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Coins of Ancient and Medieval India

Sunga Empire - c.187 BC-78 BC


Sunga Empire, AE 1/2 Karshapana, c.187 BC-78 BC
(No legend)
Elephant standing left facing tree, swastika above
(No legend)
Mountain, anchor, altar and voided cross
12mm x 14mm, 1.80g (across the flats)
Mitchener ACW 4378
Ex Midwest "Coins of Christianity" Collection

Consignor notes: The Sunga Empire was established after the fall of the Maurya Empire, and existed over parts of modern day India, Bangladesh and Nepal.


Sunga Empire, AE Karshapana, c.187 BC-78 BC, Taxila Mint
(No legend)
Tamgha, mountain, swastika and uncertain symbol
(No legend)
Mountain, crest, voided cross and monogram
23mm x 24mm, 13.04g
Mitchener ACW 4416-4417
Ex Midwest "Coins of Christianity" Collection

Consignor notes: Ancient India was diverse in its religions and it appears this coin displays symbols of the various groups in the area at that time - Hindus, Brahmans, Buddhists, Jainisms and Judeans.

Just after the Judean removal to Babylon, around 730 BC, the Manasseh Tribe migrated to India. This tribe made headlines in November 2009 by returning to Israel for the first time in 2800 years.

The "outlined" Cross eventually became known as the "Voided Cross" used by Portugal and India throughout history. It was probably developed to distinguish itself from the swastika, which the Buddhists used to represent life, strength and good luck. In this use, the cross represented the coming Messiah.


Sunga Empire, AE 1/8 Karshapana, c.187 BC-78 BC, Taxila Mint
(No legend)
Voided cross
(No legend)
Bodhi tree
11mm x 12mm, 1.36g
Mitchener ?
Ex Midwest "Coins of Christianity" Collection

Consignor notes: This specimen is a fractional denomination of the karshapana, which displays numerous religious symbols. Examples of this denomination can be found with each of the symbols singularly.

In the ancient Hebrew alphabet, the letter "tav" (X or +) meant covenant or symbol. The outline was used to distinguish this cross from the swastika used by the Buddhists to symbolize life.

The Bodhi tree has been part of Buddhist worship for millennia. Its' most likely meaning being "liberation" or "awakening".


Northern India-Pushkalavati, AE Unit, Uncertain Period
(No legend)
Elephant advancing right
(No legend)
Lunar hill
13mm x 14mm, 2.46g

Western India-Indo Sakas Satraps


Western India-Indo Sakas Satraps, AR Drachm, 2nd Century AD
Indo-Greek legend
Bust right wearing short hat
Brahmi legend
Triple-arched hill, river below, two crescents and sun above
14mm x 15mm, 2.24g


Western India-Indo Sakas Satraps, AR Drachm, 2nd Century AD
Indo-Greek legend
Bust right wearing short hat
Brahmi legend
Triple-arched hill, river below, two crescents and sun above
14mm, 2.19g

Gujarat Kingdom


Gujarat Kindom, Sri Parakuta Chach in Sindh and Multan, Alor Dynasty, AR Drachm, c.632-711, Uncertain mint
(No legend)
Series of dots, Sindha letter "haNDa" and starurogram above
(No legend)
Trisecting lines
15mm x 16mm, 1.22g
Mitchener (?)
Ex Midwest "Coins of Christianity" Collection

Consignor notes: Sindh is a region in modern-day India and Pakistan known as the Indus Valley. It is an ancient Brahman, Buddist and Zoroastrian Kingdom that also had a significant Jewish and Samaritan population. It was converted to Christianity starting with the Apostle Thomas in 50 AD. This coin is from the last minted before the area was conquered by the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate and forced into conversion to Islam in 711.

Mysore Kingdom


India-Kingdom of Mysore, AV Half Pagoda, 15th Century AD, Vijayanagar
(No legend)
Facing figures of god and goddess
Hindu legend
10mm x 11mm, 3.41g
Friedberg 753