1208 - 1209 - Lanka

DharmasokaDeva - Eighth massa

An extreamly rare Eighth massa copper coin of royal Prince DharmasokaDeva who on coming to the throne was aged three months and reigned for one year under the general Ayasmanta.

SPECIFICATIONS
DenominationEighth massa
AlloyCopper
TypeStruck
Diameter10.9 mm
Thickness1.3 mm
Weight0.41 gms
ShapeRound
EdgePlain
DieAxis
1208_dharmasokadeva_Eighth_massa_obverse 1208_dharmasokadeva_Eighth_massa_reverse
Codrington page 70Mitchiner Unlisted
Obverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of standing king.
The head consists of an irregular oblong, the right side being a vertical line, from which projects three horizontal stokes representing the nose, mouth and chin. The crown bulging outwards at the back. The two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicate a person wearing a 'dhoti', and standing on a lotus stalk with flower to the right. The forearm is bent sharply down; the hand grasps the hanging lamp. The right side elbow is curved down with the arm turned upwards holds a flower presumed to be a jasmine blossom. To the right is an alter. A rim of beads.
Reverse : Devanagari legend Sri Dha rmma so ka De va
dharmasokadeva_legend

This is an extreamly rare copper one Eighth massa coins from the late Polonnaruwa era. Codrington in 1924, on page 70, says that the only known specimen was in the cabinet of Mr H. C. P. Bell and is described in the Indian Antiquary, 1895, p 332. I am told that under 20 of these coins are now known to exist.

The DharmasokaDeva one massa coin is one of six fairly common copper coins from this era.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.
   Chapter VI Mediaeval Lanka - Sinhala of 12th & 13th Century - Series I, Page 70

The coin was scanned at 600dpi and displayed at 600dpi was obtained in 2008 April from an local dealer in Polonnaruva, Lanka. It is more corroded, but probably has better provonance than the almost mint state coin I purchased in 2001.