XERAFINE, XERAFIM, &c., s. The word in this form represents a silver coin formerly current at Goa and several other Eastern ports, in value somewhat less than 1s. 6d. It varied in Portuguese currency from 300 to 360 reis. But in this case as in so many others the term is a corruption applied to a degenerated value. The original is the Arabic ashrafi (see ASHRAFEE) (or sharifi, ‘noble’—compare the medieval coin so called), which was applied properly to the gold dinar, but was also in India, and still is occasionally by natives, applied to the gold mohur. Ashrafi for a gold dinar (value in gold about 11s. 6d.) occurs frequently in the ‘1001 Nights,’ as Dozy states, and he gives various other quotations of the word in different forms (pp. 353–354; [Burton, Ar. Nights, x. 160, 376]). Aigrefin, the name of a coin once known in France, is according to Littré also a corruption of ashrafi.

1498.—“And (the King of Calicut) said that they should tell the Captain that if he wished to go he must give him 600 xarifes, and that soon, and that this was the custom of that country, and of those who came thither.”—Roteiro de V. da G. 79.

1510.—“When a new Sultan succeeds to the throne, one of his lords, who are called Amirra (Ameer), says to him: ‘Lord, I have been for so long a time your slave, give me Damascus, and I will give you 100,000 or 200,000 teraphim of gold.’ ”—Varthema, 10.

„ “Every Mameluke, great or little, has for his pay six saráphi per month.”—Ibid. 13.

„ “Our captain sent for the superior of the said mosque, to whom he said: that he should show him the body of Nabi—this Nabi means the Prophet Mahomet —that he would give him 3000 seraphim of gold.”—Ibid. 29. This one eccentric traveller gives thus three different forms.

1513.—“… hunc regem Affonsus idem, urbe opuletissima et praecipuo emporio Armusio vi capto, quindecim milliu Seraphinoru, ea est aurea moneta ducatis equivales annuu nobis tributariu effecerat.”—Epistola Emmanuelis Regis, 2b. In the preceding the word seems to apply to the gold dinar.

1523.—“And by certain information of pe rsons who knew the facts … Antonio de Saldanha … agreed with the said King Turuxa (Turun Shah), … that the said King … should pay to the King Our
lord 10,000 xarafins more yearly … in all 25,000 xarafins.”—Tombo da India, Subsidios, 79. This is the gold mohur.

1540.—“This year there was such a famine in Choromandel, that it left nearly the whole land depopulated with the mortality, and people ate their fellow men. Such a thing never was heard of on that Coast, where formerly there was such an abundance of rice, that in the port of Negapatam I have often seen more than 700 sail take cargoes amounting to more than 20,000 moios (the moyo = 29.39 bushels) of rice. … This year of famine the Portuguese of the town of St. Thomé did much good to the people, helping them with quantities of rice and millet, and coco-nuts and jagra (see JAGGERY), which they imported in their vessels from other parts, and sold in retail to the people at far lower prices than they could have got if they wished it; and some rich people caused quantities of rice to be boiled in their houses, and gave it boiled down in the water to the people to drink, all for the love of God. … This famine lasted a whole year, and it spread to other parts, but was not so bad as in Choromandel. The King of Bisnagar, who was sovereign of that territory, heard of the humanity and beneficence of the Portuguese to the people of the country, and he was greatly pleased thereat, and sent an ola (see OLLAH) of thanks to the residents of S. Thomé. And this same year there was such a scarcity of provisions in the harbours of the Straits, that in Aden a load (fardo) of rice fetched forty xarafis, each worth a cruzado. …”—Correa, iv. 131–132.

1598.—“The chief and most common money (at Goa) is called Pardauue (Pardao) Xeraphin. It is of silver, but of small value. They strike it at Goa, and it is marked on one side with the image of St. Sebastian, on the other with 3 or 4 arrows in a sheaf. It is worth 3 testoons or 300 Reys (Reas) of Portugal, more or less.”—Linschoten (from French ed. 71); [Hak. Soc. i. 241, and compare i. 190; and see another version of the same passage under PARDAO].

1610.—“Inprimis of Seraffins Ecberi, which be ten Rupias (Rupee) a piece, there are sixtie Leckes (Lack).”—Hawkins, in Purchas, i. 217. Here the gold mohur is meant.

c. 1610.—“Les pièces d’or sont cherafins à vingt-cinq sols pièce.”—Pyrard da Laval, ii. 40; [Hak. Soc. ii. 69, reading cherufins].

1653.—“Monnoyes courantes à Goa. “Sequin de Venise . 24 tangues (Tanga)
Reale d’Espagne12 tangues.
Abassis de Perse3 tangues.
Pardaux (Pardao)5 tangues.
Scherephi6 tangues.
Roupies (Rupee) du Mogol6 tangues.
Tangue20 bousserouque (Budgrook).”
De la Boullaye-le-Gouz, 1657, 530.

c. 1675.—“Coins … of Rajapore. Imaginary Coins. The Pagod (Pagoda) is 3½ Rupees. 48 Juttals (see JEETUL) is one Pagod. 10 and ½ Larees (Larin) is 1 Pagod. Zeraphins 2½, 1 Old Dollar.

“Coins and

  By PanEris using Melati.

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