Indian gold coins were first minted in 100 AD during the Kushan Empire. The early gold Indian dynastic coins were adorned with the image of Shiva.
In the ancient times, one gold coin in India was equivalent to a full-grown cow. Over the years, countless Indian gold coins found their way to the melting pot and were made into jewelry.
Ironically, the country that Alexander the Great once called the Land of Gold has a limited number of ancient gold coin collectors. Today, most Indian numismatists and gold coin investors prefer African Krugerrands and other bullions with higher investment returns.
How to collect old gold coins of India?
There are very few surviving gold coins in India. Scholars dedicated to studying ancient India consider these gold coins as artifacts rather than numismatic collectibles. Most Indian gold coin collectors focus on international gold bullion coin rather than collecting old coins. Since they are hard to identify, old gold coins from India are rarely found in numismatic catalogs.
However, this trend in Indian numismatics is good news to some collectors. Old Indian gold coins that are not found in leading coin price guides are sold lower than other collectible coins. The downside is that only a few international coin dealers sell old Indian gold coins.
Beware of online sellers advertising old gold coins from India. Always ask the seller for the history of the coin. If he only gives you a vague description, the gold coin could be a fake.
If he provides you with a detailed background of the coin, double check it by reading blogs and websites specializing in ancient gold in India.
Gold coinage of India
Here are some of the known gold coins from India:
• Indian gold dinar
Gold dinars from India were circulated during Gupta dynasty under the reign of Samudragupta in 335 to 370 AD. Gold dinars were once part of the coinage of most Islamic dynasties.
• Indian gold stater
When Alexander the Great conquered India in 327 BC, he infused Greek influence into Indian culture. As with other Hellenistic states and acquired territories, Indian empires also minted gold stater coins.
• Pagoda gold coins of India
Indian gold pagoda coins were minted from the dynastic eras up to the British, French and Dutch occupations in the Indian subcontinent.
• Gold tankas in India
In Sanskrit, the tanka is the name for their precious metal coinage. Ancient India also produced gold tanka coins especially in kingdoms that are now part of present-day Bangladesh.
• Ashrafi gold coin
The ashrafi was a gold coin produced by Muslim Sultanates in various parts of the Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia. Indian Ashrafi gold coins were minted in the Islamic dynasties that settled long time ago in the Indian Subcontinent.
• Indian Mohur
The Indian mohur is a gold coin minted by Mogul rulers in the 16th century. Later on, the mohur gold coinage was revived by the British India as their official gold coin.