|Source: Abu'l-Fazl 'Allami, A'IN-I AKBARI (3 vols.). Vol. 1 trans. H. Blochmann, 1927. Vol. 1, pp. 18-19. Ed. *ZDJ*|
Book 1, Chapter 5: The Workmen of the Mint
|1. The Darogha.
He must be a circumspect and intelligent man, of broad principles, who
takes the cumbrous burden of his colleagues upon the shoulder of despatch.
He must keep everyone to his work, and show zeal and integrity.
2. The Sayrafi. The success of this important department depends upon his experience, as he determines the degrees of purity of the coins. On account of the prosperity of the present age, there are now numbers of skilful sarrafs; and by the attention of his Majesty, gold and silver are refined to the highest degree of purity. The highest degree of purity is called in Persia dahdahi, but they do not know above 10 degrees of fineness; whilst in India it is called barahbani, as they have twelve degrees. Formerly the old hun, which is a gold coin current in the Deccan, was thought to be pure, and reckoned at ten degrees; but his Majesty has now fixed it at 8.5; and the round, small gold dinar of Alla'uddin which was considered to be 12 degrees, now turns out to be 10.5.
Those who are experienced in this business have related wonderful stories of the purity of gold at the present time, and referred it to witchcraft and alchemy; for they maintain, that gold ore does not come up to this fineness. But by the attention of his Majesty, it has come up to this degree; hence the astonishment of people acquainted with this branch. It is, however, certain that gold cannot be made finer, and of a higher degree. Honest describers and truthful travelers have indeed never mentioned this degree; but when gold is put into fusion, small particles separate from it, and mix with the ashes, which ignorant men look upon as useless dross, whilst the skilful recover the metal from it. Although malleable gold ore be calcined and reduced to ashes, yet by a certain operation, it is brought back to its original state; but a part of it is lost. Through the wisdom of his Majesty, the real circumstances connected with this loss were brought to light, and the fraudulent practices of the workmen thus put to the test.
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