Detective Tejas Shah has a unique and rare collection of over 600 coins with errors, which, if sold, will easily earn him lakhs
Take a close look at the coins in your pocket; they could be worth more than their actual value. Lots of people in the city have a penchant for collecting coins, but numismatist Tejas Shah (34), resident of Thane and detective by profession, has a unique hobby: he collects error coins (faulty coins). Shah knows just how valuable and rare his collection of 600 coins is. Earlier, coins were handmade, as a result of which errors in them were common and plenty. Ever since the automated process of imprinting coins became popular, the production of faulty coins became a rare phenomenon, making modern coins with errors even more exclusive and hard to come by. The faulty coins in Shah's collection include a Rs 2 coin from 1998 with a faulty indent, a Rs 2 coin from 2011 in which the emblems are off-centre, a blank 5 paise coin, and a blank Rs 5 coin. In fact, faulty coins are more valuable than other collectible coins, such as flawless antiques.
Finding fault: Numismatist Tejas Shah, whose most prized possessions
are faulty coins from the British era in the 1800s, and also some error
coins circulated by the East India Company
According to Shah, coins are brought to the city from various parts of India during an annual exhibition held at the World Trade Centre. There is also a small group of dealers in Kandivli, who hold a small-scale coin fair once a year.
Shah's most prized possessions are faulty coins from the British era in the 1800s, and also some error coins circulated by the East India Company.
"During a trip outside the state, I saw somebody's collection of 80 faulty coins. I was impressed and decided that I would start collecting faulty coins. In 2004, I found my first faulty coin, and seven years later, I have over 600. I find these coins by myself. Sometimes, people give me these coins, as they are unaware of its value. Coins with flaws are not supposed to be in circulation and are instead recycled. Because of this, error coins are very valuable to coin collectors. Moreover, it's a legal hobby," said Shah.
Shah further said, "It's my wish to create awareness about my hobby in schools and colleges in a big way, so that children know the value of error coins."