1187 - 1196 - Lanka

NissankaMalla - Silver massa

The rare silver massa coin of NissankaMalla (1187 - 1196), the monarch who left the most number of inscriptions in the Polonnaruwa Period.

DenominationSilver massa
Diameter20.0 mm
Thickness2.7 mm
Weight4.08 gms
1187_nissankamalla_obverse 1187_nissankamalla_reverse
Codrington #78Mitchiner #835
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 are five dots or spheres. A rim of 40 to 43 beads.
Reverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king.
Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a conch shell. On right Nagari legend Sri Ka le ga la ke ja . which represents Sri Kalinga Lamkendra, the signature of the Doratiyawa tudupota

This is a rare coin in base silver massa. See also his Copper coin for historical information.

See also another silver coin with slightly different name for king.

The coin was measured XRF to have 15.7% silver and 79.3% Copper and impurites 2.8% Gold, 1.2% Nickel and 1.0% Platinum.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.
   Chapter VI Mediaeval Lanka - Sinhala of 12th & 13th Century - Series I, Page 68
* Culavamsa II Chapter LXXX: Translation by Wilhelm Geiger. Pali Text Society 1930

The coin was scanned at 600dpi and displayed at 600dpi. It is from part of Lalith Raddella's collection I purchased in 2016 December.