Bronze coin of Satakarni


British Museum

British Museum

This coin has one of the commonest designs on Indian coinage of the late second century BC to first century AD: an elephant accompanied by a triangle-headed standard. The design originated in the late Mauryan period (third century BC) and was used on the earliest bronze cast coinage of northern India. From there it spread southwards, ultimately as far as Sri Lanka. The elephant on this bronze coin is contained by a square moat containing a row of fishes.The inscription, in the Brahmi script, reads 'Ra ... nisa'. The inscription is incomplete, but can be restored from legends on more legible coins as 'Rano Shri Satakanisa', which identifies the issuer of the coin as Satakarni, one of the earliest rulers of the powerful Satavahana kingdom of the Deccan and central India. On the reverse is the ancient Indian symbol of a sacred tree enclosed by a railing. Beside it is a cross with four circles, the emblem of Ujjain, the Satavahana capital.

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  • Title: Bronze coin of Satakarni
  • Date Created: 50/99
  • Physical Dimensions: Weight: 11.720g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Subject: animal; fish; symbol; plant
  • Registration number: 1889,0105.938
  • Production place: Minted in Ujjain
  • Material: copper alloy
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Authority: Ruler Satakarni
  • Acquisition: Donated by Johnson, L P