To the uninitiated eye, these 12th Century copper Sri Lankan coins look as if they have the portray the image of an octopus. But rather, it is the impression of a standing figure with head turned to the right and with two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicating the figure is wearing a ‘dhoti,’ which is a ceremonial royal robe. The writing on the coin is devanagari and is an abugida script used to write in languages like Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, and Nepali.
Robert brought these coins back with him from Sri Lanka - he was there filming Arthur C. Clarke: before 2001, the documentary about the Taj Mahal Sunken Treasure. He acquired them from the village elder of a small village just outside Sri Lanka’s ancient capital of Polonnaruva.
For over 300 years, Sri Lankans have believed the coins bring the owner good luck. Robert wears his personal pendant often, and has met with delighted folks from India and Sri Lanka who point it out and say: “Kings of Kandy Coins - Good Luck!” While Kings of Kandy Coins is their long-held nickname, these royal coins are truly the royal Treasure of Polonnaruva.
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