100 euro - The Gold of India
Series: Austria - The Magic of Gold
The fifth coin in The Magic of Gold series lets you immerse yourself in the fascinating myths and ancient traditions of a country that has a deep connection with gold. The Gold of India features two particularly charismatic deities from the myths of ancient India – Lakshmi and Krishna. Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity. The third day of Diwali, the festival of lights, is dedicated to her. Gold and gilded coins representing Lakshmi are worshiped by Hindu families in home shrines for good fortune. Legend has it that, sitting in a lotus blossom, Lakshmi chose Vishnu as her husband. Krishna is one of the most glorious incarnations of Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Brahmanism. Krishna means ‘the one who draws you to him’. He became emblematic of the supreme aspect of human consciousness and relations: among sons he is the best son, among friends he is the best friend, among lovers he is the best lover, among those who help seekers find the right path he is the best guide. The reverse of the coin shows Krishna seated in the lalitasana, or royal position, resplendent in the finest jewellery and surrounded by an ornamental band reminiscent of peacock feathers. The obverse of the coin features Lakshmi sitting in a lotus flower, flanked by elephants. Two of her four hands hold lotus blossoms while the other two offer us gold coins. Below her is the inscription Nishka, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘small golden disc for monetary purposes’. The inherent magic of gold is perfectly suited to the deities that populate and enrich the Indian imagination, because just as Krishna and Lakshmi signify a manifestation of the supreme, so too does the gold from which this magnificent coin is made.