The advent of the Common Era brought the rule of the mighty Kushan rulers. A dynasty which became one of the prosperous empires of India was established by Kujula Kadphises in 78 AD by gradually carving out a kingdom in the north-western part of ancient India. The dynasty at its paramount controlled a large territory ranging from the Aral Sea in the west to as far east as Benares and as far south as Sanchi.
The Kushan era witnessed immense cultural, economic and political growth and is marked by extensive wealth and prosperity in arts. A fact that is clearly visible through their coinage which interestingly lacks any silver coins except for the known two specimens in museums.
Huvishka I was the successor of Kanishka I and fifth ruler of the Kushan dynasty. Huvishka issued such a vast variety of gold and copper coins that his coinage makes a rich resource for studying Kushan era’s art, history and religion. He produced more gold coins than all the other Kushan rulers combined. The standard imperial gold coins of Huvishka came in the denominations of Dinar and Quarter Dinar and his copper coins came in copper units and tetradrachm.
The coin featured beside is a Heracles Type Copper Unit which on obverse the king mounted on an elephant to right, nimbate, wearing a diadem and holding a staff in right hand; Illegible inscription. The reverse of the coins depicts Heracles standing facing with head to right, naked, Holding a club in right hand, animal skin draped over left hand. Tamgha to right, dotted border. Bactrian inscription to left "HRKILO"
Image Courtesy: numismatics.org