Ancient Coins are antiquities, which give us an excellent glimpse into ancient period.
They provide lot of information about the Kings, languages and scripts that were popular / official during those periods. They provide an insight into the family tree, and the hierarchy / superiority of the King or Ruler. Metals used and the abundance of coins offer a fair idea of the economic strength of the kingdom.
There have been various views about the oldest Indian coins and the art of coin making in India.
Experts feel that coinage of India began during 1st millennium BCE. The oldest coins appear to have an influence of Greek coinage. This is evident from use of Greek characters on the coin. Later these appear to have been graduallyreplaced by Kharoshti and still later by Brahmi characters.
However recent findings of punch marked Mudras of stone in the lost city of Dwaraka drag the Indian coinage back to about 5000 years ago. This is an important discovery and needs lot of study and publicity as this would change our view about the antiquity of Indian coinage.
Based on abundant coins, one can easily say that metal currency was minted in India well before Mauryan Empire (322-185 BCE). Radio carbon dating points to existence of some coins before 5th Century BCE
Coins have been either ‘Punch’ marked (Ahat coins in Hindi) or ‘Cast’.
The most common metals used in ancient Indian coinage were Gold, Silver, Copper, Brass and Potin (also known as Billon-alloy of bronze tin and lead).
Shapes of coins range from Square, Rectangle, Round, Oval and Irregular. Many coins are damaged, broken or defaced due to corrosion.
The obverse side of ancient Indian coins reveal the portrait of the Kings, Gods / Goddess which help in identification. Most of the Gods / Goddess seem to be from Hindu culture (like Kartikeyan, Laxmi, Vishnu etc.). One unique Indian style is that the Kings Total No of Coins has been revealed in many cases as son of xyz. This helps in identifying the Family lineage. The reverse side usually has the Total No of Coins of the King, symbol of the kingdom (e.g. Ujjain symbol, Wheel – Dharmachakra, Mountains/hills, Wavy lines, dotted circle, Conch, Vajra, Arrow, etc.), animals (like Horse, Elephant, Bull, Lion, etc.),birds (like Garuda, Peacock etc.), plants, celestial bodies ( Sun Moon etc.). Thus the reverse side can be used to classify the coins of the Kings into various groups.
Padma Shri Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar had during his long outstanding career, collected large number of coins. Shri. has donated significant number of coins to Wakankar. Thus Wakankar’s at Ujjain have innumerable coins of kingdoms and dynasty’s spread all over India. These have been identified, classified and cataloged by Dr. J. N. Dubey and Dr. Bhagwatilal Rajpurohit.
Dubeyji’s painstaking efforts have enabled us to launch this page and we are eternally indebted to him.
This site has been designed to give viewers an insight into the dynasties and their coins in possession of Wakankar’s at Ujjain.
In following pages you can have a glimpse of the vastness of this collection with photographs of selected coins.
|Total number of coins available||>5100|
|Earliest coin||>201 B. C.E.|
Collection of Coins:
|S. No.||Total No of Coins||Dynasties||Kings / Types/ Symbols||Approximate Period|
|1||90||Ksaharta, Western Saka Kshatrap, Andhra Satavahan||Bhumaka, Nahapana, Damadajsri, Virdamana, Vijayasena, Rudrasena, Vishwasimhasa, Bhartradamana, Rudrasena, Rudrasimha, Damasena, Gautamiputra Damasena, VijayaSatakarni, Pulumavi||1 – 348 A. D.|
|2||79||Gupta, Maitraka||Skandagupta, Ramagupta||4th Century A. D.|
|3||147||Ujjain city state, Mitra, Yaudheya, Kalachauri, Chahamana, Kuninda, Kushan, Greek, South Indian, Holkar, Chola||Rathimadan, Jishnu, Rudrila, Krishnaraja, Tama, Ajay, Rajadeva||2nd Century B. C.|
|4-5||145||Naga||Vrishanaga, Skandanaga, Vasunaga, Brihaspatinaga, Vibhunaga, Ravinaga, Bhavanaga, Prabhakarnaga, Devendranaga, Ganapatinaga, Maharajasri||2nd – 4th Century A. D.|
|6||115||Gwalior state, Holkar state||Madhavrao Scindia, Jivajirao Scindia, Sajivajirao, Yeshwantrao Holkar||1896 A. D.|
|7||58||Bahawalpur state, Jaipur state, Kutch state, Saurath, Ratlam state, Udaipur state, Vadodara state, Ram Darbar, Dhar state||Al Haj Sadooq Mohammad V Abbasi, Sawai Mansingh II, Ismail Ali Khan, Pragmalji II, Kherajji II, Vijayrajji, Madansignhji, Ranjitsimha, Sayajirao Gaikwad||556 BC to 1947|
|8||86||British||East India Company, Victoria Queen, Victoria Empress||1835 – 1901|
|9||167||British||Edward VII, George V Emperor, Georg VI||1904 – 1947|
|10||64||British, France, Greeece, Nepal, Netherland, Deutschland. Denmark, Spain||Victoria, Georgivs III, Georgivs V, Georgivs VI, Elizabeth II, Gustaf VI, Mahendra Veer Vikrama Shah Deva||1790 – 1994|
|11||74||East Africa, Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan||–||1882-1984|
|12||50||ConfideratioHelevetica, Helvetia, Osterreich, USA||–||–|
|14||123||Different Indian States||–||–|
|16||239||Gujarat, Jaipur||Muhammad Tughlak, Balban, Mohammed Khilji, Naseeruddin Khilji||–|
|18||160||Independent India||–||1947 – 1989|
|20||441||–||Bull, Fish, Human, Lion, Sun||–|
|21||482||–||Ujjain symbol, Ceduceus, Sun, Human, Shadarchakra, Makar, Fish, Tree-in-railing, Bull, Hill, Elephant, Dhwajadanda||–|
|22||227||–||Tree-Tree-in-railing, fishes, tortoise, shadarchakra, dhwajadanda, Ujjain symbol, Hill||–|
|23||268||–||Deity – Shiva, Serpanthood, Uma-Maheshwar, Gajabhishekha Laxmi, Laxmi||–|
|24||197||–||Elephant, Elephant rider||–|
|26||310||–||Shadarchakra, Danda, Makar, Human, Frog, Arrow heads||–|
|27||156||–||Lion, Horse, Bull, Tortoise, Frog, Peacock||–|
|29||74||–||Elephant, Horse, Sun, Bull, Tree, Fish, Tree-in-railing, Tortoise||–|
|30||874||–||Uncleaned, undeciphered, unidentified, not photographed mostly micro coins||–|