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Token: India Ram Darbar Temple Ramatanka
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.

This page provides background for the coin and then a table of approximate values. Values vary widely with authenticity and metallic composition.

The coin is related to Hindu temples, i.e., it is a 'Temple Token', with various Western spellings such as Ram Tanka, or Ramatanka, or Ram Tonka. They were made as charms or tokens to carry around for good luck, and to catch blessings from the gods. They come with designs of Hindu gods and religious ceremonies being carried out in honor of them.

The Hindu gods on the 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 legend is commonly in Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, and commonly reads 'Rama Lachhamana Janaki' or 'Rama Lakshaman janaki' on one side, and 'Jai bala Hanamanaka' or 'Jai bolo Hanuman ki' on the other side. Hanuman ('Hanamanaka') and Lakshmana are both deities within a number of Hindu traditions.

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.

The legend is also sometimes 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.

Designs of additional ramtanka, not shown here, include the elephant god Ganesh sitting on a chair under an umbrella; Krishna and Radha standing on a flowerbed in front of a tree, one playing a flute; a four-armed Lakshmi sitting in lotus position on a lotus, with a wreath around; a standing four-armed Vishnu inside a decorated circle, halo around his head; the head of Kali sticking out her tongue; an eight-armed Kali standing on a fallen soldier; the monkey deity Bal Hanuman chasing the sun or carrying a mountain ... and many more.

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. Joels Coins has modern reproductions on sale for a few US dollars. The modern coins show false dates, so it is difficult to know precisely when a particular coin was minted. Most coins were manufactured during the 20th century and intentionally made to look old.

DO NOT CLEAN YOUR COIN. CLEANING RUINS VALUE.

At SitaRamaSwamy.com you can see an image of what appears to be a genuine Ram Tanka minted in brass or gold. Comparing the coin from Shailender (in our main image) with the coin from Sita Rama Swamy (with the blue background), you can see several differences. To the best of our knowledge, Sita Rama Swamy's coin is a genuine ancient Ram Tanka, and Shailender's coin is a modern reproduction.

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 will be very different.

The table below gives our approximation of value in US dollars for the various forms of this interesting coin. 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 coin to sell to a dealer, he or she would pay wholesale price, which is significantly lower.

Modern ReproductionGenuine Ancient Coin
Copper/Brass/Bronze$5$250
Silver$60$420
Gold$800$3000

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.

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
Tags: token india ram darbar temple ramatanka tokens toke dubar god hindu rama laksmana tanka ramtanka tonka umbrella swamy swami wizard goddess people two mountain volcano table monkey flower fleur leaves leaf tree palm pine oak wreath dot bead pearl sun sunburst lucky luck symbols symbol buddhist swastika nazi deity godess person peuple peoples peple persons moutains mountains blossom fler fleurs lises leis lisse flur folwers stems trefoils floral lily posy bouquet flowers flour fllower bud bloomed trefoil floret floer stem flowery lilys fluer fleures pedals leafs leave leaved leafed leafy leavs palms beaded period beading beads pionts point periods dots points pearls sunset symbles symbal simbol symbels symobols simble nsdap

Comments

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

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Tue, 23-Dec-2014 04:17:50 GMT, unknown: 3699120