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17thC Cochin India Shardula Lion Headed Hindu Demon Avatar Varaha Boar 21kt Gold

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381869535717 Two 17th Century Indian Coins, 21kt Gold Fanam from Indian Princely State of Cochin. Mounted into contemporary high quality 14kt gold fill French hooks. CLASSIFICATION: Circulated Gold Coins, India, Mid 17th century. Obverse Depicts a Shardula, A Horned, Lion-Headed Hindu Demon. Reverse Depicts Varaha, an Avatar Boar (or Half-Boar, Half-Man) a Manifestation of Lord Vishnu. ATTRIBUTION: Cochin, India, 17th century (prior to 1663). SIZE/DIMENSIONS: Diameter: 5 1/2 x 6 millimeters. Weight: 0.38 grams/0.38 grams. CONDITION: Excellent, lightly circulated. NOTE: 14kt solid gold settings and other setting styles (studs, lever backs, euro clicks, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles, fancy dangles, etc., are available upon request, as are sterling silver settings. NOTE: If you would like only the coins, and not the settings, we can dismount the coins and offer you the coins without the settings. Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the settings. DETAIL: Here are two genuine gold fanams issued by the ancient Indian Princely City-State of Cochin. Cochin and neighboring Mysore, fabled homes to some of India’s greatest dynasties, were known as centers of great wealth, and minted a wide variety of coinage in precious metals. Some of the most collectible were the gold fanams of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, truly works of art. Averaging about 21kt gold (21/24th’s pure gold), these specimens here are in very good condition, only lightly circulated. Please note that the images are photo-enlargements. The size and weight of these specimens are indicated above. The stylized depiction on one side of the coin is that of a boar, ears and tail pointing upwards. The opposite side of the coin depicts a “Shardula”. Shardulas were demons in the Hindu pantheon, an anthropoid often with a horned lion head, typically depicted with wide-open jaws revealing, bared teeth and a long flattened muzzle. However rather than a lion a Shardula could also be in the form (with the head of) a tiger, a boar, an elephant, or even a dragon. There’s a little bit more information about Shardulas here, and there’s a collection of ancient depictions of various Shardula forms here, here, here, here, here, and here. The boar is an Avatar or manifestation of Lord Vishnu known as “Varaha”. In Hindu Mythology Varaha appeared in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story. The battle between Lord Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years. When Lord Varaha finally prevailed he carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. Varaha is depicted in art as either purely animal or as being anthropomorphic, having a boar's head on a man's body. In the latter form he has four arms, two of which hold the wheel and conch-shell while the other two hold a mace, sword or lotus or make a gesture (or "mudra") of blessing. The Earth is held between the boar's tusks. The avatar symbolizes the resurrection of the Earth from a pralaya (deluge) and the establishment of a new kalpa (cosmic cycle). There are a couple of nice depictions of Varaha here,here,here, and here; as well as some additional information here here and here and here. This style of fanam was struck in Cochin, what was one of the ancient Indian Princely States. Today modern Cochin is a city in the Indian state of Kerala, one of the principal seaports of India. However since 1102 A.D. Cochin was the seat of the Kingdom of Cochin, a princely state which traces its lineage to the Kulasekhara empire. Heralded as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin was the centre of Indian spice trade for many centuries from the 14th century onwards, and was known to the ancient Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs, and Chinese. Ancient travelers and tradesmen referred to Cochin in their writings, variously alluding to it as Cocym, Cochym, Cochin, and Cochi. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503 A.D., Cochin was the site of the first European colonial settlement in India. It remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1530 A.D., when Goa became the capital. The city was later occupied by the Dutch, the Mysore and the British. Kochi was the first princely state to willingly join the Indian Union, when India gained independence in 1947. The earring settings are of contemporary origin. They are high quality settings manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. They are constructed of 14kt gold fill. They are not cheap, gold electroplated earrings. They are of genuine 14kt gold fill, designed to last a lifetime. It's a first-class piece of jewelry throughout. We can reset into 14kt solid gold (or sterling silver) upon request, and there are also many other setting styles available upon request including euro clicks, lever backs, fancy stud dangles, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles, etc. HISTORY OF INDIAN COINAGE: 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 full 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 Denarius. 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. Many Indian states issued small gold coins called Fanams from about the 12th century A.D. onward, peaking in production between about 1700 and 1830 A.D. The later examples, exquisite miniature gold works of art of the 18th and 19th centuries, were struck in various Indian states, where traders preferred gold over silver. Their designs originally had depicted goddesses, animals and artifacts, but were simplified over the centuries to semi-abstract forms. Fanams were the smallest gold coins issued by any of the Indian States. The first references to the fanam are found in Ceylon, in reference to 12th century coinage from the present day Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The most prolific issues of the fanam occurred in Ceylon; and in India, in Mysore and neighboring Cochin. Historically the most significant of these are from Mysore, the only princely kingdom to defy and defeat the fabled British Army during India’s pre-colonial history. The most prolific issues from the city-state of Mysore were those of Tipu Sultan and his father, Hyder Ali. Tipu Sultan, known as the “Tiger of Mysore”, was the only Indian state to effectively resist British colonialization - twice defeating the much-vaunted British Army of the late 18th century – the army that conquered 50% of the world. But after losing two disastrous wars, and suffering tens of thousands of casualties to Tipu’s much feared cavalry, in 1799 the British attacked with 43,000 soldiers and in a violation of several existing peace treaties, overwhelmed the fort of Srirangapatna in a surprise attack, where Tipu was shot to death trying to defend his kingdom. HISTORY OF INDIA & THE INDUS VALLEY: 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. 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, one of the principal cities of the region, 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. HISTORY OF GOLD: From the earliest of times, gold was often held in awe as the symbol of divinity and was therefore the material of choice for religious objects. Gold was among the first metals to be mined because it commonly occurs in pure form (not combined with other elements), because it is beautiful and imperishable, and because exquisite objects can be made from it. Since gold is found uncombined in nature, early goldsmiths would collect small nuggets of gold from stream beds etc., and then weld them together by hammering. It was oftentimes discovered alloyed with 10%-20% silver, the mixture known as “electrum”. Gold was "discovered" well before 6,000 B.C., most likely in Mesopotamia, though some of the oldest gold objects made by mankind were discovered by archaeologists in present-day Bulgaria (ancient Thrace) and in the Balkans, such as at the Varna Necropolis. In ancient Egypt all gold was the property of the pharaoh. Artifacts and jewelry of gold over 5,000 years old have been uncovered by archaeologists in Egyptian tombs. Around 3,600 B.C. Egyptian goldsmiths carried out the first smelting of ores using blowpipes made from fire-resistant clay to heat the smelting furnace. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs describe gold as the brilliance of the sun. In the Near East, by 2,500 B.C., Sumerian goldsmiths were using sophisticated metalworking techniques; cold hammering, casting, soldering, cloisonné, and particularly filigree (fine-wire ornamentation) and granulation (the use of minute drops of gold). The tomb of the Sumerian Queen Puabi, from the city of Ur in about the 26th century B.C., was one of the richest tombs ever uncovered by archaeologists. Queen Puabi was buried with five soldiers and thirteen "ladies in waiting" who had apparently poisoned themselves (or been poisoned) to serve their mistress in the next world. The grave goods she was buried with included a magnificent, heavy, gold headdress made of golden leaves, rings, and plates; a superb lyre complete with a gold and lapis-lazuli encrusted bearded bulls head; a profusion of gold tablewear; cylindrical beads of gold, carnelian, and lapis lazuli woven into extravagant necklaces and belts; a chariot adorned with lioness' heads in silver, and an abundance of silver, lapis lazuli, and gold rings and bracelets. Another of the most famous tombs uncovered by archaeologists was that of 14th century B.C. Tutankhamun. The pharaohs of Egypt insisted on being buried in gold, which they believed was the "flesh of the gods." The boy-king Tutankhamun was enshrined in three gold coffins. The third and final coffin was made of 243 pounds (110 kilograms) of solid gold. As well, gold artifacts and jewelry abounded, including the solid gold mask which weighed 10 kilos (24 pounds). It’s worth noting that Tutankhamun was a minor, almost unknown and forgotten pharaoh. One can only imagine the wealth of gold some of ancient Egypt’s more significant pharaohs (such as Ramses the Great) must have been buried with. The art of fashioning gold jewelry reached the Mediterranean island of Crete (the ancient Minoans) about 2400 B.C. Diadems, hair ornaments, beads, bracelets, and complex chains have been found in Minoan tombs. Near Eastern techniques of filigree and granulation were introduced to Crete about 2000 B.C., and evidence also indicates that Egyptian styles influenced Minoan jewelry. Minoan culture and its jewelry styles spread to the mainland of Greece, then dominated by the city-state of Mycenea, about 1550 B.C. The graves of nobles at the ancient Citadel of Mycenae discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 likewise yielded a great variety of gold figurines, masks, cups, diadems, and jewelry, plus hundreds of decorated beads and buttons. These elegant works of art were created by skilled craftsmen more than 3,500 years ago. Metalworking techniques reached northern Europe by about 2000 B.C., and the earliest jewelry found there dates from between 1800 and 1400 B.C. These artifacts include lunulae (spectacular, crescent-shaped neck ornaments of beaten gold), most of which were found in graves in Ireland, where gold was once plentiful. There is evidence that the Celtic and early British people were trading with the Eastern Mediterranean races by this time, exchanging gold for faience beads. By 1200 B.C. jewelry making was flourishing in Central and Western Europe, where bronze as well as gold was frequently used to make jewelry, and the spiral was the most common motif of decoration. The fibula-brooch seems to have been invented at about this time. Twisted gold torcs, modeled on Scandinavian bronze prototypes, were made in the British Isles and northern France from the fifth to the first century B.C. These massive circlets for the necks and arms were the characteristic ornaments of the chiefs of the Celtic race, and were symbols of wealth, power and courage across Celtic Europe. Celtic craftsmen also used enamel and inlay to decorate jewelry. By the seventh century B.C. the Etruscans of Central Italy were also making fine gold jewelry. These people may have migrated from Anatolia (present-day Turkey), from where their metalworking skills seem to have been derived. The Etruscans brought to perfection the difficult technique of granulation, whereby the surface of the metal is covered with tiny gold grains. Gold was plentiful in Greece during the Hellenistic Age (323-30 B.C.), and Greek jewelry of this period is characterized by its great variety of forms and fine workmanship. Naturalistic wreaths and diadems were made for the head, and a variety of miniature human, animal, and plant forms were made up into necklaces and earrings. The so-called Heracles-knot, of amuletic origin, was introduced, and remained a popular motif into Roman times. The ancient Mediterranean civilizations appear to have obtained most their supplies of gold from various deposits in the Middle East, as well as gold which came through the Middle East from Southern Africa, and perhaps a minor amount from the Ural Mountains of present-day Russia. Mines in the region of the Upper Nile (south of Egypt) near the Red Sea and in the Nubian Desert area supplied much of the gold used by the Egyptian Pharaohs (the area was known to the ancient Egyptians as “Punt”, and to the ancient Christians as “Sheba” or “Saba”). When these mines could no longer meet Egypt’s demand for gold, deposits elsewhere were exploited, likely including deposits thousands of miles away in Southern Africa. Archaeological evidence indicates that most of the gold in Ancient Egypt and even in the ancient Mediterranean from perhaps 1700 B.C. onwards came from the Himyarites in present-day Yemen (across the Red Sea from Nubia), who in addition to exploiting their own deposits, may in turn have obtained much of the gold they exported to the ancient Egyptians from present day Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. In fact the Himyarites likely controlled most of the east coast of Africa, including Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, and is most likely the area referred to as Monomotapa in ancient texts (known also as the Biblical city of Ophir, from which the Bible records that King Solomon received shipments of gold, silver, ivory, gemstones, and peacocks). Artisans in Mesopotamia and Palestine probably obtained their supplies either directly from the Himyarites or indirectly through (middleman) Egypt. As well, recent studies of the ancient mines in the present Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (directly to the north of Yemen) reveal that gold, silver, and copper were recovered from the Red Sea region, across the Red Sea from the Nubian deposits, during the reign of King Solomon (961-922 B.C.). Around 1500 B.C. artisans of the ancient world developed the “lost wax” method of producing jewelry, allowing for the “mass production” of gold jewelry. At the same time, gold had already become the recognized medium of exchange for international trade. The sixth century B.C. saw the first use of gold in dentistry by the ancient Egyptians, and the introduction of the first gold coinage in Asia Minor by King Croesus of Lydia. By this time, much of the gold in the Classical Mediterranean cultures came from Spain, where extensive deposits of gold and silver were mined and then acquired by the ancient Phoenicians in trade, and then brought from the Western Mediterranean and traded through the ancient Mediterranean world. Eventually the Phoenician colony of Carthage became the leading power of the Eastern Mediterranean, and gained control over these valuable Spanish deposits. In turn the Carthaginians engaged the Romans in three wars before Spain was lost to the Romans. Spanish gold and silver to a great extent allowed the Romans to expand their empire. The “other” great power of the Classical Mediterranean were the Hellenic Greeks, who by 325 B.C. were mining gold from Gibraltar to Asia Minor. When the gold in Spain began to play out, the Romans turned their attention toward the gold mines in Dacia (modern Romania). The Dacians had historically traded this gold to the Greeks for pottery and to the Scythians for amber. About 100 A.D. the Roman Emperor Trajan conquered Dacia, mainly in order to gain control of these gold mines. The Romans also exploited smaller gold deposits found in the British Isles. The Romans used very sophisticated extraction and mining techniques as detailed by the first-century historian and naturalist Pliny the Elder. The Romans were also the first to mass-produce coinage on a monumental scale, the first truly monetized society. Between the second and fourth centuries A.D., the Romans produced millions of gold aureus coins, and billions of silver and bronze coins. At the height of the Roman Empire, there were over 400 mints producing coinage in locations scattered through their dominion. Gold was fashioned into Greek style jewelry during the early Roman Empire, when the chief centers of production were Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome, to which Greek craftsmen had migrated. There was an increasing emphasis in producing gold jewelry on incorporating decorative stones; at first garnets, chalcedonies, and carnelians, but later uncut but polished hard gemstones such as diamonds, sapphires, and, notably, emeralds from “Cleopatra’s Mines” in Egypt. Colorful gemstone jewelry was common during the Early Middle Ages in the centuries immediately following the collapse of the Roman Empire. Mediterranean goldsmiths continued to produce jewelry of great refinement, but the jewelry of the European Celtic tribes dominated this period. They produced abstract styles of great splendor which were worked in enamels and inlaid stones. The fibula-brooch reached extremes of size and elaboration. During the High Middle Ages the technique of cloisonné enameling on gold was widespread, the finest pieces emanating from the workshops at Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. After the creation of Charlemagne's empire in 800 A.D. and the Holy Roman Empire in 962 A.D., a fusion of northern and Mediterranean cultures occurred. The principal patrons of the arts became the emperor and the church, and jewelers worked in courts and monasteries. Jewelry design was based on the setting in gold of precious stones and pearls in colorful patterns. Gold was used widely for crosses, altars, doors, chalices, and reliquaries. This association with divinity naturally developed into an association with royalty. Even in modern times the accoutrements of royalty are predominantly gold. However there was a critical shortage of gold which developed in the High Middle Ages. During the years 1370-1420 A.D. as various major mines around Europe become completely exhausted. Mining and production of gold declined sharply throughout the region in a period known as 'The Great Bullion Famine'. However by about 1433 A.D. this spurred the Portuguese to start sailing to Ghana in Western Africa and thus enabling them to trade for gold without having to cross the Sahara Desert into Muslim northern Africa. By 1471 A.D., the Portuguese were even calling West Africa the "Gold Coast", and a reliable source of gold was again available to Western Europe. In the “New World”, archaeologists believe that the gold in the Aztec and Inca treasuries of Mexico and Peru came from Colombia, although some undoubtedly was obtained from other sources. The Aztecs regarded gold as literally the product of the gods, calling it "god excrement". The Conquistadores plundered the treasuries of these civilizations during their explorations of the New World, and many gold and silver objects were melted and re-cast into coins and bars, destroying the priceless artifacts of these MesoAmerican cultures. Gold is widely dispersed through the earth's crust (and even in seawater) and is found in two types of deposits; lode deposits, which are found in solid rock and are mined using conventional mining techniques, and placer deposits which are gravelly deposits found in stream beds and are the products of eroding lode deposits. The largest gold nugget ever found was in 19th century Australia weighing over 70 kilograms (150 pounds). Gold is quite unique in its malleability. No other metal compares with it. A single ounce can be stretched into a wire 60 kilometers long (40 miles), or pounded into a sheet of 300 square feet (the size of two typical suburban bedrooms). Because of its chemical inertness, gold retains its brilliant color even after centuries of exposure to corrosive elements. The most workable of all metals, gold has been forged, chased, embossed, engraved, inlayed, cast, and in the form of gold leaf, used to gild metals, woods, leather, and parchment. Gold wire has found wide uses in brocades and ornamentation of other materials. Throughout at least five millennia of recorded history it has been used to fashion sculpture, vessels, jewelry, ornamentation, and coinage. Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. In the ancient world, gold was regarded to symbolize power, strength, wealth, warmth, happiness, love, hope, optimism, intelligence, perfection, summer, harvest and the sun. Gold was also believed to possess curative and “magical” properties. During justice, balance, the Middle Ages it was believed that something as rare and beautiful as gold could not be anything but healthy, so gold was regarded as beneficial for health and was not only worn but also ingested. In fact, some gold salts do have anti-inflammatory properties, and in modern times, injectable gold has been proven to help to reduce the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis. The isotope gold-198 is also used in some cancer treatments and for treating other diseases. Gold flake was used by the nobility in Medieval Europe as a decoration in food and drinks, in the form of leaf, flakes or dust, either to demonstrate the host's wealth or in the belief that something that valuable and rare must be beneficial for one's health. Even today gold leaf, flake or dust is used on and in some gourmet foods, notably sweets (particularly in India and the Middle East) and drinks as decorative ingredient. Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $15.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $19.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the “business” of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly – even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Jewelry: Ancient Coin Earrings, Main Stone: Gold Indian Coins

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