Coins (8), Ex-wreck 'Admiral Gardner' 24/01/1809, 10 (X) Cash, copper, made by the Soho Works, Birmingham, England, for the British East India Company, Madras, India, 1808
This collection of X cash coins was produced in 1808 for the British East India Company at the Soho Works, Birmingham by Matthew Boulton, renowned for his partnership with the inventor and engineer, James Watt. In 1786 Boulton utilised steam power to operate his coining presses in the Soho Mint. Previously, coins had been produced by the laborious process of placing roughly cut blanks - which often had to be hammered flat first to fit in the machine - into a press and then screwing down the machinery by hand to press out the coins.
Coinage for the British East India Company was originally minted locally in the three main centres of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. However in the late 18th century, the development of steam driven minting machinery in Britain meant it was more economical to make copper coins in Britain and ship them to India.
The Admiral Gardner under the command of Captain John Eastfield, was on its 6th voyage to India for the British East India Company when it encountered a heavy storm on 24 January 1809 and foundered on the Goodwin Sands, finally sinking the following day with the loss of one life and all cargo. The wreck was discovered in 1984 by a local fisherman. Thousands of uncirculated coins to the value of X and XX Cash sealed in wax in small barrels were salvaged from the ocean floor in 1985. The word Cash is derived from the Tamil word 'Kasu' meaning 'a coin'.
W. Circosta May 2008
Cribb, Joe et al. The coin atlas: the world of coinage from its origins to the present day, McDonald Illustrated, London, 1990, p. 177
Cordoni, Andrea. Cash from the Midlands going East, www.eicships.info, 1998, viewed May 2008
Krause, Chester et al. 1996 Standard catalog of world coins, 23rd edition, Krause Publications Inc, Iola, Wisconsin, USA, 1995, p.1187/ KM 320