Ancient Coinage of Indo-Scythians, Kanishka I (Kanerkes)


It is still a matter of debate when Kanishka became King of the Kushans. The debated dates vary hugely, 57 BC, 78 AD, 115 AD, 127 AD, 134 AD, 144 AD, 230 AD and others. I am using the 128 AD date.

Browse the Kanishka I (Kanerkes) page with thumbnail images.

BMC 2Indo-Scythian Kings. Kanishka, 127-140 AD. AE 18mm. BACIΛEYC BACIΛEΩN KANHΡKOY, King standing left, wearing helmet and diadem, clad in coat, trousers and cloak, sacrificing at altar left, holding spear in left hand / HΛIOC, Helios, radiate, diademed, standing left, wearing chiton and himation, right hand outstretched, left hand on hip, monogram to left. BMC 2. TextImage
BMC 16Kanishka I, Kushans, AV Dinar, 7.1 gr, 20.3 mm. ca. 127-150 AD. PAO NANO PAO KANhPKI KANO (King of Kings Kanishka Kushan), king standing left, wearing helmet and diadem, wearing coat, cloak and trousers, holding elephant-goad over altar, and spear, sword at his side, from his right shoulder emerges a flame / BOΔΔO, nimbate Buddha standing facing, raising hand before him in gesture of reassurance and holding robe, on the palm of the right hand is engraved a ring which signifies a wheel; tamgha to right. BMC 16.TextImage
BMC 34Kanishka I, Kushan Empire, AE tetradrachm, AD 127-151. 25 mm, 16.85 g. PAO KANhRKI, King standing left by altar, holding spear. / AΘΡO to right of Athsho (Hephaistos) standing left, his left hand on his hip and holding tongs, and holding diadem in his extended right hand. Tamgha in left field. BMC 34-35; Goebl 772; MAC 3082-3084; Whitehead 92-93; MK 772; ANS Kushan 459-79; Donum Burns 153-157.TextImage
BMC 46Kanishka, Kushan Kingdom, AE Tetradrachm, 17.00 grams, 25.07 mm. 78-103 AD. DAO KANhPKI, the king, wearing helmet and diadem, clad in coat and trousers, standing left with right hand outstretched over altar, holding spear in left hand / MIOPO, The Sun-god Mithras, standing left, diademed with radiate disk, clad as the king, right hand outstretched and resting left hand on sword at waist, tamgha to left. BMC 46; Whitehead 68.TextImage
BMC 49Kanishka I, Kushan empire. AE Tetradrachm. 16.77 g, 25.52 mm. 127-140 AD. PAO KANhPKI, the king, wearing helmet and diadem, clad in coat and trousers, standing left with right hand outstretched over altar, holding spear in left hand / MIIPO, The Sun-god Mithras, standing left, diademed with radiate disk, clad as the king, right hand outstretched and resting left hand on sword at waist, tamgha to left. BMC 49; Whitehead 73.TextImage
BMC 50-52Kanishka I, Kushan Empire, AE Drachm, AD 127-151. 18 mm, 4.24 g. PAO KANhRKI, King standing left by altar, holding spear. / MIOΡO, Mithro, radiate, standing left, holding hilt of sword and extending right hand. Tamgha in left field. BMC 50-52; Whitehead 71-72; MK 797; ANS Kushan 635; Donum Burns 189.TextImage
BMC 54Kanishka I AE Quarter Unit, 4.74 g, 18.14 mm. 127-140 AD. DAO KANHDKI, King standing left, wearing tall helmet, long heavy coat and trousers, beside small altar, holding vertical sceptre or spear / NANA (on the left, downwards), Nanaia, nimbate and diademed, head surmounted by crescent, standing half-right, holding transverse sceptre ending in the rudimentary representation of the forepart of a horse leaping right, NIA and tamgha to right. BMC 54; Smith, Calcutta 7; Whitehead 97; Sear -.TextImage
BMC 57Kanishka I, Kushan Empire. AD 127-152. AE Tetradrachm, 27mm, 16.85 g. Kapisha (Begram?) mint. ΡAO KANHΡKI, Kanishka standing left by altar, holding goad and standard, flame at shoulder. Crescent on curved I in left field. / NANA, Nana, nimbate, standing right, holding sceptre ending in the forepart of a horse, and bowl or patera, tamgha to right. BMC 57-59; Whitehead 97-104; ANS Kushan 540-544; MK 776; Donum Burns 159.TextImage
BMC 62Kanishka, Kushans, 127-152 AD, AE26 Tetradrachm. King standing left, wearing helmet and diadem, clad in long coat and trousers / OAΔO to right of wind god Oado running left, holding the ends of his cloak in both raised hands. Tamgha to left. BMC 62. TextImage
Gobl MK 47Kushan Kingdom. Kanishka I. 127-140 AD. Gold quarter dinar (2.01 gm). A, emission 2. King standing left, right shoulder flaming, cloak flying, sacrificing over altar and holding goad in right hand and spear in left / Athsho, god of fire, standing left, holding wreath in extended right hand, tamgha below in left field.TextImage
Gobl MK 50 Kushan Kingdom. Kanishka I. 127-140 AD. Gold quarter dinar (1.99 g). King standing left, right shoulder flaming, cloak flying, sacrificing over altar and holding goad in right hand and spear in left / Nanaia, nimbate, standing right, holding sceptre in right hand and box in left, tamgha in right field. TextImage
Gobl MK 58 Kushan Kingdom: Kanishka I, 127-140 AD, AV stater (7.91g). G-58, Kanishka standing facing, head left, sacrificing over altar and holding standard, flame at right shoulder / goddess Mao (the Moon) diademed, lunar horns at shoulders, standing facing, head left, right hand extended in benedictional gesture and holding sceptre, tamgha to left. TextImage
Gobl MK 66 Kushans, Kanishka I. 127-140 AD. AV Dinar. FAONANAOFAO KA-NHFKI KOFANO, Kanishka standing facing, head turned left, flames on shoulder, holding standard in his left hand, sacrificing over altar to left / BOΔΔO, Buddha, nimbate, standing facing, wearing samghati (a long pleated garment), his head with eyes wide open and large moustache, ashnisha on head, urna between eyebrows, his right hand is raised in the gesture of reassurance, left holding a pleat of his robe; tamgha to right. TextImage
Gobl MK 67 Kushans, Kanishka I AV Dinar. Kanishka, diademed, and in long tunic and pants, with flames at shoulder, stands left sacrificing over altar; a standard is held in the left hand. / "Oesho" in Graeco-Bactrian script to right of Shiva, nimbate and standing facing, holds in one of four arms a thunderbolt, a flask, a trident, and the horns of the goat standing to the right; large tamga at lower left. Rosenfield 37. TextImage
Gobl MK 71 varKanishka, AD 232-260, AV stater. 7.91 g. PAONANOPAO KANHPKI KOpANO, Kanishka standing left, sacrificing over altar and holding standard, flame at right shoulder. / AΡΔOXΡO, Ardoxsho (Demeter), crowned, standing left, holding cornucopiae before her with both hands, tamgha to left. Göbl MK 71 var (Demeter right); Cunningham Kushans 30 var (ditto) and plate XXII, 3 (Demeter left); Göbl MK 285 var (obv. type); BMC 12 var (ditto).TextImage
Gobl MK 73Kanishka I, Kushans, AV Quarter Dinar, 2.02 grams, 12.16 mm. ca. 127-150 AD. PAO NANO PAO KA....NO (King of Kings Kanishka Kushan), king standing left, wearing helmet and diadem, wearing coat, cloak and trousers, holding elephant-goad over altar, and spear, sword at his side / BOΔΔO, nimbate Buddha standing facing, raising hand before him in gesture of abhayamudra, (reassurance) and holding robe; tamgha to right. Goebl, Kushan 73; MK 73.TextImage
Gobl MK 73 Kushans, Kanishka I. 127-140 AD. AV Quarter Stater (1.78 g, 12h). Kanishka standing facing, holding standard, sacrificing over altar to left; trident to left / BOΔΔO, nimbate Buddha standing facing, raising hand and holding robe; tamgha to right. TextImage
Gobl MK 79Kushan Kingdom. Kanishka I. 127-140 AD. AV dinar (7.98 gm). B, emission 1. King standing left, right shoulder flaming, cloak flying, sacrificing over altar and holding goad in right hand and spear in left / Mithra standing left, radiate nimbus around head, extending right hand over tamgha and resting left hand on sword hilt. TextImage
Goebl MK 785Kanishka I, Kushan Empire. AD 128-152. AE Tetradachm, 26 mm, 16.59 g. PAO KANHPKI KOPANO, Kanishka, crowned and holding sceptre, standing left by altar. / CAKAMANO BOYΔO, the Buddha Sakyamuni, nimbate, standing facing, in a gesture of abhayamudra (reassurance), with right hand raised before him and left hand at his waist. Tamgha in left field. Goebl MK 785; Whitehead 113; Cribb, Buddha 42; ANS Kushan 616; Donum Burns 175.TextImage
Göbl MK 793Kanishka I, Kushan Empire. AE tetradrachm, ca AD 128-152. 27mm, 16.98 g. PAO KANHPK[I], Kanishka, diademed and crowned, standing left, holding goad and sceptre, sacrificing over altar to left, flame at shoulder. / MHTΡAΓO BOΔO O (in Kushan, some letters retrograde or inverted), Buddha seated cross-legged facing on stool, hand raised before him in gesture of reassurance, and holding water pot in lap. Göbl MK 793.1 (same dies); Cribb, Buddha 83-90; Donum Burns 179 (same dies).TextImage
MACW 3170 Great Kushans, Kanishka, c. 127-140 AD, AE17 Quarter Unit, 3.31 g, Jammu and Kashmir. King standing left, sacrificing over altar. / Ithyphallic Siva standing left. MACW 3170-3171. TextImage
Mitchener 3068Kanishka I, Kushan Kingdom. ca. 127-152, AE Quarter unit (4.25g). King standing left beside altar, holding trident, Bactrian legend, control mark in left field / OHPO, Siva standing left, holding trident. Mitchener 3068.TextImage
Whitehead 97Kanishka I 'Nanaia' AE Didrachm or Half-Unit. 8.58 g, 21.20 mm. 127-140 AD. DAO KANHDKI (Shao Kaneshki), King standing left, wearing tall helmet, long heavy coat and trousers, beside small altar, holding sceptre / NANA (on left, downwards), Goddess Nanaia, diademed and draped, standing right, holding short sceptre in right hand; monogram to right. Mitchiner ACW 3071-3073; Whitehead 97.TextImage
Whitehead 106 Kanishka I, AE Tetradrachm or Unit, 127-140 AD, DAO KANHPO, King in Kushan dress, standing facing, head left, right hand over altar, trident in left hand / OHPO, Siva, standing left, holding noose, drum, trident and gourd. Tamgra in left field. Whitehead 106. TextImage
Whitehead 110Kanishka AE18, 3.58 g, 17.48 mm. Indo-Scythia. 127-140 AD. PAO KANHPKI, King standing left, wearing peaked helmet, long coat and trousers, sacrificing at altar left, holding spear in left hand / OHPO, Shiva, two armed, standing left, holding trident and gourd or human head. Whitehead 110; cf BMC 71 ("OKPO"); Sear-.TextImage
Coins of Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythian available from TimeLine Originals - www.timelineauctions.com
See also: R. Whitehead's excellent catalogue, Coins in the Punjab Museum, free download from archive.org
Coins of Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India in the British Museum, free download from google books)