India Sikh Temple Token  1804
India Sikh Temple Token 1804

As best we know, the sat Kartar you describe is not a coin, but a Temple Token minted in copper or similar metal. It is associated with the now-worldwide Sikh religion which originated in the northern Punjab province of India.

The token in our picture comes from respected eBay seller Treasure-India and CoinQuest thanks Treasure India for use of their coin photo.

Typical retail prices range from about 400 to 1500 INR (India Rupees, about $8 to $32 US dollars) and, as always, tokens in high-quality condition command higher prices.

The main problem with items like this is authenticity. There are modern pieces produced with the old 1804 date. These modern pieces are worth a few dollars; genuine pieces are worth more. Be sure any token you buy is genuine.

Treasure-India provides an explanation of this token in its Sikh context:

'The token depicts the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak (AD 1469-1539). Guru Nanak taught his followers to have faith in the one true God and encouraged them to worship and recite the name of God.

'On the obverse of the token he is shown seated under a tree between two of his companions. Bhai Mardana, a Muslim, is seated on the left playing a rebab (stringed musical instrument) whilst Bhai Bala, a Hindu, is on the right holding a chowri (fly-whisk). The principle of equality of men, promoted by Guru Nanak throughout his life, is represented by showing members of the different faiths sitting together.

'On the reverse its shows Guruji sitting alone.On top is written SAT KARTAR meaning Only the name of the Lord (Kartar) is True.'

Coin: 4443 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: Arihant, Thu, 10-Jun-2010 16:00:31 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 31-Aug-2013 14:05:37 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Tue, 01-Sep-2015 13:27:12 GMT
Requester description: 1804 Sant Kartar
Tags: india sikh temple token templo jetton jets jeton ietton tokens exonumia jet jetons sant kartar sat punjab guru nanak branch stalk twigs stalks spray sprig limb stick twig sprays sprigs branching branches branched sticks


It is unlikely tokens with pictures of the Sikh Guru's were made by Sikhs institutions. Promoting the pictures of the Sikh Guru's is prohibited in Sikhism. It is likely these were made either by vendors or side groups that had moved away from the core of Sikhism or even by groups that respected Sikhs (as images of Guru's are evident in some Hindu Mandirs). One possible theory floated about the tokens is that they were presented to Sevadars (to the people who served Sikh institutions) by smaller regional Gurdwara's (hence, the Sikh prayer on a side of some of them), regardless it is evident these were held in high esteem by those who had them, this somewhat explains the worn out conditions of many of these. - Satvinder Singh
Thank you, Satvinder, for taking time to give us your valuable insight. - CoinQuest (Paul)

It is not sant kartar, it is sat Kartar; a slogan normally used by guru nanak, means God is true creator and he does not die. Regarding paintings of gurus, it is acceptable in sikhs and you will find them in majority of sikh houses and they are here since centuries. Sikhs are forbidden to do idol worship but these paintings do not promote anything like idol worship. They are like paintings or photos of our elders, we love. - Jasbir Singh
Jasbir -- We fixed the 'sant' wording in our description. Thanks. I know very little about Sikhism, but I am glad to know that the restrictions are on idol worship, not on making paintings or taking photos. I know quite a bit about Judaism and Christianity, and the injunction in the 10 Commandments about 'graven images' is the same as you say: the prohibition is against worshiping them, not making them, as explained plainly in Exodus 20:5. Nevertheless, there are still a few groups that like to say that taking photos is somehow prohibited. Thanks again for your insight. - CoinQuest (Paul)





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