This is an attempt to bring up to date information of the monumental book of the greatest numismatist of Sri Lankan coins Mr HW Codrington published in 1924. The opinions expressed by other numismatists who followed Codrington’s footsteps, the likes of DPE Hettiarachchi,Dr S Paranvitane, Raja Wickremasinghe, Fred Medis, KNV Seyone, Bopearacchi, Walberg, Chandrika Jayasinghe, OMR Sirisena and others . Any new material made available to me,will be added into this Blog. The readers are at liberty to inform me[ email@example.com ] of any errors and omissions to up-date and complete the rich history of coinage of Sri Lanka.
TABLE OF CONTENTS[As published in ‘Coins and Currency of Ceylon’ of 1924]
CHAPTER l –METROLOGY.Part I -III Indian weights and measures, Pt IV- Weights and Measures in the Island.
CHAPTER II. a. ANCIENT NUMISMATICS Para 1 -7.Main sources of information on numismatics in the Mahavamsa and Dipavansa,Inscriptions( an abbreviation for Kahapanas), information from Athakatha etc.Para8-12- Name for value of coins-Kahapanas, hirranas, masakas ,adakahapana,kakanika ,…..in text and inscriptions.
b.Kahapanas.Plate . 1 CCC, the coin photo No 1 in the plates of Codrington- This coin has been identified from the tables of PL Gupta & Hardekar book ‘Imperial Punched Coins of the Ancient Maghadan Empire’ as an issues of one of the Decedents of Adjasatura[435-425 BC]. May have been a contempory of Kings Vijaya and Upatissa?. Many hoards of these coins now called Punch Marked Coins[ PMC’s] has been found and these coins used in Sri Lanka. Moulds of these coins has been found, hence some of the pieces were perhaps minted here……………….
CHAPTER III ANCIENT COINS.EARLY ANURADHAPURA PERIOD
Since 1924 few coin type have been discovered and published by Wing Comd Raja Wickremasinghe and Ms Chandrika Jayasinghe, Mr KNV Seyone etc . These are added HW Codrington list in “Coins & Currency of Ceylon”. The coins were scientifically C14 dated in the layer of earth they were found at Anuradfhapura and at Tissamaharama during excavations. These are added to the Coins & Currency of Ceylon in a chronological sequence now accepted until fresh evidence.
Para 2-5. Edlings, Para6/7 . Single die coins,
Para 5a. PMC’s of Series II[ 435-425 BC] and III[ ]found in the Island;Fair numbers of coins has been published, many more lie with collectors or at Museums, these need be added to this list. These coins may have been issued prior to the capital moving from Upatissagama to Anuradhapura. We cannot assume that these coins were actually in use here, but as per the chronicle there was much Trade, movement or colonisation from the areas in India that these coins may have been in circulation.
Para 5 b. PMC’s of Series IV found in the island.
Para 5c. The Silver Kahapanas of the Series Va and VI a recorded in the Island as local finds.
Para 5.d; Series Vb , VI b and VII; The Silver Kahapanas of King Asoka/ Sunga period found in the Island.
Para8. – Symbols appearing on coins with Railed Swastika Series of Coins,
Para9- Buddhist Chakram Types,A Pandyan coin found in Sri Lanka, probably introduced by the 5 Pandyans who invaded Sri Lanka during the reign of Vattagamini-Abaya.
Para10- Elephant and Swastika,
Para12/13 – Elephant and Swastika-Small
Para11- Elephant and Swastika-Variant,
Para19 – Deductions, Para 20 – Standards on which ancient coins were struck.
Appendix to chapter III- MAYA DEVI][ LAKSHMI ?] & MALE FIGURE
Since 1924 where HW Codrinton published the standing female figure and few other types , New type were found in strata C 14 dated from 2 Cent BC to 6 Cent AD during excavations. They may be until further evidence is available , chronologically classified into
a. Male Figure with Staves or Weapons.
b.Figures with Halo around head or Kavadi Type.
c.Female figure Cast and Struck.
e.Standing figure on square Coin-with Multi-symbols.
f. Standing Figure on Boat[ Vihare-maha Devi Coins.
CHAPTER IV – ROMAN(INCLUDING BYZANTINE), INDO-ROMAN AND MISCELLANEOUS.
CHAPTER V – COINS OF MEDIAEVAL CEYLON -PT I. .LATE ANURADHAPURA PERIOD
Para 1- History of coins., Para 2-Sinhalese Sovereigns, Para 3-Reference of numismatics in texts and inscriptions, Para 4-6 –Weights and Standards,
Kalandas of Gold-[PARA 7 TO 11]Para 7- Coins without Name or Ruler, Para 8 – Kahavanu Type I,
Para 9 – Kahavanu Type II.,
Para 10 – Kahavanu Type III,
Para 13.- Deka or Pala– Type I Vase., Para 14 – Deka or Pala -Type III Ball & Annulet.,
Para 16-Aka(1)(?) Nadika. Para 17 –Aka-Type I & II, Para 18- Aka – Uraka Type III, Para 19- (?) – Massa.
CHAPTER VI –MEDIAEVAL CEYLON (CONTINUED)
Para 1/2 – Vijeyabahu I, para 3-Sinhalese in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, Description of obverse and reverse Human figure,
para 4- Assigning coins to kings, metallurgy,Fabric of coin etc, dimensions of coins of different Kings, attributing coins to different kings with same name.
Para 5- Gold, silver pieces, Para 6-Irregularity in weight and sizes of coins,
Para 7- Gold gilt or silvered coins,
Series I Coins;- para 8- Parakramabhu I,
Para 9- Nissankamalle Coins,
para 10-Codaganga Coins,
Para 12- Sahasamalle.[AD1200-1202].
para 13-Dhrammasoka Coins.
SERIES II CEYLON TYPE
Para 14 Parakramabahu II,
Para 15- Vijeyabahu IV,
Para 16-Bhuvaniaka Bahu I ,
para 17 – Ceylon type design derived from Gtupta/Kushan Coins or from ancient local coins??The gold value on coins. Kahavanus are anterior to time of Parakramabahu.;
Para 18-Setu coins of Jaffna.
pARA 19; Parakramabahu VI of Kotte.
Reading the Script on Coins.
CHAPTER VII – MEDIEVAL INDIAN
CHAPTER VIII –PORTUGUESE
XIII – MISCELLANEOUS, MEDIAEVAL; AND MODERN (FAR EAST,VENETIAN,SPANISH,NETHERLAND ,OTHER EUROPEAN,PAGODAS AND FAMANS)