Monday, July 26, 2010

Government Grabs Huge Gold Coin Find Discovered by Family of a Widow

A cache of gold coins was discovered in Sathyamangalam, a municipality in the Erode district in the Indian state of Tamil Naduby.

At least 744 coins, weighing about 300 grams, were found.

The coins are believed to date back to the Vijayanagar Empire period and may be over 500 years old.

The granddaughters of Maadhi Veerayya, a tribal widow in Kottamalam discovered the initial coins. According to the times of India,noticed broken shards of an earthen pot in the bushes. When they rummaged deeper, they found coins smaller than 25 paise coins. Immediately, they called their grandmother, who dug deeper and found more coins. As they tried to quietly stash away the coins, curious neighbours gathered. And a frantic treasure hunt began. By afternoon, nine tribal families in the village collected over 700 coins and hid them in their houses.

The village administrative officer got wind of the discovery. He showed up, as did the police. They launched a drive to "recover" the coins. "We have so far recovered 744 coins," tahsildar K Shanmugham told TOI. The police are probing if more coins have been stealthily hidden away.

The coins are made of 18 carat gold and said to have been in circulation during the rule of the Vijayanagar kingdom between 14th and 16th centuries. The coins have an image of a tiger on a fluttering flag on one side and on the flip side, a picture of a mangalasutra'.

"It is said these coins may belong to the pre-Krishnadevaraya period, perhaps during the reign of his immediate predecessor Veeranarasimha Raya," a revenue official said, according to TOI. The coins have been handed over to the Erode district collector, R Sudalaimuthu. Curators from the government museum in Erode will examine the coins and present a report to the government.

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