Numismatics & Epigraphy

Coin of Kanishka III

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Coin of Kanishka III
3rd Century A.D.

Place of origin: Kushana
Materials: Gold
Dimensions: Dia: 2.0 Cm
Obverse: The Royal Figure.
Reverse: Votive Image Of Lord Shiva.
Acc. No. 60.1165/3931

The coins of Kushana dynasty that ruled broadly from around late 1st century AD to the 3rd century AD are the earliest known gold coins in India. Vima Kadphises, the third in the line of dynasty in India, is said to have issued the ever first gold coin. As has this coin his coins have on the obverse the image of Vima Kadphises himself making offering at an altar with his left hand, and holding in the right, a trident. On the left side there is another trident. On the reverse side there is the image of Lord Shiva along his mount Nandi, the bull. The normal two-armed image holds in the left hand the noose, and in the right, the trident.

On the left of Shiva's figure is a monogram deciphered as OESHO. The obverse side is more elaborately inscribed. It has three letters in Brahmi script: 'Ga', on the left, 'Pri', on the right, and 'Gha', between the legs. Around there is the Greek legend: SHAO NANO SHAO KA (NE) SHKO KOSHANO (partly visible).

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