The East India Company presents collectable gold Medals
LONDON, December 20, 2010 – The East India Company, relaunched by an Indian entrepreneur after an illustrious history stretching back for centuries, has joined forces with the Royal Mint to introduce a collectable, 22-carat gold One Mohur in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces.
The One Mohur is inspired by the original One and Two Mohur gold coins, which were struck for the first time in 1835 bearing the effigy of William IV on the obverse and a Lion and Palm Tree motif on the reverse.
In a contemporary twist, the Mohur today bears the East India Company Merchants’ Mark on the obverse, and the Lion and Palm Tree on the reverse.
Indian businessman Sanjiv Mehta, who bought The East India Company in 2005, is rebuilding one of the world’s most distinguished brands.
“The East India Company was always a pioneering company in spirit, and I want it to remain a pioneering company,” Mehta, who settled in Britain about 20 years ago, told Jewellery Outlook in an interview.
“I saw a tremendous commercial opportunity in The East India Company as a luxury brand,” Mehta said.
The East India Company was relaunched earlier this year, opening a luxury fine food boutique store on Conduit Street in prime central London and offering a wide range of luxury products: from teas , coffees , chocolates and biscuits, to jams and fine china.
Many of its current products have extraordinary combinations of flavours — like strawberry and pepper jam, and chocolate with sea salt — which have historical links to the produce sold by The East India Company in previous centuries, such as spices, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper.
The East India Company is now expanding its range of products to a new category: the Gold Bullion business.
HISTORY OF A BRAND
Founded in London in 1600, The East India Company quickly dominated world trade and is today acknowledged as one of the world’s first brands, whose influence crosses many continents.
“Today, more than 2 billion people in the world recognise the name The East India Company instantly. They have studied the brand at school and have revered it all their life,” Mehta said.
“Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, and countries like Singapore and Hong Kong were founded by the Company during the course of its business expansion throughout the world.”
Mehta is proud that, as an Indian national, he acquired a company that once held sway over India.
“For me, buying the company which once ruled India has a tremendous emotive connectivity,” he said.
“There is a tremendous feeling of joy to own the company that once owned us.”
Mehta took a sabbatical from his other business activities after he bought the company and studied its history in depth by meeting historians and others who understood the brand.
ABOUT THE ONE MOHUR
Each Mohur, minted by the Royal Mint, is presented in an elegant wooden box with a key, a certificate of authenticity signed by the Chief Executive of The Royal Mint and a booklet explaining the history of the One Mohur.
“When we decided that we wanted to revisit the legacy of The East India Company, we thought that we should partner with the Royal Mint to re-cement the relationship,” Mehta said.
The One Mohur, meaning symbol or seal, first appeared as long ago as 1540.
Originating in the Mughal Empire in India, it was the highest unit of currency in a system that also featured a silver coin called the Rupiya – later known as the Rupee, the national currency of India.
The One Mohur represents part of the heritage of The East India Company, which had a long involvement in the bullion and jewellery markets.
FOR SALE ONLINE
The One Mohur, which weighs 11.66 grams and has a diameter of 26 mm, can be ordered online at www.theeastindiacompanygold.com and retails for 645 pounds each.
Mehta is now seeking retail jewellers and gift companies to stock the coins, as well as distributing agents in different parts of the world.
He believes that collectors and luxury consumers will be interested in acquiring the One Mohur not just because of the intrinsic value of gold, which recently traded at record high prices and is seen as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty, but also because the One Mohur would be a unique gift.
It is in restricted supply in 2010, underscoring the exclusivity of the medal (the edition is limited to 1,000 units only), with a focus on provenance and craftsmanship inspired by the heritage of the brand and its influence on world history.
“Whoever buys the 2010 Mohur will be participating in the creation of history,” Mehta said.
“As well as being an investment, the One Mohur can give pleasure to people in the form of a gift. It gives you the advantage of protection against inflation, as well as being at the same time a nice product,” he added.
“It’s like having a nice painting – but with an intrinsic value. An item to leave as a legacy for the next generation.”
To find more about the One Mohur, please follow the link below: www.theeastindiacompanygold.com