“Where did you get that coin?”
Reflexively my hand went to my necklace, as if to remind myself what I was wearing. The question wasn’t unusual; people comment on my jewelry. And this coin… I’d been attracted to its rough outline, rustic setting and generally old feeling. It now seemed disrespectful to say:
“A flea market.”
“Which one?” the gentleman persisted.
“Santa Fe. Four or five years ago.”
“I knew it,” the man smiled. “It’s my coin. Do you know what it is?”
The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show covers acres, a multitude of tents and show and hundreds of vendors. In an amazing way, the exchange did not surprise me. Yet its synchronicity continues to pull at my memory. What are the odds I might travel from Albuquerque and then meet someone from Santa Fe?
Calendar a Thursday afternoon. Circle a show lightly attended. Color me surprised.
The collector who stopped me, recognized a coin he’d discovered. Ijaz Khana, of Indus Valley, specializes in Asian beads, tribal art and jewelry. My coin belonged to the era of Kushan King Vusudiva II, 195-230 A.D. He wrote it down.
Home again, I read about the period. The rule of Vusudiva II corresponded to the retreat of Chinese power from Central Asia, not a time in history I’d studied. The significance of a seemingly random encounter gives me joy and connects me to another world, another time. Coincidence? I think not.
I googled the Sanskrit name which literally means ‘ the God that dwells within for truth and meaning’ and thought:
“No wonder you feel compelled to wear this coin as a choker.”
Initially, because of its striking elements, I felt my coin deserved special treatment. I placed it on a metallic leather choker until I was further inspired. More recently I added some knotting (in retrospect, characteristic of Asian influence), vintage trade beads and old brass rounds, still keeping the choker element so the coin lay at my throat, appropriate placement for speaking my truth.
I share the story as a reminder. When something calls to you, it’s meant to be. My coin of the Kushan King Vusudiva II guides my journey. Knowledge of its origin only makes the coin itself more meaningful. No coincidence.