World of Coins

Ancient coins => Indian subcontinent: Ancient & Pre-sultanate => Topic started by: Overlord on February 11, 2008, 04:59:27 PM

Title: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Overlord on February 11, 2008, 04:59:27 PM
A few coins of Raja Raja Chola (the 'octopus' king :))...

(http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii203/amitvyas03/Chola1.jpg)
(http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii203/amitvyas03/Chola2.jpg)

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on February 11, 2008, 07:54:53 PM
Nice coins Overlord.
I know very little about South Indian History. From Wikipedia, I know that Raja Raja ruled from 985 to 1014 CE and that he was considered the great Chola ruler. 
What gets me about his coin design are two things:
1. The images had incredible durability; over two hundred years at any event.  Maybe someone can help with this. Nearly identical "octopus men" appeared on Sri Lankan coins in the 13th century.  I understand about the ties between Sri Lanka and the Cholas, it is the repeated use of the same image that surprises me.  Your bull and horse designs had a longer history (500 years or so?) and the type of design used by the infamous King Harsha Raja Deva (Enthroned Ardoxho standing) endured for what? a thousand years? Nonetheless, 250 years for the Octopus Design isn't bad. Most designs last only as long as the ruler who employed them.
2. There is a certain phase in Children's art in which Octopus Men are predictably "re" created. My daughter created her multi appendaged people when she was about four years of age. I was delighted with them and, as a budding potter at the time, I executed a line of bowls with the image repeated three times in relief on the sides. The Cholas were quite sophisticated.  Why did they use such an image on their coins?  Is the explanation that Raja Raja was as delighted with his daughter's art work as I was with mine and once employed on a coin by THE Greatest, others continued the tradition?
richie
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Oesho on February 11, 2008, 09:40:57 PM
Dear overlord, none of the reverses (which are actually obverses) of these Chola coins have been correctly alligned. They show a sitting king with the name Rajaraja in two lines below his raised arm. Wait for some more illustrations which will be kindly up-loaded by Rangnath.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on February 11, 2008, 09:59:22 PM
Illustration I (Kahavanu Sri Lamka Vibhu Codr III-46)

The name of octopus-men has been given to this type of coins by some
historical nitwit. It is the same as calling Persian or Arabic
spaghetti-script.
When Rajaraja Chola invaded Ceylon (c.990) he adopted the indigenous coin
type of the gold kahavanu, initiated shortly before by the Singhalese. This
coin type became, under the Singhalese resistance, rather widespread to pay
for the opposition against the Cholas. The kahavanu is a gold coin of a
seated king, with a legend, Sri Lamka Vibhu (the victorious Lord of Ceylon)
below his raised arm. The reverse shows a standing king with ancillary
symbols.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on February 11, 2008, 10:00:08 PM
Illustration II (Pala - Lakshmi MNI#826)

Smaller gold coins of a quarter denomination, gold pala, were also struck by
the Singhalese, but those were not imitated by the Cholas.

 
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on February 11, 2008, 10:00:57 PM
Illustration III (Rajajraja Chola kahavanu Ceylon type)

Rajaraja Chola struck similar coins, in base gold, on the Island of Sri
Lanka. Instead of Sri Lamka Vibhu, now his own name is added in two lines:
Raja
Raja
The type struck on the Island can be recognised by a fifth ball, added to
the right of the standing king on the reverse.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on February 11, 2008, 10:02:02 PM
Illustration IV (Rajajraja Chola kahavanu mainland type)

In the homeland of the Cholas (Tanjore, South India) this type became
equally popular and struck there on a quite large scale too. The mainland
type can be distinguished by a crescent above the cluster of the 4 balls to
the right of the standing king.
The Chola-type of the Ceylon kahavanu is of rather debased gold to almost
silver, but more numerous are the copper issues, which became the proto-type
for several other copper issues of the so-called Ceylon-man type, struck by
the Cholas and other successive dynasties in South India.
Oesho
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on February 11, 2008, 10:23:40 PM
This is one fantastic thread!  Thankyou once again Overlord for initiating this. I know that there are some folks on "Coin Talk" and "Coin Forum" who would also appreciate and add to these discussions of Indian numismatics.  Do you know any well enough to invite here?

Oesho, your examples are absolutely exquisite and wonderfully educational. Thank you so much.

And now for two rather simplistic questions:
What is the estimate of the earliest use of a Kahavanu with this style of sitting and/or standing King?
Do the number of balls to the right of the standing King in copper coins also signifiy location of mint?
richie
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Oesho on February 12, 2008, 01:17:09 PM
Sri Lanka was in earlier times often dominated/influenced by dynasties in South India.
From AD668-740 was a period of Pallava influence. Before the advent of Pallava coins to Ceylon and production of local derivative coinage on the island, the currency needs of Ceylon were met by small 4th century Roman bronzes that had arrived by trade and the not un-common local imitations of the Roman series.
See: http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=4400 (http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=4400)

From AD 824-943 the island was under Pandyan influence. It was only about 860/980 that an indigenous currency of gold coins of the sitting/standing king type were introduced. The series was introduced before submission of the island tot Rajaraja Chola (invaded c. 990) in 1001.

As written before the island type and mainland type can be distinguished from each other by the presence or not of a crescent above the cluster of balls or spheres to the right of the standing king. On the island issues the crescent is absent and show a cluster of five balls.
On the mainland type a crescent is shown above the cluster of balls. This also applies to the copper issues Rajaraja Chola, which seems invariably be of the mainland type.
The number of dots on those copper coins may differ, but they all show a crescent above. No clear island-type issue has ever been reported and probably they weren’t struck at that time as there was no indigenous copper coin struck on the island either.
With the restoration of Singhalese independence in 1070, debased gold coins in the name of Vijaya Bahu I (1055-1110) were issued, which all show the cluster of five balls. This continues under successive rulers till almost the end of the 13th century.
See: http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=4402 (http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=4402)

The name kahavanu applies generally to the gold and silver coins of the sitting/standing king types. Sometimes also the Chola coppers are called a kahavanu, but in recent publications the indigenous South Indian name for copper coin “Kasu” is being introduced, which from historical point of view seems to be more correct.
The later sitting/standing king types, struck in copper/bronze by the successive rulers on the island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka)  were also described as kahavanu, but nowadays they are more often described as  a copper massa.

The references used:
Michael Mitchiner: Oriental Coins and ther values, Non-Islamic States & Western Colonies, AD600-1979, London 1979,
Michael Mitchiner: The coinage and history of Southern India. part Two - Tamilnadu - Kerala, London 1998.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on February 12, 2008, 09:45:25 PM
Thanks for the historical accounting. You have helped me to correct the denominations I've had on my Chola and Singhalese coppers and I certainly have a new appreciation for them.
richie
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: bart on February 14, 2008, 11:30:54 PM
This is a very interesting thred.

I happen to have one Raja Raja Chola coin in my collection. I received it from an Indian collector. I hope the pictures are clear enough.

Bart
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on February 15, 2008, 12:02:29 AM
Hi Bart,
After seeing Oesho's coins, I'd certainly like to see more!

I did come across a web site that I would recommend for those interested in  South Indian Coins (http://www.karsha.org/homePage.aspx).

You might also check out the links provided at the bottom of the page.

Bart, I wish the image of your coin was larger; at least twice the size would allow me to "read" it (44 Kb).
richie
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Oesho on February 15, 2008, 12:22:00 AM
Despite fact the coin image is pretty 'small', the name below the arm of the sitting king clearly shows Raja/Raja. To the right of the standing king a crescent can be observed above the cluster of dots.
This, therefore, is a mainland issue (as are all other other copper kasu's).
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: bart on February 15, 2008, 09:29:32 AM
Thanks Richie and Oesho, for your comments.

I'll try later-on to put a new scan, which is somewhat bigger. I had to install a new scanner and it works somewhat different than the former one. I still have to get used to it in editing scans.

Bart
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on February 17, 2008, 12:27:59 PM
This thread is simply amazing. Super quality discussion and illustrations. My takeaway is that it vividly illustrates the historical connections between the North of Sri Lanka, now embroiled in a bloody war with the rest of the island and the Southern tip of India. You ignore history at your peril and not knowing history is a special kind of blindness.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Rangnath on March 01, 2008, 02:48:21 AM
I've returned from Chiapas, Mexico. Looking at this thread again is really satisfying!
I couldn't agree with you more Peter.  We human beings are such slow learners!
Another recurrent theme is the conflict of North versus South, isn't it? Southerners versus Northerners: whether the place is Viet Nam, Korea, the USA, or Sri Lanka. 
And in Sri Lanka, topography has it's impact. I visited the Island once, but I remember the striking difference between the South and the North.

The images of the coins are breath taking.  Thanks again Oesho.
richie
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Overlord on March 01, 2008, 01:20:23 PM
Here are a few more from my collection. Oesho, thanks for helping me 'see' the seated king on the obverse.

From Oesho's description, I think all of them are mainland issues [except, probably, the last one---but then again, the crescent may have worn off or may be off the flan (I think a tiny bit of it can just be made out)].

(http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii203/amitvyas03/Cho1.jpg)
(http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii203/amitvyas03/Cho2.jpg)
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: statmatics on September 02, 2012, 08:38:15 PM
Hello World of Coins (my first post) -- My name is Paul Richards and I run a web site that does coin appraisals. My site receives requests from the general public and I try to answer the usual 'what is my coin worth?' question of people who write in. Recently I received a request about Rajaraja Chola coins and I used this thread in an attempt to answer that question. Thanks! -- Two items: (1) I wonder if you agree with my answer to the Chola question, and (2) is it ok for me to use Rangnath's image of the gold coin? You can see my answer, which includes a reference to this thread, at this link === http://coinquest.com/cgi-bin/cq/coins?main_coin=12310 === Thanks, Paul Richards, Melbourne, Florida, USA
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Oesho on September 02, 2012, 10:51:15 PM
Actually the images of the gold coins were uploaded by Rangnath on behave of me, Oesho.
But you are welcome to use the images as long as you refer to the website from where you obtained the images from.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on September 02, 2012, 11:00:35 PM
Thanks for doing the right thing, Paul. So the reference to Rangnath on your page should be edited to Oesho.

Hint: you are referring to a silver coin image in your valuations, but illustrate copper and gold only.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Prosit on September 02, 2012, 11:17:19 PM
Pretty sure I posted one of these types but durn if I can find it.  Interesting coins.
Dale
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: statmatics on September 03, 2012, 03:36:10 AM
Thanks, Oesho. The page is fixed. A lot of great people have released copyrights to CoinQuest. It makes the site worthwhile. It would be pretty boring without pictures! Oesho now appears on the copyright page ==== http://coinquest.com/cgi-bin/cq/coins?main_action=copyright ==== Thanks again. Neat coins!
Title: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Bimat on September 03, 2012, 04:32:45 PM
Oesho,

The coins you have in your collection (shown above) are incredible, as if they were struck just yesterday! :o How did (or where from) you obtained such nice specimens? One day, I'd like to hear about your journey as a coin collector. Must be very interesting! :)

Aditya
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Oesho on September 03, 2012, 10:07:06 PM
Dear Aditya,
Believe or not, but most of the Ceylon gold coins came from an auction in Amsterdam in December 1999 and September 2000.
On that occasion a large collection of gold coins was auctioned, mostly Dutch and European gold coins, but there was also a nice collection of Ceylonese gold coins among it. As most people present came for the European gold, I was able to obtain 7 lots of the Ceylonese pieces, including the extremely rare ˝ kahavanu (http://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=30734). The balance I (3 lots) I obtained at the next auction. Most of the coins of the above auctions can be observed on ZENO (http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=4410&page=1)
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Coinsforever on September 04, 2012, 12:19:30 AM
Splendid collection as usual .

Combination of knowledge  , affordability  , availability & opportunity turns into such great collection.


Cheers ;D

Believe or not, but most of the Ceylon gold coins came from an auction in Amsterdam in December 1999 and September 2000.
On that occasion a large collection of gold coins was auctioned, mostly Dutch and European gold coins, but there was also a nice collection of Ceylonese gold coins among it. As most people present came for the European gold, I was able to obtain 7 lots of the Ceylonese pieces, including the extremely rare ˝ kahavanu (http://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=30734). The balance I (3 lots) I obtained at the next auction. Most of the coins of the above auctions can be observed on ZENO (http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=4410&page=1)

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 13, 2012, 12:54:54 PM
As I start taking pictures of my coins, I figured I would start off with the Chola coins first.  I guess a nice way to show it, is to post it as "Chola through the ages".  Of course I have gaps (who doesn't  :)), so here is my pitch to anyone who want to sell some to me... Starting with Sangam-Age Cholas:


The following coins I have not been able to identify exactly in Mitchiner.  It is similar to MITCH-114, but there is another animal next to the elephant.  Here is the classification according to Mitch:

Sangam Chola (100-200AD)

Obv: Elephant standing left, flower vase above, plus ?parasol above
Rev: Chola tiger standing left, with one foot raised

I don't have any other book other than "A Catalogue of the Sangam Age Pandya and Chola Coins in the National Museum, Colombo, Sri Lanka", and its selection of Chola coins is very lacking.  Any help with the classification is  much appreciated.

The next coin is not mentioned in Mitchiner, but seems to be similar to Coin No. 3 in the Chola section of the aforementioned book.  Again, a correct attribution is much appreciated.

Sangam Chola (100-200AD)

Obv: Elephant standing left, above the elephant are some illegible symbols
Rev: Chola tiger standing left

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 13, 2012, 01:09:30 PM
Uttama Chola:

Mitchiner 324-329:

Obv: Tiger seated right, towards two upright fishes; bow and lamp behind; umbrella above
Rev: Devanagari - Uttama / Cholah

(http://api.ning.com/files/j4*dBSug-3ZaQZZG9kGtWRNt8uFRdy*NuGxGKXvUo4ZN4LSgGrnYxjBOcaNcC7KvbIrp7A1MmocJor7Ax8us1nqYjRag0hjd/CholaUttamaCholaKahavanuMCSI324Obverse.jpg)

(http://api.ning.com/files/ltdJ1mn4A425oa1708i1ebG3lmFZ-zTZ8Z*jcxn7By-Q-Z5am0WuV5WEX6XGYNFTFpgZJIHjokp*ipKpnRlJGOJfPyEQM6oK/CholaUttamaCholaKahavanuMCSI324Reverse.jpg)
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on October 13, 2012, 02:46:17 PM
Stunning state of conservation, QG. A super-thread made even better. Who'd have thunk it possible...

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 13, 2012, 04:05:11 PM
Sri Lankan, but available around the time of the Invasion of Sri Lanka by Raja Raja (990AD).  Note that Oesho has some amazing quality in his coins compared to the ones I have...

Aka (1/8 Kahavanu)- Jasmine flower and Chank (Type III)


Obv: Standing king facing with one hand raised and holding a Jasmin flower
Rev: Sankh shell above inscription: Daraka (or Uraka)



Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 13, 2012, 04:17:55 PM
Not as great as http://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=40206, but still somewhat identifiable...Sri Lankan prior to the invasion of Raja Raja...

Pala (1/4 Kahavanu)

Obv: King standing, holding sankh shell; alter on right
Rev: Devanagari inscription - Lakshmi? or Kamka Ma



Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 14, 2012, 09:23:16 PM
Unidentified Chola/Pandya Coin:

Here is a small (1cm) Chola-like coin.  I haven't been able to find an attribution for it..Nor was I able to decipher the script in the back (looks like Tamil, but not sure).  The coin is very thin as well...Any help is  much appreciated..

Thanks,

Ram

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Oesho on October 15, 2012, 12:07:36 AM
Dear Ram,
This is an issue of the Raja of Kandy (present Sri Lanka) and is a 1/8 massa of Raja Parakrama Bahu I (1153-1186AD). The script is Nagari. For a similar piece see ZENO #30706 (http://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=30706).
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 15, 2012, 12:59:20 AM
Thanks Oesho,

Seems scarce..At first I thought it was Jatavarma Sundara Pandyan III coin, but the script was off (I can read Tamil).  The reference coin and my coin match perfectly (other than the corrosion in my coin)...

Cheers,

Ram
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on October 15, 2012, 01:11:24 AM
I think your coin passed a considerable time in salty water. It could be restored only with considerable risk, so it is probably best to leave it as it is.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 15, 2012, 03:17:49 AM
Hi Peter,

I suspect the same as well.  I am going to leave it alone.  It has a certain appeal just the way it is, besides it is a very scarce coin  :)
Here is the actual coin that I got mixed up with.  A little bigger than the 1/8 Massa (12mm vs. 10mm):

Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan III (1303-1314)

MCSI-399

Obv: Tamil - Sundra Pandian
Rev: Standard Chola design (standing figure)

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 16, 2012, 03:18:22 AM
Sangam Chola (3rd Century)

MCSI-119/120/121/122

Obv: Elephant standing left; standard in front; small symbol + umbrella above
Rev: Tiger left; standard in front, with pennant

Due to its age and rarity, it is quite difficult to get quality Sangam age coins.  And when you are NOT in India, it makes it even worse...
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 16, 2012, 03:29:47 AM
The ubiquitous Raja Raja himself.  I have so many of these it is ridiculous.  From dumpy versions all the way to ones that are in an awesome state of preservation...I haven't had the time to classify them as there are several slight variations in these...These coins were continued to be minted even after the reign of Raja Raja and hence was used in several places within the Chola kingdom, including its conquered domains of Pandya and parts of Chera...

MCSI-338/339/340/341/342/343:

Obv: King half seated, with raised arm on right; Devanagari legend beneath raised arm - Sri / Raja / Raja
Rev: Standing man, with lamp on left and group of pellets on right

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on October 16, 2012, 01:06:43 PM
Great show, QG. Yes, the later ones are far more common. They are just as interesting for me.

I seem to remember that there was an easy trick to separate those made on the mainland from those made in Sr Lanka but I forgot what it was. Memory (HAH!) says it was an element in the upper right of the coin.

Peter

Edit: just found the answer. It is in reply 5 of this very thread (duh).
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Oesho on October 16, 2012, 01:31:52 PM
Dear Peter, your memory is till very good. The main land issues have crescent (http://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=31995) above the 4 balls or dots on the side of the standing king. The coins of Raja Raja Chola struck at Ceylon (http://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=31994) (present Sri Lanka) have another ball or dot at that location. Only gold or base gold issues are known of this type.
The copper coins of Raja Raja Chola all show a crescent and were struck in India (Tanjore). Despite their incredably large quantity of this coin still found, I have not come across any copper coin of Raja Raja Chola with a dot instead of the crescent. This would indicate that none were struck at Sri Lanka.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: capnbirdseye on October 16, 2012, 02:25:09 PM
Here's one I found in my cabinet,  ancient ticket says  Cholas of Tanjore 13 century,  which way up for the rev?


weight 2g
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 16, 2012, 03:01:23 PM
Never seen that design on the reverse before...No matter how I rotate the reverse, I can't tell what it is.  I don't think it is Chola.  It might be Pandyan instead...
The obverse seems to be way too corrupt for it to be Chola. 

Ram
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: capnbirdseye on October 16, 2012, 05:35:29 PM
Never seen that design on the reverse before...No matter how I rotate the reverse, I can't tell what it is.  I don't think it is Chola.  It might be Pandyan instead...
The obverse seems to be way too corrupt for it to be Chola. 

Ram


here is it's old ticket if anyone can make sense of  it
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 16, 2012, 07:21:32 PM
The attribution on the coin is Raja Raja II - (1146-1173) 1/4 Kasu.  However, I want to get it verified as MCSI doesn't go that far for Chola coinage...


Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 16, 2012, 07:36:00 PM
My last coin(s) in the Chola collection.  Again, no attribution for this one either..

The left is genuine as it matches several other known examples and it also came from a very reputable source.  However, the one on the right looks to be fake.  The right coin can never really wear to the level of the coin on the left.  Notice the legs of the bull and how the hind legs do not connect with the body on the left coin as compared to the right coin.  Can someone confirm whether it is fake or not?  The next thread will be the Pandyas...

Thanks,

Ram

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 16, 2012, 09:20:22 PM
Quite scarce coin of Raja Raja kasu with foot of Vishnu.  This was a special issue to commemorate his conquest of some of the Chera territory.  I have looked far and wide for this coin, but never could find it.  It might even be extremely rare...

MCSI-344

Obv: King half seated, with raised arm on right; Devanagri legend beneath raised arm; Sri / Raja / Raja
Rev: Standing man, with lamp on left and footprint of Vishnu on right
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Oesho on October 16, 2012, 09:39:23 PM
Dear Q.G, don't get too paranoia about fakes. Both coins are perfectly authentic. There is no reason at all to counterfeit South Indian kasu's. There is no commercial demand for it, they are pretty cheap and still available in hundreds or by kg-weight.
I obtained such a piece long ago in Tiruchchirappali, but it has a sitting bull to right with conch shell above instead of a crescent. The seller wrote on the envelope "Chola - Arakan Province", presuming that the design of the trisul was influenced by the contemporary coinage of Arakan on which similar trisul (http://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=28918) designs are found.
Another request to open a new thread with each new coin. This way it get too much mixed up.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Quant.Geek on October 16, 2012, 10:26:55 PM
Hi Oesho,

I have seen some crazy looking coins on ebay the past few years, even for some common copper coins.  I seems that the demand for Indian coins have pushed some creative artist to create fakes for even simple coins.  Hence the reason for questioning the autheticity of some of my coins.  I had doubt on some of these coins for years, but I tended not to pursue its authenticity...until now  :)  I spent most of my coin-collecting years on the US side, but started going into South Indian coins for the past 7 years.  So, most of my expertise is on the US side...I agree, the posting is getting cumbersome, so I'll post a new thread for each coin instead...

Thanks for all the help,

Ram
Title: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on March 13, 2015, 12:36:09 PM
wow superb thread...

The raja raja coins are available here in plenty (place where I live) So i dont give any second thought about it... May be its time I gave a closer look at them! :)

If anyone is interested in chola history I would recommend reading this Novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy called "Ponniyin Selvan" [Son of Ponni river (Cauvery)]

available here for free
www.projectmadurai.org/

http://tamilnation.co/literature/kalki/unicode/mp278.htm


(http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/00638/24CBMPCOMMERCIAL_AR_638360g.jpg)
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on March 13, 2015, 01:19:22 PM
 1000 currency note released by Reserve Bank of India on 1 April 1954 to honour the historic Brihadeeswarar Temple, a UNESCO World heritage site

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on March 13, 2015, 01:21:53 PM
On 26 September 2010 (Big Temple's fifth day of millennium celebrations) Mumbai Mint issued Rs 1000 Commemorative Coin with the same picture as on the Rs 5 coin. It was the first 1000 Rupees coin to be released in the Republic of India coinage. This coin was a Non Circulative Legal Tender (NCLT).

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Ancientnoob on June 14, 2015, 03:30:59 AM
Just recently I was fortunate enough to acquire my first gold coin. I thought long and hard about the kind of money I wanted to spend and the style of coin I could get for the money. I found no better ratio than this coin. Just oozing history, beauty and mystique all over  the place.

Tamilnadu, Madura
Anonymous Type III-B
AV Kahavanu 20 mm x 4.36 grams
Obverse:Standing figure with head to right. Crown thick straight line with triangle in rear. In a Dhoti (garment) indicated by two curved lines on either side and one line in between longer than legs, standing on a lotus plant stalk with small circle in centre ending on left in a chank and on right in flower as in hand. In left hand is an open Jasmine flower (pichcha mala) viewed from side. The right arm is extended with hand over a symbol (1b) consisting of a straight shaft with short cross pieces, ending in four prongs, which are thick. The head of the symbol is somewhat like the calices of two half-opened flowers, one being placed above the other. To right four annulets and ball above. A beaded circle along the periphery of the coin.
Reverse:A figure, head right crown as on obverse Squatting upon asana, (a bed-like throne) represented by a short oblong frame, divided lengthwise by a line and two cross lines. dhoti represented by bent line and small line in angle between the legs. The right arm is pendent over the right knee, which is drawn up; In left hand a chank. In field to right, Devanagari legend in three lines. Sri Lan Kan Vib Hu.
Ref:Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
Page 57 Chapter V Mediaeval Ceylon - Kahavanu.

Thanks to http://coins.lakdiva.org/medievallanka/kahavanu_III.B_au.html  for the attribution and correct terminology.



Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on June 15, 2015, 02:25:52 PM
Congratulations on this aquisition ! I never seriously looked at these to buy because there seem to be a lot of fakes. This one looks fine in all respects though !
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on June 15, 2015, 06:03:51 PM
Congrats
2 of my coins directly from Vaigai river bed :)
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Ancientnoob on June 15, 2015, 10:12:31 PM
Congrats
2 of my coins directly from Vaigai river bed :)

Holy cow this is the most awesome find. If I lived there I would be MD'ing all the time. Day and night.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Ancientnoob on June 15, 2015, 11:12:09 PM
I wanted to share here a Virtual Tray of my Chola and Inspired Sri Lanka Medieval coins.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on June 16, 2015, 09:19:15 AM
beautiful! ;)
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: bububoy on June 16, 2015, 11:30:59 AM
@ancientnoob ! thank you for sharing, very well presented and the best part is you have attributed them all in a single shot. A pleasure to the eyes, i have a decent lot of these coins and you have got me interested in this series !
mahe
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Ancientnoob on June 16, 2015, 02:32:50 PM
@ancientnoob ! thank you for sharing, very well presented and the best part is you have attributed them all in a single shot. A pleasure to the eyes,
Thanks!

i have a decent lot of these coins and you have got me interested in this series !
mahe

Now you have to get them all Photographed and start a thread. It will be great fun. Again, thanks for the kind words.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on August 16, 2015, 08:09:27 AM
Three Silver, Silver Mixed coins of Raja Raja Chola
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on August 16, 2015, 11:21:08 AM
Thank you for showing, kats17. Going through this thread - maybe one of the very best of WoC - it is hard to realise that the most common coins of this type are copper...

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on August 16, 2015, 03:02:25 PM
Thanks For the encouragement Peter
I will try to post more chola types here
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on August 17, 2015, 04:41:02 PM
Tiny Silver coin of Raja Raja Chola
Obv: Sitting Tiger (Defaced in this coin)
Rev: Two upright fishes

Wt: 100mg
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on August 17, 2015, 07:27:01 PM
Nice specimen, especially the side with the fishes! You say it is tiny. What's the diameter ?
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on August 18, 2015, 03:32:41 AM
Maybe it's the light, but I can see a sitting animal. Very interesting addition to this thread.

See reply #26 of this thread for what the sitting tiger must have looked like.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on August 18, 2015, 05:56:41 AM
@THCoins

 It is 4 mm in diameter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on August 18, 2015, 06:06:23 PM
Thanks for the reply. This small size even more underlines the craftsmanship of the die maker.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on August 21, 2015, 04:20:30 PM
Raja Raja Chola Horse Rider Type Copper Coin

1.4g
Obv: A man riding horse (? Rajaraja). Probably released to show him as a great horse rider.
Rev: Sitting Man with Nagari letter "Ra"  (Unclear in this coin)

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on August 21, 2015, 05:42:28 PM
Thanks for showing, never saw this type before (but i am not a real Southern India coinage expert, so that does not say much  :)).
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: @josephjk on August 21, 2015, 10:47:04 PM
Copper Kahavanus of Raja Raja Chola? the ones at the top are 4.1 grams, 20mm and the one below is 3.7 grams, 16 mm - thanks
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: kats17 on August 23, 2015, 01:25:00 PM
Chola Copper Fractions

Wt: 1.1g
Wt: 1.0g

These coins are described in Tamil inscriptions of that time as "Raja Rajan Maadai or Kasu"
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: CameronK on April 06, 2016, 05:23:26 AM
Greetings! What an education. I came across this coin in a 'mystery collection', and believe it is of this genre. Can anyone offer an opinion on whether it is a Chola coin, and if so, maybe which ruler and what denomination it is? It is 17mm and weighs 3.3g

Thanks in advance for your help!
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on April 06, 2016, 08:17:05 AM
Hello Cameron, and welcome to WOC !

Your coin will indeed be a Chola coin. The general distinction between the mainland and the Sri Lankan types is the pile of dots next to the figure on your left coin. If there's a moon crescent above this it is a mainland type. The name of the king is next to the figure on your right pictures. In this state it is not well readable but it very likely is in the name of Raja Raja Chola. You can perhaps get you coins a bit better by soaking them in oil for some thays and brushing them with a soft brush afterwards. Be cautious about the green spots on your lower coin. This could be bronze diease. This has a tendency to spread and ultimately destroy the coin. Iy you use the search function of the forum you will find some treatment methods for this.

Anthony
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: CameronK on April 06, 2016, 03:51:35 PM
THCoins - thanks so much for the identification and recommendation on the green patina/ bronze disease. Any idea what these coins were called? I've seen them referred to as 'copper fractions' but what was the money system at that time, or is this known? Thanks again!
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on April 06, 2016, 06:59:08 PM
These coins are referred ot as copper Kasu. This is a name also appearing in contemporary texts. How the entire monetary system was organized we do not know.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on April 07, 2016, 02:06:17 PM
Kasu as a name certainly existed. It is thought to be the root of the English word cash as applied to cast coins with a square hole in the centre as used in East Asia.

Coinage in ancient and medieval times were not organised like today, with a principal unit (like dollar), a subsidiary unit (like cent) in fixed relation (like 1:100), multiples and divisions. In principle, each coin was a unit by itself in a floating relation. Later, units coalesced around metal, so that you would have two to three units of account, such as sovereign, crown or shilling and penny. In that sense, these coins have a name, but not a denomination as we know it.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: RG on July 02, 2016, 04:55:34 PM
Here's my Rajaraja Chola copper Kahavanu coin...Enjoy...weight -  4.63 grams...find spot in Kerala, India..
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on July 02, 2016, 07:34:39 PM
Very well preserved. That's one of the joys of these coins.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: RG on September 11, 2016, 03:09:48 PM
Can you please help me fix this coin up? Weight is only 3.23 grams, maximum diameter 18.5 mm approx.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Gusev on September 11, 2016, 03:41:11 PM
Can you please help me fix this coin up? Weight is only 3.23 grams, maximum diameter 18.5 mm approx.
See Reply #75 on: July 02, 2016
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: RG on September 11, 2016, 04:03:06 PM
See Reply #75 on: July 02, 2016

Sir that one is my own coin. I wanted to know whether the weight /diameter etc are indicating this is a coin of Raja Raja Chola. The motifs are also different.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: RG on September 11, 2016, 04:18:48 PM
See Reply #75 on: July 02, 2016

A more nearer specimen shown in  Reply #44 on: October 16, 2012. But I am not sure about the attributes of that coin matching with mine and seeking confirmation.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Gusev on September 11, 2016, 04:28:18 PM
Sir that one is my own coin. I wanted to know whether the weight /diameter etc are indicating this is a coin of Raja Raja Chola. The motifs are also different.
Weight in the range of 3-4.5 g.
These coins have a lot of varieties.

Igor
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on May 08, 2019, 04:55:02 PM
Here is another variety coin of Rajaraja chola.
On this , there is an impression of a human foot to the right of the standing figure (usually conch. RG has posted a similar coin on this page and Q.G has posted another before!).  This is called “paadam” type  in Southern parts and is scarce to get.  On the other side there is a surprise. The legend “rajaraja” is written below the arm of the seated figure, but the script has some difference. The first “raja” is just the same but “ra” looks to have an additional vertical stroke. The second “raa” shows an additional vertical stroke very clearly and as though there is a “ra” in incuse, but without horizontal line in incuse. The “ja” is either incomplete due to smaller flan or might have been struck as the “ja” of Brahmi because it resembles the capital “E” of English alphabet. It may be remembered that he invaded north where the influence of Brahmi and Nagari script can be seen even during the Vijayanagar period. This could have been struck during one of his expeditions at some other mint.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on May 08, 2019, 07:31:17 PM
The Bigfoot variety is already something special. Sharp eye catching the calligraphical variety !
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on May 09, 2019, 05:50:35 AM
Thanks Anthony.
This coin came from Tamilnadu region, from Nagercoil to be precise. One of the collectors in Trivandrum has more than ten of the big foot variety coins but calligraphy is conventional. This is the only one big foot var. with me, but it sure was a surprise. So I thought I would share it. Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on May 09, 2019, 06:08:30 PM
I did consider one alternative reading, though looking again i think it is unlikely.
Instead of "Sri / RaJa / RaJa", one might also interpret this as "Sri / RaJa / NaKa". Implying an issue in the name of a vassal of Raja Raja.
But as stated, that's just a wild guess.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on June 19, 2019, 11:14:36 AM
Sir that one is my own coin. I wanted to know whether the weight /diameter etc are indicating this is a coin of Raja Raja Chola. The motifs are also different.
There is a very relevant question raised and thanks for raising it. Dr.Joseph has posted two specimens in Reply #68 on: August 21, 2015. It is very interesting to note that Rajaraja copper Kasu of the so called "Ceylon man" type maintain very consistent weight standard. The two specimens Dr.Joseph has shown are typical examples of them. One series of around 4.2 gms and the other of around 3.8gms. There are lots of die varieties also, but maintaining weight standard!  Another feature I have noticed is that the 4.2 gms variety usually are thicker at the middle and thinner near the brim. The other variety is more often a flat disc. Diameter will be ~19-20mm for the 4.2gms variety and remain same or slightly lesser for the other type. But there are coins weighing around 3.4gms. I have one with 2.9 gms and 15.6mm diameter. But still a majority of them stick to 4.2 or 3.8gms weight! You will notice that the body of the "standing man" is also struck somewhat in a different style!


Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on June 19, 2019, 02:57:29 PM
Noting this observation on weights. Coins can be devalued by tinkering with weight or with metal (content). This type went from gold to silver to base metal. However, once it is in base metal, it can only be devalued further by weight.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Spaniard on June 21, 2019, 12:02:13 AM
Anyone seen anything like this before? I haven´t !...

Thought it was just a common Raja Raja coin (1st coin) and went to check its ref number in Mitchener to sell on..Its not there! So like you do I started searching and can´t find any reference to the reverse cyphers(spheres)(2nd coin)...Normally all his coins have 4 cyphers (filled , hollow etc), but this has TWO with 4 lines above? and holding something different in the hand...Any ideas would be really appreciated...Thanks in advance Paul
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on June 21, 2019, 07:25:45 AM
There's something stuck in the mind on how some of these were struck on what is now Sri Lanka and most were struck on the Indian peninsula and the two are different in the number of balls or whatever they may be in that area.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Spaniard on June 21, 2019, 09:07:00 AM
Hi Peter...I think your referring to the crescent above the cyphers..
From what I've read the common crescent above the cyphers are mainland India, and without a crescent from the Sri Lankan island.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on June 21, 2019, 05:12:28 PM
Quite right, Paul. Shouldn't post when I have no time to check.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Swaan on August 06, 2019, 08:06:54 PM
Here is another variety coin of Rajaraja chola.
On this , there is an impression of a human foot to the right of the standing figure (usually conch. RG has posted a similar coin on this page and Q.G has posted another before!).  This is called “paadam” type  in Southern parts and is scarce to get.  On the other side there is a surprise. The legend “rajaraja” is written below the arm of the seated figure, but the script has some difference. The first “raja” is just the same but “ra” looks to have an additional vertical stroke. The second “raa” shows an additional vertical stroke very clearly and as though there is a “ra” in incuse, but without horizontal line in incuse. The “ja” is either incomplete due to smaller flan or might have been struck as the “ja” of Brahmi because it resembles the capital “E” of English alphabet. It may be remembered that he invaded north where the influence of Brahmi and Nagari script can be seen even during the Vijayanagar period. This could have been struck during one of his expeditions at some other mint.

Hello,
I think I got the same kind of graphy with the additional strokes at "ra" but whitout the footprint on the other side. However I'm wondering if mine could be the result of a double strike : the "ra" are badly executed and there are some lack of metal from 10 to 12 o'clock. The coin is a bit convex on this side.
4.07g, 16.5mm
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on August 07, 2019, 05:18:37 PM
Hi Swaan, and welcome to WoC !

I do not see clear signs of your coin being a double strike. There is some wear and signs of previous corrosion though. But for a 1000 year old coin it still looks fairly pristine !
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Swaan on August 08, 2019, 01:01:06 AM
Thanks THCoins !

Indeed, no clear signs at first sight, but some elements make me doubt : empty space on hight elements (in red) and some traces of what could be a "ghost strike" (in blue).
For exemple the shape of the knee could to be the result of the encounter of the leg and a previous "ra".

Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on August 08, 2019, 08:52:51 AM
To be sure about a double strike you would need sharp details. Possibly this coin was already struck with an old die. But while i am not convinced about a possible double strike, i can not disprove it either  :)
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on August 08, 2019, 11:18:12 AM
I agree with Anthony fully that it is not an over-strike on this coin. This is the variety where there is an additional vertical stroke to "ra" on both the lines like the one I had posted in  Reply #82. The broken lines are not part of a previous strike but some later damage on the left leg. It looks like a cut on the relief strike. Between the thigh and the leg on the left side, there is another line that probably represents the robe. Another image from reply no.75 shows it very clearly. I am posting the images for comparison. There is an abundance of die varieties of this type coin. Some of them show broken lines on such images like this one shown on top right in reply no.16 (  http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii203/amitvyas03/Cho2.jpg ).
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on August 08, 2019, 12:04:10 PM
Posting a few die variants.
You can see something like a "Katar" on the coin ID no. AI.S-003#004. It actually is the horizontal stroke over the "ja" of the second line! And there is a short, narrow canal running through and through between the "r" and "a" of "ra"!! ;D. One may call it prototype to the Suez canal..  :laughing:
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on August 08, 2019, 12:15:10 PM
Now one Silver Kasu also.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Gusev on August 08, 2019, 12:38:03 PM
Thank,  drnsreedhar
Good examples
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on August 29, 2019, 06:44:35 PM
Thank you Gusev.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Gusev on August 29, 2019, 08:45:01 PM
What is your opinion on the date?
See my reply http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,46508.msg291253.html#msg291253
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on October 03, 2019, 08:41:37 PM
What is your opinion on the date?
See my reply http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,46508.msg291253.html#msg291253
Dear Gusev
I have written my view on the date at the link. Please see that.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on October 03, 2019, 09:00:03 PM
I have a little wonder that I want to share. One of my numismatic friends shared me images of two of his Rajaraja chola coins, one base gold and one silver. It is astonishing that the base gold issue is struck with the same devices seen on the copper and silver coins and they have weights also corresponding to the copper issues. It is observed before that 4.2gms and 3.8gms standards have been kept for the copper coins. That might have some regional significance. But surprisingly silver and gold coins are also seen struck to those same standards.
I have not so far seen coins of any other ruler issued in gold, silver and copper having identical weight, design, devices and legend.

I think this is a unique instance in history and hence this post. Please contribute any such instance regarding any other ruler having such issues known. Thanks.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on October 04, 2019, 08:32:24 AM
That's a fantastic trio. TFP. You are quite right to say that this is a special set. The problem this set poses is that the coins, even though they are in the name of the same ruler, could not have circulated together. It would have been too easy to cover a copper coin with some silver or gold. Some musings:

One option is that they circulated at different places. The empire was large, so this is a possibility. However, what would stop sailors and merchants from taking coins from one area to another?

Another option is that they circulated at different times. Suppose there was a long war during the reign of this ruler. Wars cause inflation, because the ruler spends more than his income on warfare (today, this is called a government budget deficit). When the war is over, there is a big loot to divide, as the population of the newly conquered territories are either robbed blind or get to pay a large amount to the conquerers. There is an attempt to issue better coins. It is likely to have failed through Gresham's law.

A third option is that high inflation made a change from gold to base silver necessary. Copper fakes, meant to be gilded or silvered turned up.

One indication is that, while their image and size remained constant, their weight seems to have been different. If a larger amount of coins shows the same thing, this means that the right thickness was more important than the right weight. Savvy merchants could have picked out the coppers. Other people would have been unable to do so systematically. That looks like an official attempt to deceive the people at least for a while.

The above is all speculation. I suspect that there has already been research on this amazing phenomenon.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on October 08, 2019, 11:43:30 AM
I think Peter must be right in pointing out that they circulated in different times, in the case of the copper coins. Still the prototype came from the same Emperor! Prof.Neelakanta Sastri who has given us one of the most descriptive pictures of the Cholas opines in his book "TheCholas", Vol.II, Part-I, quoting Codrington that copper coins of similar type must have been issued by later Cholas using the same "rajaraja" legend and other devices the same way used by Rajaraja himself and the symbols deteriorated over the years.(P.453-454).  He states a few more relevant things-# 1). Two weight standards, the Gadyana system of ~50-60 grain weight Kalanju and another ~68-80 grains Kalanju were used during the Chola period, the latter being used more than the former. The second one is otherwise stated as 20 manjadi = a Kalanju,(P.443).  #2). Kasu was a 10 manjadi coins in copper.(P.454). #3.)The copper coins of around 3.8-4.2 grams might have been double cash.(P454). #4). Ratio between gold and silver was one unit of .395 pure gold (9.5 mattu) equal to 8.66 units of silver.(P.451).  #5). Kahavanu was the name of the gold and silver coins, but "Kasu" seems to the right term to use. (Oesho has supported this view for copper coins).
Anyhow, "rajaraja" legend has been used on gold, silver and copper coins of the Cholas. Since the same legend persisted, the beginning may be attributed to Rajaraja. The two weight standards are also well established. The degenerated coins must have been issued by the later Cholas of different names. So the mystery of same legend, weight standard and figures seen on coins of three metals still continues!!
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on October 08, 2019, 12:24:46 PM
Who am I to disagree with such eminent numismatists. And yet, Codrington's theory of posthumous or anachronistic issues sounds doubtful. The purpose of an posthumous issue is to honour the deceased. It would be issued shortly after his death and it would be on the same technical standard as the coins of the deceased. That does not match either the change in metal or the deteriorated symbolism. An anachronistic issue wants to deceive the user into thinking that the coin is older than it is in reality. It would try to look like the original and hide the differences. However, we are discussing coins made of metals with strikingly different colours here.

If some of these coins were not struck during the reign of Rajaraja Chola, you could assume that they were issued to show legitimacy. Their message would be something like "the issuer has a direct connection to Rajaraja Chola; he is the true inheritor of power." However, such a message requires the name of the present ruler, else the message is lost.

We are not scientists. We can speculate. I hope our speculation inspires others to do research or speculate some more. Let a thousand opinions bloom.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on October 10, 2019, 08:52:12 AM
Here comes another part of the Chola mystery.
This copper coin is highly worn out but retains just sufficient to make out a sitting Ceylon-man on the obv and to its right, "rajaraja" where "ja" on the first line is a mirror image of what is seen on the previous coins. Rev shows the dynastic symbol of the Chalukyas "Varaha" (boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu) and an umbrella above.

Now its attribution can be amusing! There are two options.
1. There are Chola devices on one side and Chalukya's on the other. So it could be an issue of the Chola-Chalukya ruler, the first ruler being Kulottunga-I. Experts in South Indian numismatics have attributed this to Kulottunga based on this theory. And if so, we have to consider that Codrington was right at least partially when he stated that later Cholas used the devices and inscribed even the name as on Rajaraja coins. Kulottunga was the grandson of Rajendra Chola who could have used his own name on this coin. Since Eastern Chalukyan empire got absorbed into Chola empire with the rule of Kulottunga, there was no need to retain Chalukya emblem which might have persuaded others to revert to the original Chola standing figure reverse.
2. When Rajaraja Narendra was challenged for the throne of Vengi, his grandfather Rajaraja Chola went to his aid to get him placed on the throne. He could have issued coins with Varaha on one side ascertaining his authority on the Chalukyan empire and a thanks-giving obverse used by his grandfather, obviously since they had "Rajaraja" common in their names.

I think this mystery will drag on until some epigraphic evidence is dug out to throw light on the calligraphy used on later Chola coins!
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on October 10, 2019, 09:24:32 AM
Wondering about the mirrored "ja" on this coin. If it is a normal feature of this type, it points to unfamiliarity with the script. If it is not a normal feature, it would be an indication that the coin could be an imitation.

Peter
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on October 10, 2019, 09:30:07 AM
Thank you for the post. Mirrored "ja" coins are found from different parts of Tamilnadu. This particular coin also came from Tamilnadu, but its exact provenance is not known.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 10:20:38 AM
Sharing a few more verieties of Rajaraja Chola coins that I could recently pick up from a lot. There could be more variations than I was able to find on them.
This particular following coins is less in diameter. The standing figure's leg has six lines ( as against usual five).
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 10:25:06 AM
This one has very long left arm of the standing figure.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 10:30:22 AM
Another one with comparatively short body and long legs
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 10:33:04 AM
The standing figure on this coin has only four lines at the bottom.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 10:39:22 AM
Coin with stout figures
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 10:43:28 AM
This coins has the left hand on the obverse touching the jaw of the sitting figure.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 10:48:47 AM
Here is one with five dots to the left of the standing figure. The conch below the dots is clear and has anticlockwise whirl.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 10:54:59 AM
This coin has six vertical lines (two outer-most ones that are bent outward as usual with four inner lines at the bottom). There are two dots placed to indicate the knees on the lines representing legs. Those lines perceived as the limbs have rounded upper ends. Outer lines will signify the royal robes that were peculiarly worn those days.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 11:19:27 AM
Another coin has an angulated standing figure. The coin will give an impression as though over struck or struck in two parts.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 12, 2019, 11:23:11 AM
Following coin has an unexplained mark like the numeral "3" below the right hand of the standing figure
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: THCoins on November 12, 2019, 05:55:19 PM
Nice overview of the different variants of the late versions of this type.
I looked in the bag of unsorted coins i have of the type to see if i could find a variant you might not have covered yet. But could not find any specimen which was clearly different to the ones you showed already.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 15, 2019, 06:14:22 AM
Dear Anthony,
I should say that I am a bit lucky to live in peninsular India. My place is less than a hundred Kms from Kanyakumari, the Southern tip of the peninsula. Recently I had contact with two people who bagged a share of two hoards that surfaced a while ago. That really helped me pick around thirteen variants from among about six hundred coins!
I have three more remaining to get posted. One has a lotus below the dots.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 15, 2019, 06:22:39 AM
Here we have a coin with a small foot. QG has previously remarked that this "foot" variety commemorates Rajaraja's victory over the Chera areas. That is quite possible because the Chera kings were called "Thiruvadikal" meaning "Holy feet" (Thiru= Sree=honourable, Adikal= feet. In Tamil, some vowel sounds join together with an additional  vowel. Thus Thiru+Adikal becomes Thiruvadikal). I am adding the picture of the "Cheran mudi", the Chera-crown.
On this coins also you can see that the left leg is represented by two vertical lines.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: drnsreedhar on November 15, 2019, 07:13:42 AM
Now another interesting one. Here, there are two symbols, foot and a fish below the right hand of the standing figure. Fish was the symbol of Pandyas. So bringing them under his power must have triggered the practice of placing the fish below the king's hand. There is a small foot as well below the dots. Rajaraja held an epithet "Mummudi Chola" meaning Chola with three crowns. One of course was the Chola crown. Others are Pandya and Chera crowns. (Some historians are of opinion that the the epithet means three "conquered crowns", another being that of Mahinda-V of Sri Lanka). If the former argument holds water, this coin tells the tale of "Mummudi" Cholan.

There is another device to the right hand side of the foot. It has three horizontal and one vertical strokes.  The temple flag-mast of Tanjavur has a similar shape. This device could be representing "Tanjavur" or the authority of Shiva whom Rajaraja called "Rajarajeswara", the God of Rajaraja. Rajaraja had another epithet "Sivapada Sekharan" meaning one who wears the foot of Siva as his crown. (Sikhara means crown, sekharan is one who wears a crown. Sivapada is the foot of Siva). Thinking on these lines, the foot may be "Siva pada" and this along with the flag-mast of Tanjavur could mean "Crown-Sivapadam at Tanjavur" commemorating something like consecration of Tanjavur Temple.
Title: Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
Post by: Figleaf on November 15, 2019, 09:27:31 AM
This was always a world class thread as it showed the transfer from gold to silver to base metal of the type. Now, you added another dimension, by showing these varieties. Suddenly a "one type that was made for centuries" story has changed into "we don't know enough of the symbolism yet to interpret what the coins are trying to tell us". This is important. The "octopus king" sounds a bit ridiculous. The man who had a personal god and acquired up to three crowns of venerable dynasties sounds like the empire builder that Rajaraja Chola was in reality. It takes someone in contact with this part of the past to do him justice today.

Next time you meet people with 600 coins, if you can afford it, buy the whole lot. It sounds like buying 587 duplicates, but you are in fact preserving history as well as buying the time to go through them to see if there are even more varieties. The number, weight and metal composition of even the common types contains information on ancient mining, trading and financial patterns that is at least partly lost when the treasure is dispersed. In turn, such information tells people of a glorious common history, the efficiency of trading, the need for a fair system of payments and the life of common people, a small but effective way to promote peace.

Peter