KIDARITE, Vigrahadeva, 5th c. AD, base gold, stater


KIDARITE, Vigrahadeva, 5th c. AD, stater, Obverse: king standing, Reverse: Ardoksho seated facing, base gold, 20-22mm, 7.67g, MA3650, XF

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A line of Kidarite kings in Jammu and Kashmir issued gold coins of decreasing fineness in the 5th century AD.

The origin of the Kidarites is at this time obscure. The most popular theory is that they were an amalgam of Scythians and Hephthalites. The Kushan kingdom seems to have evolved into the Kidarite kingdom as new ethnic groups became dominant. Mitchiner tells a story of a guy, Kidara, who was a Kushan usurper. Wikipedia claims that the Kidarites were nomads of uncertain ethnicity.

The earliest ancient Indian coins were the “bent bar” punchmarked silvers of the Achaemenid Persians occupying Gandhara in northwest Pakistan. By the 3rd century BC coins were in general use in most of India and Ceylon.