How to Identify Numbers on Brass From India

Written by bob romanov
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How to Identify Numbers on Brass From India
The relationship between Indian numerals and our Arabic numerals is ancient. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

When trying to identify Indian numbers on brass, all that is necessary is a chart to translate the numerals from Indian numerals into Arabic numerals (the historical name of our numerical system). An important distinction to understand is that a "numeral" is a single written digit, while a "number" is the quantity represented by the numerals. Indian numbers are written the same way as Arabic ones, left to right. Indian numbers use zero, as well.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Brass object with Indian numbers
  • Pad of paper
  • Pencil

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Visit website (see References) to refer to chart.

  2. 2

    Find any of the numerical symbols from the chart on the brass. They will all be from a single row.

  3. 3

    Translate each Indian numeral into modern Arabic numerals (our numeral system), writing the modern Arabic numerals down one at a time in the order they appear, left to right.

  4. 4

    Read the number you have written down. This is the translation of the Indian number.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are trying to determine the provenance or value of an antique, make sure you get an expert opinion.

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