Introduction to Chiefa Coins

I am Haseeb Naz, nicknamed “Chiefa” by my university peers in the summer of 1997, which eventually got to be the name of my website. The purpose of this website is to retain old memories regarding my coin collecting hobby – actually a passion so to speak.

The very inception of this hobby dates back to February 1987 when I used to live in Pakistan. My collection at that time comprised of Pakistani coins since I did not have any other source to satisfy this passion. This collection included commemorative coins as well. It seems incumbent to mention that it hadn’t taken the form of a hobby in the true sense until this stage. Hence, it proved to be short lived. The coins I had were either misplaced, stolen or spent.

In May 1988 I left for Saudi Arabia along with my family in order to accompany my father there. While in the Kingdom, I started collecting local circulating coins. A girl named Sobeya gave me a Saudi plain edged coin dating back to 1945 (1365AH) worth ¼ Qirsh (piastre) of King Abdul Aziz ibn Abdul Rehman Al-Saud. This aroused my interest to learn more about the old Saudi currencies. It amazed me to know that initially Riyal and Rupee did not have 100 units. Once I got a feeling that my coins are dirty. I, therefore, put them in a tin box and filled them with water. After draining the water out, I didn’t dry the coins properly due to which they got rusty. I tried to clean the rust off somehow, but to no avail. Thus my hobby proved to be short lived once again because of my childish attitude. I ended up spending them all in July 1989. The ¼ Qirsh was an outdated coin. It couldn’t be used. Later on, it was misplaced somewhere at home but was found after four years (27th April 1993).  

My serious interest in coin collecting started on October 1, 1990. I happened to find a 50 Iraqi fils from a payphone. It seemed a bit fearful since Iraq had invaded Kuwait just recently. I showed this coin to my class mates. Some of them asked me if I needed different coins to which I replied positively. This is when I named my collection as Vibgyor Coins after being inspired by the seven colors of light. As the name suggests, my life indeed took a colorful turn after I started collecting. I started getting miscellaneous coins from my friends and school mates free of cost, however, when they found out my keenness, they started selling me. This was the true onset of my hobby. Apart from them, my collection sources included my neighbors (of different nationalities), Batha & Deerah Gold Markets in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Raja Bazar, Sarafa Bazar & Murree Road Jewellery Market in Rawalpindi (Pakistan). Whenever I used to meet an expatriate, I would ask him/her to give me coins from their respective countries. Many a times these foreigners, friends & neighbors would get annoyed with my behavior (seeking coins all the time). On October 01, 1991, I renamed the collection as Canda Coin Collecting Corporation Company. It so happened that I sometimes used to spell Canada wrongly i. e. Canda until then. Though the spelling was wrong, yet I choose it because of my liking. Furthermore, my hobby involved buying & selling due to which I called it a corporation. I was fascinated by French coins because of their wide usage. This led me to rename my collection as Francaise Bank on October 1, 1993. It stayed so for almost six years. During these years different mottos were given to the collection like “Fair & frank friendship”, “Friend, not fiend” to name a few. Some policies were implemented as well in order to carry out the hobby in an organized manner. The ones noteworthy are:-

  • Collecting all the currencies in reach regardless of duplicity.

  • Keeping them shiny & appealing.

  • Record keeping of transactions.

During this period, three crucial events occurred thus increasing my interest manifold. I would rather call it a turning point in my collection. New vistas of knowledge opened to me. I came across the importance of world coins physically by means of emotions, practically through dealing with sellers and theoretically by coin catalogs. Firstly I got an opportunity to see the Janadiriya Cultural Exhibition in Riyadh. Our school arranged to take us there. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) had setup a stall there. There were FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) issues of coins dating back to 1972 & 1978 on display in the stall. I inquired if I could buy them. The response came back as a negative, however, I was given a complimentary coin issuance booklet listing all the coins used in the Kingdom from 77 AH till the ones in circulation then. From this point onwards, I started my research on coins. After becoming a bit more knowledgeable, I started analyzing the coins very precisely. This is when I got more familiarized with commemorative coins. I got my first silver one Riyal coin dated 1354 AH from Makkah in January 1993 & a U. S. Dollar bullion coin from Batha market in Riyadh. Secondly, I got a chance to visit Lahore Museum in July 1993 where I saw various coinage as well as medals when the Indian Subcontinent was under British rule apart from the ones used in princely states. Thirdly, I came across a book titled “1979 Standard Catalog of World Coins” authored by Krause Publications. I came to know of this book through the librarian of King Saud University in April 1995. Since, I couldn’t get it issued from the library, I made photocopies of it. It took me a while to understand the keywords. Though the book was old, yet it helped me a great deal in increasing my knowledge. It had a great deal of information about coins used in different regions/countries, however, it made me buy some fake/replica coins as well which I considered genuine. This shattered my trust in coin sellers. Due to distrust, I didn’t buy any coins from this point onwards from February 1996 until September 1997.

In February 1996, I left for Cyprus for studies in Eastern Mediterranean University. In 1997, I met Zeka Hoşgör (Hoşgör Ticaret Ltd.) and Nafi Reza at their sale outlets in Gazi Magusa (Famagusta) castle. The provided me with a great variety of coins. Additional sources of my collection included other students & professors at the university.

January 01, 2000 was entered into with a new name of my collection i.e. Chiefa Coins. This brought changes to policies as well. The important ones included:-

  • Avoiding duplicity by looking at different date, mint mark, edge type or metal.

  • Concentrate in buying missing coins from the area of interest.

  • Putting the coins in protective casing.

  • Purchasing to be made by looking up coin catalogs with market value in order to estimate the mintage & price.

  • Record keeping to be carried out electronically (on MS-Access).

  • Using internet to locate reputable coin sellers.

Thus started an electronic era in the history of my collection.  I joined the Ericsson Company in August 2000. I met many people in order to give a hike to my collection. In December 2000, I contacted Pobjoy Mint Ltd and British Royal Mint for latest coins of the world. I had known about eBay for purchasing coins since 1998, but I was reluctant to give it any thought because of doubt in its authenticity. After serious consideration, I became its member on December 11, 2001 & thus came to know many coin dealers. Among them were Roger Zago/Barbara from AspenCoins, Baris Ermihan from Turkey, Liu Jian from China, Benjamin Muniz Garcia from Spain, Joel Anderson/Lila from JoelsCoins, Yury Pavlov from the U.S, Rouslan V. Otorotchkine from Canada, Steele Huang from China among many others. My collection got a great boast from this website. I, indeed, consider it a good source for buying online but be very careful of  imitated coins.

In December 2003, Erik Victor McCrea & Fred Richard Zinkann added a new dimension to my collection by becoming a source and information on micronations, tokens & unusual fantasy issues. Oded Paz also helped me in providing these coins. In April 2006, Haroon Muhammad Khan Tareen provided me coins and information on Afghanistan, Iran, Mughal Empire, Ottoman Empire, Sultanate of Delhi, Sultanate of Bengal, and various princely states (dynasties) in the subcontinent apart from the four unusual / pattern Pakistani coins.

Chiefa Coins is suspended on 30th Dec 2008 and is required to:

  • Remove duplicate coins if, of the same date, mint mark, edge type and metal composition.

  • Update the database with exact number of coins excluding duplicates.

  • To make a budget to require around 250 coins of past areas and territories of the world.

No solid actions were taken, therefore on 10th Jan 2009, coin collection was resumed with a new name as "La Chiefa dela Münzsammlung" till 31st Dec 2012. On 01st Jan 2013, it was decide to again rename it as "Haseeb Naz'a Coin Collection" with motto: "Artistic Chemistry".

Chiefa Coins