The Indian Gold. An introduction to the cabinet of the gold coins in the Indian Museum, Mukherjee B.N., 1990


The Indian Gold. An introduction to the cabinet of the gold coins in the Indian Museum, Mukherjee B.N., 1990
 
   Книга B.N. Mukherjee, предназначенная для нумизматов и любителей индийской истории, является каталогом индийских золотых монет, хранящихся в Индийском музее в Калькутте. Корпус золотых монет музея охватывает античность, средние века и современность, некоторые монеты известны в единичном экземпляре.

The Indian Gold. An introduction to the cabinet of the gold coins in the Indian Museum, Mukherjee B.N.

GOLD COINS OF INDIA—A KALEIDOSCOPIC VIEW.
Gold, the “beautiful” (Jatarupa), has allured the man from time immemorial for its attractive colour and rarity. These qualities, particularly the second one, promoted the use of units of gold of a definite weight first as pieces of a metallic currency and later, with devices and/or legends, as coins. Thus gold has been utilised not only for decoration and ornamentation, but also as a medium of exchange.

In the Indian subcontinent the material might have already been employed as well-defined units of wealth in the period of the composition of the majority of the verses of the Rigveda in about the middle (or in the second and third quarters) of the 2nd millennium B.C. The reference to a gift of “a hundred nishkas” (I, 126, 2) indipates that the term nishka, which essentially signifies “a gold ornament”, was also used to denote a unit of gold. More specific is the reference in the Satapatha Brahmana (с. 800 B.C.) to “gold (pieces) of a hundred standard” (gatamanani hiranyani) (V,5,5,16; see also XIII, 2,3,2 and ХIII, 4,2,10). The standard could well have been the weight of a krishnala or raktika of about 1.8 troy grains. Nevertheless, gold is not known to have been thought of by indigenous moneyers when coinage was introduced in the subcontinent in the 6th-5th century B.C. It perhaps originated with traders, but gradually passed under the control of ruling authorities. For the indigenous issuers the principal metal for minting was silver, units of which had been, like gold, already known as pieces of metallic currency (Satapatha Brahmana, XIII, 2,3,2; XIII, 4,2,10).

CONTENTS
List of Abbreviations
I. Gold Coins of India - A Kaleidoscopic View
II. A Catalogue of Select Gold Coins in the Indian Museum (coauthor — T.N. Raychaudhuri)
III. An Album of Gold Coins in the Indian Museum



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2016-12-03 23:18:31