Shining seductively, rarely encountered and blessed with a comforting weight, the solidity of gold has a quality of its own. No other precious metal is so loaded with meaning. Among these many related abstractions, we hear of gold’s divinity, its immortality, its purity and its power. By means of this series, we tell the story of the value of gold and the magical role it has played in advanced civilisations.
2019: The Gold of Mesopotamia
2020: The Gold of the Pharaohs
2021: The Gold of the Inca
2022: The Gold of the Scythians
2023: The Gold of India
2024: The Gold of China
Since time immemorial gold has had a special effect on those who behold it.
The Magic of Gold series traces the mysterious nature of gold in Ancient cultures. No other metal has as much symbolic meaning as gold and no other concrete substance has been linked with so many abstract concepts, including heavenliness, immortality, purity and power. The word ‘gold’ is written on each coin in the series in the respective script of the epoch and culture represented on it.
All the coins are a reflection of ancient art treasures. What was made of gold in the past still is today and, as it has for thousands of years, gold still has a mysterious and magical power.
The fifth coin in The Magic of Gold series lets you immerse yourself in the fascinating myths and ancient traditions of a country that has a deep connection with gold. The Gold of India features two particularly charismatic deities from the myths of ancient India – Lakshmi and Krishna.
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity. The third day of Diwali, the festival of lights, is dedicated to her. Gold and gilded coins representing Lakshmi are worshiped by Hindu families in home shrines for good fortune. Legend has it that, sitting in a lotus blossom, Lakshmi chose Vishnu as her husband. Krishna is one of the most glorious incarnations of Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Brahmanism. Krishna means ‘the one who draws you to him’. He became emblematic of the supreme aspect of human consciousness and relations: among sons he is the best son, among friends he is the best friend, among lovers he is the best lover, among those who help seekers find the right path he is the best guide.
The reverse of the coin shows Krishna seated in the lalitasana, or royal position, resplendent in the finest jewellery and surrounded by an ornamental band reminiscent of peacock feathers. The obverse of the coin features Lakshmi sitting in a lotus flower, flanked by elephants. Two of her four hands hold lotus blossoms while the other two offer us gold coins. Below her is the inscription Nishka, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘small golden disc for monetary purposes’.
The inherent magic of gold is perfectly suited to the deities that populate and enrich the Indian imagination, because just as Krishna and Lakshmi signify a manifestation of the supreme, so too does the gold from which this magnificent coin is made.