fanam

A monetary unit and also a unit for weighing gems and precious metals, encountered in various forms from Burma through India.

According to Doursther, at Bangalore in the 19th century, as money = 1/9 pagoda = 1/30 rupee, and as a unit of mass was equivalent to 16 small grains of rice or 4 groometries, ≈ 380.3 milligrams. It was also called the fanam sultanin or the gold canteroy.

sources

1

[page 74] Diamonds are bought in the East Indies, by a weight called Mangear or Mangelin, weighing two Tare 2/3, which is 2/3 of a Carratt, for 4 Tares weigh a Fanan, which is above 2 Carrets.

Rubies are bought by the Fanan, and 11¼ Fanans make one Mitgall, and 6½ of them make an ounce. But of late yeares, Diamonds, Rubies and Saphires, are bought and sold by the Carrat weight.

[page 77] Rubies are found for the most part in a river called Pegu, being of the best kind and finest, and are called Nuncuplo, of a high colour without any spots, and cleane, also the hardest and coldest upon the tongue as the Indians say.

They are sold by the Corcia or score, of 20 peeces, by a weight called Fanan. The Rubie of one Fanan for 10 Padaos or Ducats, is 50 [shillings] ster[ling].

Gerard Malynes.
Vel Lex Mercatoria, or the Ancient Law-Merchant.…
London: Printed by Adam Islip, 1622.

2

Quest. What was the price of bread when Reddy was Baker?
Ans. I think the white bread was a fanam a loaf, and the brown bread three pice (I always used brown bread myself in preference), previous to that, the white bread had been a fanam and a half, and the brown bread half a fanam*.

* That is, “two pice.”

Minutes of the Proceedings of a General Court Martial, Holden at Bangalore, on the 9th of March, 1812, on Mr. Assistant Surgeon MacDonald, of the Second Battalion of the Thirteenth Regiment, Madras Native Infantry.
London: Printed for Black and Perry, 1814.
Page 173.

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