Chola Dynasty – Raja Raja Chola – 985-1014ad



Item_No: 114
Locale: Chola Dynasty – Raja Raja Chola
Reign: 985-1014
Currency: Massa
Composition: Copper
Shape: Round
Size_Min: 18.8mm
Weight: 4.1g

Obverse_Desc: King wearing Dhoti sitting on a throne, Crescent, ceremonial lamp. Conch shell next to the head of the king
Reverse_desc: king sitting on the floor with a script reading Raja Raja
Other_Notes: The chola dynasty ruled from the 10th to the 13th centuries. Copper coins were denominated Massa and gold and silver were known as Kahavanu.

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.

References: Mitchiner #732, #733
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.

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