Out of My Comfort Zone
Updated: Jul 18
Money comes in all shapes and sizes, and these coins are not the usual Roman or Greek, denarius, AE, drachm, or tetradrachm that I have more often posted. Here are several "coins" that are all unusual in size, shape, or outside of my normal area of interest. As pandemic days feel like the repetitive arrows of the opening stock photo, it was time for something different.
The Lohara dynasty were Hindu rulers of Kashmir from the Khasa tribe, in the northern part of India. They ruled AD 1003-1320. Samgrama was the founder of the dynasty. His son Hari Raja reigned for only 22 days, possibly killed by his mother the queen. His younger brother Ananta was next to ascend to the throne.
Ananta was reckless with his money and even pawned his royal diadem to a foreigner. His wealthy wife, Queen Surajmati, stepped in a bailed him out, stabilizing the government. [see Hasan 1959] In 1063, she forced Ananta to abdicate so that their son, Kalasa, could take the throne. Kalasa turned out to be an incompetent ruler and friction between father and son led the Ananta committing suicide in 1073.
India, Hindu Rajas of Kashmir, Sangrama Deva, AD 1003-1028, Æ stater (18 mm, 5.63g)
Obv: Goddess Lakshmi seated facing, flanked by Nagari legend Sa/ngrama
Rev: King standing sacrificing at altar, with Nagari legend Raja at right
Ref: MNI 179-180
Note: An interesting thread on these coins on CoinTalk
India, Hindu Rajas of Kashmir, Ananta Deva, AD 1028-1063, Æ stater
Obv: Goddess Lakshmi seated facing, flanked by Nagari legends A/nanta Ra
Rev: King standing sacrificing at altar, with Nagari legend ja at right
Ref: MNI 181-2, scarce
Ayuthia dynasty, Thailand circa 1350-1564, AR 1/4 Baht (Salung) Bullet Money
Obv (if this coin has such a thing): elephant
Rev (or side of obverse): conch shell
China, Eastern Turkistan (Uyghuristan/Xinjiang), Qiuzi (Kucha), Wu Zhu cash (0.34g, 10mm)
I am unsure what time period to assign this coin. These coins were from Xinjiang in the Kucha area. Qiuzi was one of the numerous states in the west, and was located in the Kucha region. The Qiuzi had their own language and alphabet (Kharoshthi). Hartill describes 10.31 "Small coins with no characters" as "traditionally ascribed to Dong-Zhuo who in 190 usurped the throne and melted down nine huge Qin Dynasty statues to make coins. Could well have been cast by others unofficially." Others have assigned this coin to 5th - 8th century in this same region - I am not sure that any more precise attribution is possible for this coin.
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Native coinage, Sahassa Malla, AD 1200-1202
Obv: Sahassa Malla (or the god Rama) standing front, head to right, smelling on a lotus flower held in his left hand; in field to right, five pellets above lotus flower; in field to left, altar.
Rev: SRIMA SAHASA MALLA (in Brahmi) Hanuman leaping across the straits to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita or Sahassa Malla seated front, head to right, holding uncertain object in his left hand.
Note: more on these coins here
Here are three unusually large "coins" with a US Quarter for scale:
The Chinese "Spade Money" (center) was issued during the Interregnum of Wang Mang (王莽), between Great Western and Eastern Han Empire in China. This Huobu (貨布) coin was issued in 14-23 AD. The word "貨, Huo" means "Money" and "布, bu" means "Spade". Size: 58 x 23 x 2 mm, 15.0g. Wang Mang was a usurper and founder of the Xin dynasty. Wang Mang's monetary reforms were at least contributing factors to rebellion and his death at the hands of rebels in AD 23.
Below is an even larger "coin" - a 98g Silver "Tiger Tongue" Lat, 2 Tamlung (8 Baht), from the Kingdom of Loas in AD 1591-1707. Obv: Two rows of raised ovoids down each side. The silver content varies, mixed with copper, this one particularly good silver.
The third coin is from the Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221-205 BC, AE 43 (Drachm), 72.0g, Alexandria, Egypt
Obv: Head of Zeus Ammon facing right, wearing a diadem with floral ornament above the forehead, dotted border
Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ, eagle with closed wings standing to left on thunderbolt. Between legs, ΔΙ. In left field, cornucopia adorned by fillets