Century 3rd BCE to 1st CE - Lanka
Anuradhapura - Elephant and Svastika

The circular Elephant and Svastika coins were mainly found at the Abhayagiri Dagoba in Anuradhapura. It is the Classic and largest of the ancient coins which is uniquely from Lanka. It is the equivalent of the Greek Athenian Owl tetradrachm for Lankan Numismatics. These coins found in Anuradhapura are thin and Struck with fine detail. Recent finds at Akurugoda near Tissmaharama in south west Lanka. thick and rough cast coins.

Diameter32.2 mm
Thickness1.6 mm
Weight6.80 gms
ShapeCut circular
OBRW_H7_ele+sva_struck_obverse OBRW_H7_ele+sva_struck_reverse
Obverse : Elephant with large tusk, walking to the left with trunk extended and tail ending in a triple fork. Above are four symbols
AJust above ElephantThe Pennant Dhajaya symbol -|<|
BOn Top The Svastika revolving right mounted on a staff and surrounded by a railing indicated by four vertical lines rising from a horizontal line.
COn upper leftTree with three-Branches (partly visible) each ending in a triple fork in a enclosure, divided into four compartments by a vertical and a horizontal line.
DOn upper rightChitaya of three small cells, the two bottom ones are contiguous.
Reverse : four symbols arranged
AOn Top The railed Svastika revolving right. (double struck ?)
BBelowThe usual Chitaya of three arches.
CTo right Nandipada symbol.
DTo leftThe hour glass-like symbol (not clear)

This coin found in Kalpitiya appears to have been purposely cut in several places in order to reduce the weight of coin to a standard. It is Plate Specimen H.7 cataloged in 1999 by Osmund Bopearachchi and Rajah Wickramasinhe in the book Ruhuna. An Ancient Civilization Re-visited. Click here for longer discussion and links to other Plate Specimens from this book in this collection.

This coin at 6.8 grams is about Half the weight of the average weight of 15.7 grams measured by John Still in 1907 for 20 Elephant and Svastika coins and well outside his range [12.7 to 17.8] grams. This coin is speculated by D. P. E. Hettiaratchi to be a commerative coin issued for Arahat Mahinda..

The coin was scanned at 600 dpi and displayed at 200 dpi. ex: Raja Wickramasinghe, it is from part of Lalith Raddella's collection I purchased in 2016 December.

The size, weight and unique shape of this coin is OBRW H7 as indicated in coin holder, but it is described OBRW as Elephant to right, when it is clearly Elephant to left. The B&W images in OBRW are not clear.