DETAIL: This is a genuine and historically very significant "billion" coin composed of silver and copper was struck between 1041 and 1050 A.D. It is from a very significant region of the ancient world which was controlled in turn by the ancient Kush; the Achaemeaian Persians; Macedonian, Seleucid and Bactrian Greeks; Scythians; Parthians; Sassanians; Indians, Muslim; and finally Mughal and British Empire. It was struck in Lahore (present day Pakistan), a provincial capital of the Sultanate of Ghaznavid, a powerful force in Medieval Afghanistan/Pakistan/Northwest India. The silver content is about 20%, and the coin is known as a "Jital". In hand they look very much like silver - the images appear more coppery as digital imaging equipment (scanners and cameras) tend to exaggerate red. Jitals of both Hindu and Muslim rulers were struck for over 500 years, and all derived from one inspiration, the silver and bull horseman pieces struck by the Shahi Dynasty around 750 A.D.
Jitals were characteristically struck in this "billion" mixture of silver and copper, and share many similar features pertaining to shape, size, and designs. This particular issue was struck in the name of Sultan Mawdud of the Ghaznavid Dynasty. The greatest of the Ghaznavids, Mahmud of Ghazni (998-1030 A.D.) was the first Turk to invade the region, attaching Punjab to his Central Asian empire, including Lahore to the Multan in the east; and Gujarat in the south. Mahmud was succeeded by Mas'ud in 1031 A.D., and then by Mawdud in 1041 A.D. The obverse of this particular issue features a somewhat stylized depiction of a bull and the inscription "sri samanta deva". The reverse of the coin bears four lines of inscriptions: "adil"; "shihab-ad-daulah"; wa qutb al-millat"; "abu'l fath/mawdud".
Your purchase includes, upon request, mounting of this coin in either pendant style "a" or "d" as shown here. Pendant style "a" is a clear, airtight acrylic capsule designed to afford your ancient coin maximum protection from both impact damage and degradation. It is the most "politically correct" mounting. Style "d" is a sterling silver pendant. Either pendant styles include a sterling silver chain (16", 18", or 20"). Upon request, there are also an almost infinite variety of other pendants which might well suit both you and your ancient coin pendant, and include both sterling silver and solid 14kt gold mountings, including those shown here. As well, upon request, we can also make available a huge variety of chains in lengths from 16 to 30 inches, in metals including sterling silver, 14kt gold fill, and solid 14kt gold. For a more authentic touch, we also have available handcrafted Greek black leather cords.
HISTORY: The cities of Northern India's Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, date back at least 5,000, probably 10,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitants created classical Indian culture. Although the world's first coins were Greek coins made in Lydia about 640 BC, is seems clear that India and China both invented coins independently within a few centuries of the Lydians, although India officially insists that its first coinage (punch marked issues) were struck in the 8th century B.C. The earliest Indian coins were silver, and it was not until about 100 A.D. that the Kushans, influenced by the Romans, introduced the first Indian gold coin, which was a gold dinar bearing the image of Shiva.
Previously India's "unit of exchange" had been a fully grown cow. Coinage presumably developed to make change, something of fractional value which was easier to carry in a pocket. The Suvarna, a gold coin similar to the Persian Daric and Greek Stater substituted the cow in value. Dinara was an Indian gold coin adopted from Roman Dinarius. Silver and bronze metals served for lower value coinage. From the earliest times, the iconography of Northern India's coinage was influenced by other classical cultures including Roman, Greek/Hellenic, and even Alexandrian (Ptolemaic). From the very beginning classical Greek coinage circulated alongside India's earliest punched coinage. India's coinage gained many classical characteristics as a result of the influence of Northern India's Bactrian Greek and early Hellenistic Indo-Greek cultures. Also contributing to the iconography of Indian coin were the Indo-Persian Scythians, Parthians, and Sassianians.
The whole of the Punjab Region of present day India and Pakistan was part of the Indus Valley Civilization. Harappa and Mohenjodaro are sites where extensive remains of the Indus Valley Civilization have been found. The origins of this culture have been traced backwards to at least 7,000 B.C. to what is known to archaeology as the Mehar Garh civilization. Well developed in the ancient arts, they started wheel thrown pottery some 1500 years before the Persians learned this art. In the millennia to come this region became part of ancient Kingdom of Kush and the Achaemeaian Persian Empire, conquered by Alexander the Great and subsequently part of the Seleucid and Bactrian Greek Empire; conquered by the Scythians who in turn were overcome by the Parthians who struggled against the Roman Empire for centuries. Parthia was eventually conquered in the third century by the Sassanians. India gained control of the area through the 7th century, after which the region became part of the Muslim Empire under the great caliphates; then part of the Mogul Empire, and finally part of the British Commonwealth.
The early history of this entire region is quite fuzzy, though it is mentioned in some of the 6th century B.C. inscriptions of Darius the Great at Beghistun as part of the Great Achaemenian Empire of Persia. The picture become sharper with the invasion of Alexander the Great, where a written history of the region is commenced by Arrian, who wrote in Greek an account of Alexander's Asiatic expeditions. Alexander had hardly left India when the region came under the sway of the Buddhist King Chandra Gupta who reigned 321-297 B. C. In 323 B. C. Alexander the Great died at Babylon.
One of Alexander's generals, Seleucus Nicator, with Egyptian support established the the Seleucid Dynasty which included a region including all or parts of Iran, Afghanistan, North Pakistan and Northwest India. About 20 years later Seleucus attempted to recover much of the formerly Greek territory held by Chandra Gupta, but ended up settling for a treaty in exchange for 500 elephants. Chandra Gupta was succeeded first by his son Bindusara and then by his famous grandson Asoka (269-227 B. C.) Asoka's fame rests chiefly on his position as the great patron of Buddhism. As such he has often been compared to Constantine the Great, the royal patron of Roman Christianity.
The Greeks eventually gained influence over the area when under the Bactrian Greek King Demetrius II (180 - 165 B.C.) they overthrew allegiance to the Seleucids of Syria, crossed the Hindu Kush range and established their rule in what is now Central Asia, Afghanistan and Punjab. The most important Indo-Greek kings was Menander (Milinda) (155 BC - 130 BC) who is famous for converting to Buddhism. The Indo-Greeks were replaced by a group of Central Asian tribes known as the Scythians in the first century B.C. The Scythians then fell to the Parthians who had lived east of the Caspian Sea, whose empire stretched from the Euphrates to the Indus. During the first two centuries A.D. Kushans from Central Asia (Zoroastrians) established an empire which stretched to the River Ganges, ruling former Greek territory that covered Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western India. The Zoroastrian Sassanian Empire from Iran emerged to crush the Kushan and Parthian Empires, the Sassanians in turn displaced by Muslims from Arabia in 633 A.D.
For the next hundred years Islam spread throughout Afghanistan, Punjab, Sindh, Central Asia, North Africa, and finally even into Spain. Mahmud of Ghazni (998-1030 A.D.) was the first Turk to invade the region, attaching Punjab to his Central Asian empire, including Lahore to the Multan in the east; and Gujarat in the south. One of the greatest Islamic Kingdoms, the Abbbasid Caliphate with its capital in Baghdad, was recognized by the Ghaznavids who ruled (at the time this coin was struck) not only Lahore but also Kabul, Ghazni, Kandahar, Multan, and Kashmir; and whom also played the main part in the expansion of Islam into South Asia. The Ghaznavids were succeeded by Afghans from Ghor - the Ghurids Dynasty 1148-1206 A.D. The last Ghurid ruler of Afghanistan brought the whole of northern India under Islamic rule. However, the empire disintegrated when he was assassinated in 1206 A.D.
The next great power of the region was a Muslim Turko-Mongol warrior namerd Timur (the Earth Shaker), who created a single unified empire that included much of Central Asia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and much of Pakistan including Lahore, and added Delhi to his empire in 1398 A.D. Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur - the Tiger (a descendent of Timur), invaded Afghanistan and seized power from the existing Muslim rulers, forming the foundation and first capital of the Mughal Empire, taking Lahore in 1524 A.D. In 1526 at the Battle of Panipat, Babur defeated the last Lodhi called Ibrahim who had ruled Delhi, Bihar and Punjab. Babur used guns, matchlocks and mortars which have not been seen in South Asia before. With this victory, he gained control of Delhi and Agra, and eventually advanced deep into South Asia. The objective of the Mughal Empire was to colonize the whole peninsula of South Asia, even if it meant compromising with the religion of Islam by making alliances with non-Muslims, so as to bring the vast continent of different nations under a single unified administration. The task was completed by the British Raj, who virtually inherited the Mughal administration.
The city of Lahore itself was of Rajput Hindu origin, and had a turbulent history. It was the capital of the Ghaznavid dynasty from 1021 to 1186 A.D. A Mongol army sacked Lahore in 1241 A.D. Muslim rule began in Lahore in 1206 A.D. here when Qutub-ud-din Aibak was crowned and became the first Muslim Sultan of the Indian subcontinent. During the 14th century the Mongols repeatedly attacked the city until 1398 A.D., when it fell under the control of the Turkic conqueror Timur. As mentioned above, in 1524 A.D. it was captured by the Mughal Babur. This marked the beginning of Lahore's golden age under the Mughal dynasty, when the city was often the place of royal residence. For over two hundred years Lahore basked in the glory of the Mughal Empire, during which the massive Lahore Fort was constructed and the city was enclosed within a red brick wall boasting 12 gates.
However by the 17th century Lahore declined in importance, and during the first half of the 18th century was subjected to a power struggle between Mughal rulers and Sikh insurrectionists. With the invasion of Nadir Shah in the mid-18th century, Lahore became an outpost of the Iranian empire. However, it soon was associated with the rise of the Sikhs, becoming once more the seat of a powerful government during the rule of Ranjit Singh (1799-1839). After Singh's death, the city rapidly declined, and it passed under British rule in 1849. When the Indian subcontinent received independence in 1947, Lahore became the capital of West Punjab province; in 1955 it was made the capital of the newly created West Pakistan province, which was reconstituted as Punjab province in 1970. Since Independence in 1947, Lahore has expanded rapidly as the capital of Pakistani Punjab. It is the second-largest city in the country and an important industrial center. The beautiful city Rudyard Kipling called home is considered the cultural center of Pakistan.
SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.
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