Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, first visited India in 1498. Portugal seized control of a number of islands and small onclaves on the west cost of India, and for next hundred years enjoyed a monopoly on trade. With the arrival of powerful Dutch and English fleets in the first first half of the 17th century. Portuguese power in the area declined until virtually all of the India that remained under Portuguese control where the west coast enclaves of GOA, Damao and Diu. They where forcibly annexed by India in 1962.

Vasai know as Bassein by the English and Bacaim by the Portuguese is located less than 30 miles north of Bombay on the Gulf of Cambay. In 1611 the Portuguese opened a mint at Bacaim, This mint was situated in the Bassein Fort. Many issues for Bacaim where in conjunction with other Portuguese settelements. British took Bacaim in 1780. All the coins minted in Bassein had a mint mark of “B”.

Coins that where minted and circulated in Bacaim in the Portuguese era where Xerafies, Bazarucos, Parado, Rupia. The coins generally had a Crowned arms divided by the Mint Mark and the other side has a cross and the date.

Around 1738 to 1740 Chimaji Appa arrived in Bacaim and took control of bacaim with the British support. Marathas started minting their own coins the typically known coin circulated by the Marathas in the area of Bassein and around wher paisa these coins had Shashti written on it indicating they where minted in sashti and had a trishul and the date of mintage.

After the Bombay was handed over as dowry by the Portuguese to the British, British took the control of the entire area and from then on minting activities started in Bombay standard coins got circulated all over the country including Bassein where there was direct british rule.

British had following coins in circulation Rupee, Half Rupee, Quarter Rupee, Anna.

After independence coins minted by Indian Republic where circulated all over India including Vasai they where Pice, Anna, Rupee. In 1957 Republic of India made decisions to use decimal coinage and since then the denominations used are Paisa and Rupee.



Source by Pascal Lopes