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Sunday, December 27, 2020

Coins in Ancient & Medieval India: Gupta Age Coin

Coins in Ancient & Medieval India

The word Coin is procured from the Latin word Cuneus. It is believed that the first recorded use of coin was in China & Greece around 700 BC, and in India in the 6th century BC.

The study of coins and medallions = Numismatics.

Coins Issued in Gupta Age:

  • The Gupta age (319 AD-550 AD) marked a period of a great Hindu revival.

  • The Gupta coins were made of gold, although they issued silver and copper coins too.

  • Silver coins were issued only after Chandragupta II overthrew the Western Satraps.

  • On one side of these coins, the king can be found standing and making oblations before an altar, playing the veena, performing Ashvamedha, riding a horse or an elephant, slaying a lion or a tiger or a rhinoceros with a sword or bow, or sitting on a couch.

  • On the other side was the Goddess Lakshmi seated on a throne or a lotus seal, or the figure of the queen herself.

  • The inscriptions on the coins were all in Sanskrit (Brahmi script) for the first time in the history of coins.

  • Gupta rulers issued coins depicting the emperors not only in martial activities like hunting lions/tigers, posing with weapons, etc. but also in leisurely activities like playing the Veena, with the reverse side of the coin having images of Goddesses Lakshmi, Durga, Ganga, Garuda, and Kartikeya.
Fig: King & Goddess Lakshmi



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