracing Narratives in Numismatics through Architecture

ATA2019

Over time, with the changes in trading systems, the gradual shift from the usage of physical currency to the latest e-currency, the cost of making the coins is more than the value of coins itself. Mints across the country have reduced and stopped the production of lower denomination coins. The India Government Mint at Khairatabad, Hyderabad, India – is one such mint which closed down and has been abandoned since. Coining History: Tracing Narratives in Numismatics through Architecture is a project explores the role of architecture in preserving the memory of coins and the Mint.


Man has always had a close association with trade and exchange, being a part of us and our society, becoming one of the most important aspects of our social network. From the earliest times, from the times of the barter system where goods and services were exchanged directly for other goods and services, many materials have been used in the form of money, from naturally scarce precious metals to entirely artificial money called bank notes or fiat money. However, one can find coins all over the world as one of the very first tokens of currency used. Coins have always been a part of the material culture. Though being just pocket sized, coins through their integration of text, image and their existence as material objects covey a lot about a time in the past and they commemorate important moments in history. Over time, with the gradual shift from the usage of physical currency to the latest e-currency and bitcoins, one can buy and sell without the physical token of exchange. Would this mean that one day we would not use physical coins at all? Would coins just become a memory?


Today, the cost of making the coins does not even match up to the actual value of the metal used for making the coins. Many coin mints across the country have reduced the production of coins and have already stopped the production of many coins of lower denominations. The India Government Mint at Khairatabad, Hyderabad is one such mint which closed down and has been abandoned since. The project aims in Tracing narratives in Numismatics through architecture, exploring the role of architecture in preserving the memory of coins and the abandoned Mint while looking at how the different feelings and experiences related to the physical entity of a coin can be preserved and showcased. The project also aims to unravel and reclaim the rich coinage and currency heritage of the country and to illustrate the history of our country by telling a story through coins.



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Kathyaini Chirrareddigari

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