Century 3rd BC to 1st AD - Lanka

Ruhuna - Elephant and Svastika - Cast

The cast Elephant and Svastika coins are recent finds at Akurugoda near Tissmaharama in south east Lanka and are thick and rough casts. The thin and finely Struck coins of same type were mainly found at the Abhayagiri Dagoba in Anuradhapura. It is the Classic and largest of the ancient coins which is uniquely from Lanka.

Diameter30.7 mm
Thickness3.2 mm
Weight14.2 gms
elephant_Svastika_cast_obverse elephant_Svastika_cast_reverse
Obverse : Elephant walking to the left with trunk extended and tail ending in a triple fork, occupying the whole of the base. Above are four symbols
AJust above ElephantThe life symbol |>|=
BOn Top The Svastika revolving left or 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 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 cells, the two bottom ones are contiguous.
Reverse : four symbols arranged
AOn Top The railed Svastika revolving left or right.
BBelowChitaya of three cells, the two bottom ones are divided by space, beneath a horizontal line.
CTo leftThe hour glass symbol i.e. |>|<| upright.
DTo right Nandipada symbol.

The description of seven these coins (H.1 to H.7) found in Akurugoda and cataloged in 1999 by Osmund Bopearachchi and Rajah Wickramasinhe in the book Ruhuna. An Ancient Civilization Re-visited . This coin is similer in weight and description to Plate Specimen H.2 in this book. It was obtained from the author, selecting instead from a larger lot a coin with the clearest elephant symbol.

Click here for longer discussion and links to other Plate coins from this book in this collection.

The coin was scanned at 300dpi and displayed at 200dpi. It was obtained in 2000 August from Rajah Wickremesinhe an Author and collector in Colombo, Lanka.