Token: India Ram Darbar Temple Ramatanka
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.
A friend of CoinQuest, numismatist Sumit Bhola from New Delhi, has volunteered to help people identify and authenticate their ramatankas. Carefully copy his contact information in the image at the right, and ask him about your particular piece. He is very knowledgeable. Thank you, Sumit!
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: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: Shailender, Fri, 22-May-2009 03:35:43 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Mon, 24-Mar-2014 18:48:03 GMT
Updated by CoinQuest, appraisal ok, Fri, 25-Jul-2014 13:40:46 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 also that coin what is the value of it . - Umesh thapa
Catalog values are summarized in the table near the bottom of the page. - CoinQuest (Paul)
Value of this coin in international market - Aakriti Khandelwal
Catalog values are summarized in the table near the bottom of the page. - 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 have a very nice brass one from my grandfather. - Maria Martin
HELLO I HAVE SAME COIN OF RAM DARBAR IN GOLD SO WHAT IS THE Value of this coin in international market ...
- Narendra Parekh
Our estimate of value appears in the table near the bottom of this page. - 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. - CoinQuest (Paul)
hi i have a ram darbar coin in silver and i want to know the prise in today time period, - vivek kumar
Our estimates of value are shown in the table near the bottom of this page. The values depend on several factors, which you must evaluate for your particular coin. - CoinQuest (Paul)
I hv an ancient Ramatanka coin. Interested buyers plz contact.
- Ajay Kumar
CoinQuest do not buy coins. - CoinQuest (Andrei)
I have same coin of silver but it is 1000 years old. Can you please estimate its value.? - Sachin
Our estimates of value are shown in the table near the bottom of this page. - CoinQuest (Andrei)
I have very old Ramatanka . Where can i sell it ? - Subas limbu
CoinQuest do not buy coins. You can try to sell on ebay. - CoinQuest (Andrei)