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Denomination: 1 Tangka Date: Circa 1850 - 1948 CE
Description: Obverse: Lotus Flower & 8 Buddhist Lucky Symbols. Reverse: 8-petalled Wheel/Flower.
These Tibetan silver coins known as Ga-den silver Tankas are considered by many to be the most beautiful of all Tibetan coins. They were struck around the time of the 12th Dalai Lama.
Tibet historically represented a forbidden land encircled by the Himalayan and Kunlum mountains. The Dalai Lamas, the spiritual leader purposely isolated the country for over a thousand years.
The Tanka’s obverse shows a Lotus flower within a circle surrounded by the 8 Buddhist Lucky Symbols: Chattra- Parasol; protection against all evil. Dhvaja- Banner; the victory of Buddha's teachings. Sankha- Conch; absence of all evil. Shrivasta- An infinite knot; long life and never-ending love. Dharmachakra- Wheel of the Law; the eight spokes represent the eight fold path. Completion and salvation through Buddha's teachings. Kalasha- vase of abundance; contains water of immortality. Matsyayugma - Golden fish, salvation from suffering, fertility. Padma - The perfect lotus; purity. The reverse shows an 8-petalled wheel/flower within a star surrounded by the legend: “Ga-den Palace, victorious in all directions.” symbolizing the 8 pathways to enlightenment and good fortune. dga'-ldan pho-bran-phyod-las-rnam-rgyal (The Palace of Ga-den is victorious in all directions). The legend is written in such a way as to fit into eight circles. These are actually derived from an earlier style in which the characters were inside lotus petals.
The intricate artistry and spiritual power of the coinage type have always been a tremendous lure to collectors.