Token: India Ram Darbar Temple Ramatanka (Fakes are possible)
We received an inquiry via e-mail about this unusual coin. Shailender sent us the photograph at the left, but no other information except that it is an ancient coin from India.
Identification - These are not coins used for commerce, but tokens (tankas) related to Hindu temples, i.e., these are 'Temple Tokens,' with various Western spellings such as Ram Tanka, or Ramatanka, or Ram Tonka. They are made for religious pilgrims to carry for good luck, and to catch blessings from the gods. They come with designs of Hindu deities and with various religious ceremonies being carried out in honor of them.
Religious significance - On this token are Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and the monkey god Hanuman around a platform (dubar). The design comes from the great Hindu epic 'Rama's Journey' (the Ramayana). The two figures on the other side of the token are Rama with his half-brother and inseparable companion, Lakshman.
In North India the legends on the token are commonly in Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, and commonly reads 'Rama Lachhamana Janaki' or 'Rama Lakshaman janaki' and 'Jai bala Hanamanaka' or 'Jai bolo Hanuman ki.' The legends may also be found in Punjabi, written in the Gurumukhi script; in Bengali, written in the Bangla script; in Kannada, written in the Kannada script, or in Sanskrit, written in the Devanagari script.
Approximate value - You can find modern reproductions of these coins at many places on the Internet (do a search on 'ram darbar' or 'ram tanka') and at a few coin dealers. For example, JoelsCoins.com sells modern reproductions for a few US dollars. In contrast, genuine ancient tankas can be worth hundreds of dollars. The modern tankas show false dates, so it is difficult to know precisely when a particular piece was minted. Modern tokens were manufactured during the 20th century and intentionally made to look old. Authenticating a particular specimen is an important, but difficult, topic when assigning value. More information about authentication and counterfeits is provided below.
The table below gives our approximation of value in US dollars for the various forms of this interesting piece. The values in our table are very approximate and represent retail prices a coin collector might pay for a problem-free coin without scratches, stains, cleanings, or other damage. Not shown in the table is any sentimental or religious value, which can be substantial. These are prices a buyer would expect to pay. If you have a tanka to sell to a dealer, he or she would pay wholesale price, which is significantly lower, usually about one-half of retail
CoinQuest thanks Sita Rama Swamy for use of their coin image (with the blue background). It is a nice coin with plenty of detail and eye appeal. Such coins are strongly desired by coin collectors. The coin with the red background is a gold Ram Tanka which has been harshly cleaned and polished. The harsh treatment makes the coin worthless to coin collectors, who do not buy cleaned coins. This coin is worth only its gold content.
The image with a green background is a genuine, old ramtanka minted in bronze and washed in silver. Its date is 1740. The image comes from an intriguing page on WorldofCoins.eu by mitresh which gives details of the symbolism of the central characters of Ramayana. CoinQuest thanks mitresh for use of his image. It is a nice example.
At SitaRamaSwamy.com you can see an image of a genuine Ram Tanka minted in brass or gold. Comparing the coin from requester Shailender (in our main image at the upper left) with the coin from Sita Rama Swamy, you can see several differences. This leads to the important topic of authenticating these tokens.
Authentication and counterfeits - If you are buying or selling one of these coins, it is up to you to determine if it is and old, genuine Temple Token or a modern reproduction. The values are very different.
Mr. Sumit Bhola is a professional numismatist in India. Sumit has volunteered to help people authenticate and evaluate their Indian coins. You can contact him on facebook and via e-mail.
Checking below, you can see a side-by-side comparison of an ancient and a modern ramatanka. Although there are obvious differences in design these differences are not completely trustworthy when choosing between ancient and modern. More important than the design is the overall quality of the piece. Modern tanks are usually mass-produced with little attention to detail, while truly valuable pieces show excellent definition and crisp, clear details.
Coin: 521 , Genre: Tokens
Requested by: Shailender, Fri, 22-May-2009 03:35:43 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Mon, 24-Mar-2014 18:48:03 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Sat, 30-Jul-2016 14:09:35 GMT
Requester description: see supplied picture
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I have some ramtankas with me and would like to know the approximate value of them. How can I send the images for your valuation? Or, is the chart mentioned on your page more or less the price. - Mohit
Hi Mohit -- Ramtankas are very interesting pieces. We can only do free appraisals on the web site using our text-based forms. The chart gives very approximate price guidance. Appraisals on the web site are free because advertising revenue pays for our research time. To appraise coins outside the web site, we charge fees. You can use the Contact link (at top of home page) and send us images, but we cannot fully guarantee accuracy, even after you pay a fee. Appraising coins over the Internet is difficult because there are many variables. You will do better if you take your ramtankas to a knowledgeable collector or professional coin dealers. Professional dealers do not charge fees for in-person appraisals. - CoinQuest (Paul)
i have a ramdarbar coin and want to know about that coin is it genuine or not please help me. - javesh
I do not know of a reliable method for determining authenticity of these coins. - CoinQuest (Paul)
i sold this coin for 500rs its silver , is that dealer cheated me ? - ajay kumar
500 rupees sounds a little weak if your tanka is truly silver and has good eye appeal. Most honest dealers try to buy coins for about one-half of what they can sell them for. The difference in profit is used to keep the dealership in business. Try to find coins similar to yours for sale to collectors and find out how much they are selling for. Then, figure that a dealer will pay about one-half that much. - CoinQuest (Paul)
I have same coin, but there the numbers is written is 10 00, it may be 1000 year, is it right? and it may be of silver. pls tell value ??? - JATINDER KUMAR SHARMA
We cannot tell value without knowing what your coin is. If you would like to send pictures, start an e-mail exchange with CoinQuest using the 'Contact' button at the top of the home page. The number 1000 sometimes appear on these coins and does not appear to have any significance. - CoinQuest (Paul)
People who wants to know if there coin is real or a counterfeit coin .. they can email me obverse and reverse clear picture at my email id : firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a Dealer as well a collector from last 15 years. - Sumit Bhola
sir we have a coin which comes from our grand parents to us but i cant identifiey what the coin is related to.in front there is 1818 number,lord rama,sitha lakshmana,hanuman and at back side hanuman with sanjavani avathar and some Sanskrit matter is there ,so how to find whats it representation,please help to find - veer
Hi Veer -- These coins are very beautiful, but they are not really coins and they are not really valuable. You can view our page on them at this link [PRESS HERE]. - CoinQuest (Paul)
I have a ram darbar coin found in Rajasthan years back by my forefather .
What are the procedures for selling it ? - Tshering Lama
Many people enjoy using an online auction site like eBay to sell their numismatic items, and reputable coin shops may also have interest in an item like this. You are welcome to create a free advertisement on CoinQuest as well - just click on 'Buy and Sell Coins' to get started. - CoinQuest (Todd)
if ram darbar coin was made in 557 ad then why 1740 is printed on it? that means 1740 written coin is the antic replica of the original ram darbar coin... - hiren
Yes, it is not uncommon to create tokens with designs similar to those used on earlier coins. - CoinQuest (Todd)