Lanka : 980 - 1070

Gold Type 1A Kahavanu - Sun and Moon

The anonymous gold Kahavanu Sun and Moon. Codrington Tpe IA from 11th Century Lanka. The crown on the reverse resembles the helmet of the "seated horseman" at Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura.

DenominationOne Kahavanu
Diameter19.2 mm
Thickness2.8 mm
Weight Std.4.54 gms
Weight5.0 gms
kahavanu_I.A_au_obverse kahavanu_I.A_au_reverse
Codrington 45 ;Mitchiner unlisted
Obverse : A Standing figure, head somewhat circular to right, with Nose, mouth and eye shown; crown, a semicircular line behind head with slight bifurcation at top, and a small horizontal line below; behind it similer but shorter line ending in a dot ; in rear a dot. The left arm is bent in to breast ; elbow outwards ; nothing in hand. In a dhoti (garment), indicated by the curved line on either side of, and two lines between the legs, and standing on a lotus plant stalk consists of dots, ending left in chank, right in five-leaved flower. The right arm is extended with hand over symbol 1 (a) consisting of a straight shaft with short cross pieces, ending in four prongs, which are narrow and curve downward. The elbow is over a similer symbol (2) but with plain shank and upside down. To right symbol 1 (a) tilted to left; above this, a crescent and below, four annulets with dot in the center of each. A beaded circle along the periphery of the coin.
Reverse : A figure, head right, crown, a curved line with dot attached to upper outer edge; behind a short line ending in a dot at bottom; in rear a dot; squatting upon a asana (bed-like throne), represented by a oblong frame divided lengthwise by a line and crosswise by five lines; in dhoti has two long lines between legs, the two ends at the waist appearing at either side of the body. The right arm is pendent over the right knee, which is drawn up; the left arm is bent, and holds an a small cresent with dot above (sun and moon) In field to right, Devanagari legend in three lines.
12 34 5
Vibhu is a title of Vishnu.
Anusvara under arm. A beaded circle along the periphery of coin.
Compare with Type 1A (1) or (2) - Plates 45 or 46 of Codrington

The Kahavanu was scanned at 300dpi and displayed at 300dpi. It was in July 1993 from Spink & Sons Ltd, at a coin show in Baltimore, and motivated me to resume this collection after 25-years.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
Page 55 Chapter V Mediaeval Ceylon - Kahavanu