KUSH-03 Click on image for enlargement.


Indian Coins, Kushan. Kanishka I , 127-150 AD, Gold Dinar (7.89 grams; 19.9 mm.), die-axis 11 o'clock.

Obverse: Bactrian legend around þAONANOþAO KANηþKI KOþANO The King of Kings, Kanishka the Kushan. The king standing facing, head left, wearing helmet and diadem, clad in coat and trousers, and cloak; a sword at his waist, flames on right shoulder, holding a spear in his left hand, and elephant goad in his right hand, sacrificing over altar left.

Reverse: BOΔΔO in Bactrian script, BODDO for the Buddha. Standing facing Buddha image, right hand raised in gesture of reassurance (abhayamudra), left hand at waist level holding handful of dhoti, uttarasanga and sanghati (over both shoulders). Lines of all three garments are visible. Detail of the head are obcured by wear, but the enlarged ears and the dressing of the hair into topknot (usnisa) are clear. A nimbus (in three arcs) surrounds the head and body of the Buddha. A royal symbol (tamgha) in right field. Surrounded by a border of dots. Very fine

          The coin is die-identical with the specimen in the collection of the British Museum, London, England. (AN783671001)

          An extraordinary rarity of Indian coinage, seldom found outside museum collections. If one does not find the die similarity, one should treat them with caution.

          One of the gold coins is well known for its the earliest numismatic depiction of a standing Buddha captioned 'BODDO' in Bactrian (using Greek script), is useful for art historians to date when and where image of the Buddha were first made.