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Gupta coin featuring portrait of Samudra Gupta (circa 335 - 380 AD)
Gold stater
Late 5th-early 6th century
Diameter: 2.0 cm
Weight: 7.5 grams

Copyright © T. K. Mallon-McCorgray, 1996

This coin depicts a portrait of Samudra Gupta, the second Gupta emperor and son of the dynasty's founder, Chandra Gupta I. He is shown here holding a long scepter in his left hand, while his right hand places what seems to be an offering tray on an altar. The name "Samudra" is inscribed in Brahmi to the right of the figure, which allows us to identify the portrait. On the rear side of the coin we see the image of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of good fortune. Unlike their predecessors, the Guptas offered royal patronage to Hinduism as well as Buddhism, and their coins often included depictions of Hindu deities.