World Coins

India's Kushan Empire gold dinar not well-known Market Analysis

A wide variety of designs make coins of India’s Kushan Empire a fascinating collecting area. This gold dinar brought $3,525 on April 9.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auction

Collectors of U.S. coins will sometimes turn to ancient and world coins when they feel that they’ve exhausted their collecting options. The introduction of U.S. collectors to this field is often by chance. Perhaps they have seen a coin in a dealer’s case that interests them, or maybe they stumble across a lot in an auction catalog. That there is third party grading for these coins gives U.S. coin buyers confidence. Here are three fascinating old gold coins from ancient cultures that might appeal to U.S. collectors, from Heritage’s recent Chicago International Coin Fair auction.

The Coin

India’s Kushan Empire gold dinar, Choice Extremely Fine

The Price


The Story 

In contrast to Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coins, the various coins of India’s Kushan Empire are not in the mainstream with U.S. collectors. That is a shame, because this represents a fascinating collecting area with expressive and interesting designs, and many different gold types available at less than $1,000.

This gold dinar was issued by Vima Kadphises circa A.D. 100 to 127 or 128. It features a virile bust of the issuer, arising from the clouds. The reverse depicts the Hindu god Siva (more specifically an Ithyphallic Siva) standing, facing the viewer with his head turned left, holding a trident and a he-goat skin. Heritage notes that it is well centered and sharply struck, grading it Extremely Fine. It sold for $3,525, below its estimate of $4,500 to $6,000.

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