Treasures of the Guta Empire: A Catalogue of Coins of the Gupta Dynasty
While coins have existed for over two thousand years in India, none have matched the sheer beauty and complexity of design as the coins issued by the kings of Gupta Dynasty from the 4th through 6th century AD. Starting from the first of the Gupta kings, Chandragupta I in 319 AD, to the last the King Vishnugupta in 543 AD, their coins are a historical record detailing the evolution of the Gupta style and its impact on religious art from this golden age of India. The clues hidden in the coin designs, legends, dates and metrology all speak volumes and have here been deciphered to help reconstruct the history of the dynasty. In this book an attempt has been made to catalogue the entire coinage in gold, silver, lead and copper, listing all known coin types and varieties. The book also includes a detailed analysis of the designs, dates and metrology and an extensive discussion of the history of the Gupta Empire. The last complete catalogue of the Gupta Dynasty coinage was published by Dr. A.S. Altekar in 1957, and since then no one has been successful in fully cataloging the entire series. This work, published here on the 60th anniversary of Dr. Altekar’s seminal work, is a continuation of that effort to fully document the coinage and to understand it's impact on the history of India. It includes the rarest of the coins, published here for the first time, from major Museum collections in India, and around the world as well as private collections, most of which are inaccessible to researchers. The book is designed as a guide for collectors, scholars and history buffs alike. It will help researchers fully understand the complex history and inscriptions, as well as the vast and beautiful coinage of the Gupta Dynasty and will serve as a comprehensive reference on the Gupta Dynasty numismatics.