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Sinhalese 12 to15 cent


Ancient Ceylon
Medieval Gold
Sinhalese 12 to15 cent
Ceylon 1948 to 72
Sri Lanka Republic


Vijaya Bahu I ] Parakrama Bahu I ] Lilavati ] Sahasa Malla ] Dharmasoka ] Parakrama Bahu II ] Vijaya Bahu IV ] Buvanaka Bahu I ] Lion Parakrama Bahu ] Nissankamalla ]

The Sinhala copper coinage of the 12th to 15th centuries:

These are popularly referred to as 'Dambedi Kasu' after Dambediniya, indicating the last dynasty by which these coins were struck. Actually these issues span three dynasties; Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya and Kotte. 

While the coinage was predominantly copper, base metal coins of some monarchs are known, these are much rarer than the copper coins.

The massa coins are all similar in type closely following that of the later gold pieces of Vijayabahu I. They belong to the Polonnaruwa and Dambadeniya dynasties of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and are of the same style and fabric; each bears the name of a king or queen. The later Kotte issues are slightly different.

On the obverse of these coins is a standing human figure ('Ceylon Man') and on the reverse a seated figure with a legend reading his (or in one case, her) name. Except in 2 instances, all the coins are one massa coins, the exceptions are the 1/8th massa coins of Parakramabahu i(1153-1186) and Dharmasoka (1208-1209)

It has been established the following monarchs issued coins during this period:

The Polonnaruwa era:

Vijaya Bahu I (1055-1111)

Parakrama Bahu I (1153-1186)

Nissanka Malla (1187-1196)

Codaganga (1196-1197)

Queen Lilavati (1197-1200)

Sahasa Malla (1200-1202)

Dharmasoka (1208-1209)


Parakrama Bahu II (1236-1271)

Vijayabahu IV (1271-1273)

BuvanakaBahu (1273-1284)


Parakrama Bahu VI