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How can an original Lebbo or Navagraha Anna be identified?

There are no other kinds of Lebbo except the eight pairs made on the island of Piram, Gulf of Khambhat ((formerly known as the Gulf of Cambay), an inlet of the Arabian Sea along the west coast of India, in the state of Gujarat), a few hundred kilometers north of Surat in the year 1616. That is, a total of sixteen. It is wrong to use the term "coin" as these metal pieces were never intended to be numismatic coins or currency. The English East India Company minted their first currency and coins for fiscal purposes only in 1642. The word "COIN" is being used here only as a convenient term for the Lebbo.

Coins being traded as a Lebbo or Navagraha Coin are recent creations by racketeers and they have no unusual properties and no demand in the international market. There are no buyers for them. The racketeers call them Libo, Libbo, Lebo, Libon, Leo coin, King Leo coin and a host of other imaginary names (along with new stories that have no historical basis) to convince someone to invest in them.

Another point to be noted is that twelve Lebbo coins made in the year 1818 by the British at Fort William, employing Burmese craftsmen. It was an attempt to duplicate the 1616 coins. But the attempt to induce any kind of phenomena in them failed and the coins were melted down for other uses. So in reality, no other Lebbos are in existence except the 8 pairs made in Surat in the year 1616 AD. Of these, there are only two still being searched for today.

It is prudent to not give proper and informative description of the original 1616 Lebbo for fear that unscrupulous people might pick up these details and attempt to manufacture fake pieces based on such facts and particulars. However, for the information of serious researchers and for those who are academically inclined, it is not wise to withhold any of the known facts.

Lebbo in detail

The original Lebbo, also referred to as the Eclipse Lebbo, is an oval shaped metal piece, with a copper-brass-like tinge and often stained and pitted with age. It is moulded by means of a die, never machine-crafted or symmetrical. It actually consists of two plates, hand-beaten into shape on the rim, so that the joined edges of the two plates are never separately visible. Visually the coin appears to be a single mould.

The weight of the sixteen pieces range from 135 gms to 165 gms, but are more likely to have been between 140 gms and 160 gms. The doubt expressed here is because all of them couldn't be weighed in recent times. Three of the Lebbos are believed to have been lost in the Bay of Bengal. As such, the weights of the lost pieces could not be measured. But being of the same mould they would have to be within the range of 135 to 165 gms.

As they were handmade, the sizes were not exactly the same. But a close approximation of their measurement speaks of a length of about 8.3 cms and a width of about 4.8 cms. The thickness was approximately 4 mm.

One side of the Lebbo, called the English-face or the Sunny-side, depicts a house-like structure with the alphabet "E" on the top (under the sloped roof) and the alphabets "ID" on the wall. An image of the sun with 21 rays is depicted directly above the apex of the roof. This was meant to indicate the time of the day - midday. The house-like structure also symbolized in a rather humble way the first factory at Surat owned by the East India Company, the gun-foundry, which was used to make the Lebbo coins. An error in the mould caused the EIC to end up as EID. This is a historically significant imperfection in the manufacture of the original eclipse coins as most fakes have EIC engraved on them. Along the right edge is the word ANNA and along the left edge is the word AACI. ANNA in those days symbolized a bounty. It is the Sanskrit word for grain, but it also stood for wealth and abundance. It was sometimes also used to mean token, or a gift from the Gods. For the English it meant grace or favour. AACI is believed to be a Latin abbreviation which is not in use today. At the bottom, under the house-like structure is the Christian year 1616written numerically.

The other side of the coin, called the Hindu side or Cosmic side is most significant as it is from this side that unusual phenomenon is noticed. At the top of this side of the Lebbo is a coiled serpent guarding three rivet-like keys under it. This snake is often referred to as the potential energy. The three keys or points are in a straight line. Two larger snakes representing Rahu and Ketu leap out of the sea, forming a bracket that encompasses a major star low on the horizon, two minor (or distant) stars, a half-formed moon, and a distant planet aligned to the moon. Four lines at the bottom represent the ocean. These astronomical details were intended to give future generations some clues. In fact on the English-side, the midday sun was meant to indicate that the metal components of the Lebbo absorbed solar energy when left exposed at noon, its peculiar characteristics and unusual phenomena were much enhanced.

The human temptation to exaggerate and the failure to report facts often lead to wild stories about the Lebbo. Like the stories of saints and rishis visiting various planets to collect material to make the Lebbo. When the fact is that the materials were obtained by melting the ore of a meteorite that had fallen into a paddy field in the erstwhile Vijaynagara Kingdom which was being ruled by Sevappa Nayak in the Tanjavur area of present Tamil Nadu, and preserved in a temple for some years. Often a phenomenon is exaggerated by pranksters. The innumerable rice-puller and iridium enthusiasts have often confused the Lebbo with their pet material and claimed unquestionable knowledge of the functions of a Lebbo coin.

As part of ones efforts to recognize the original Lebbo, one must first acknowledge the history and the number of coins available today.

It is believed that three were lost at sea in the Bay of Bengal. Dr. Wernher von Braun, a German scientist, procured two Lebbo coins through a Kabuli Tradesman in 1938 (of which one was lost in the Allied bombings of Berlin in the Second World War). In 1942 he acquired another Lebbo. The two that he now possessed were taken to the USA after Germany's defeat in 1945. In the Cold-War years it was rumoured that Russia possessed two Lebbo coins gifted by a senior Congress politician from India. Apart from these pieces, one Lebbo is believed to be in the UK in private hands. Another was acquired by France through a Belgian contact. Of the six pieces that were still available in the Indian sub-continent, it is believed that two were sold to research organizations for a good sum of money in 1993 and 2003. That accounts for twelve pieces. Of the four that might still be available, two have been damaged due to mishandling by fictitious metal-buying companies and their inexperienced testers who applied chemicals on the pieces on the pretext of testing them. These two pieces have become worthless and have lost all power to exhibit any kind of phenomena. However, they are still being hawked by their present owners in the hope of selling them as an antique. One such inactive piece was seen Chandigarh some years ago. So in reality, only two original Lebbos of 1616 are now available in India, if at all they have survived in good condition.

How to test a Lebbo to check if it is still functional.

A question that Wernher von Braun often wondered about as he tried to understand the translated documents was whether the phenomena that the Lebbo exhibited were paranormal (religious, faith-induced, unexplained), natural (applying some unknown forces of physics), astronomical (influenced by signals from outer space, and based on Hindu astrological studies of space elements and cosmology). However his research papers were never published and are not available.

Over the years, many have tried to predict when any unusual or unexplained phenomena will occur in the course of examining a Lebbo that could be measured with certainty. Exhaustive and detailed astronomical and astrological charts were prepared by various individuals that added to the mystery of these coins. Some have associated unusual activity within the coin to the midday sun, full moon, eclipses and dominant stars on the astrological chart. Planetary position studies based on Indian astrology only gives a vague idea of the radiation cycle. Only some research organizations that have had the good fortune to test the coin 365 days a year, and periodic examination many times in a day, have actually understood the cyclic nature of the lebbo's peculiar manifestations. They have been able to compile a planetary position roster and predict the occurrence of unusual phenomena with some degree of accuracy. The planetary position charts also indicate that the Lebbo may lie inactive for many months at a stretch, greatly frustrating those who are looking for some unusual phenomena to occur. The radiation emiting from the Lebbo also tends to temporarily weaken after frequent exposure to power sources. Most other claims of knowledge about the Lebbo's active cycle are unreliable.

How to test a Lebbo

What can be tested by a layman is minimal, but it is more than sufficient to establish whether a coin is authentic. To establish whether a coin is original and functional does not require complicated tests. Laboratory tests, chemicals and equipment is used by buyers normally on making full payment.

Care must be taken to handle the Lebbo with rubber-gloved hands. Touch by the human body is known to sometimes discharge a Lebbo coin. Apart from that, any material that emits radiation could be potentially harmful to health.

Any one of the tests below is sufficient to confirm if the Lebbo is authentic and active. Whenever the Lebbo is active, it emits an unknown radiation that interferes with DC and AC power sources.


  • If the naked bulb of a dry-cell torch is flashed (switched-on) close to one of the three rivets/keys of the Hindu face of the Lebbo coin, the dry cell shows a degree of draining. The radiation is not expected to drain or defuse a DC source or a torch cell completely, but to an extent that confirms the fact that the coin is active. Sometimes the flickering or dimming of the torch-light is not visible. But if the dry cells are removed and left for an hour or so they are found to be weak or dead. This indicates that the dry cell has been corrupted or damaged by the radiation.
  • If the Lebbo is immersed in a transparent tumbler or beaker of water, small silvery white bubbles are seen on both surfaces of the coin. On certain days the bubbles increase in number. The bubbles form on the surface and cling to both surfaces of the coin. None of the bubbles float up to the surface of the water. This is significant as bubbles are indication that the radiation is being emitted by the coin.
  • When the Lebbo is immersed in cold water, a minor rise in temperature may be noticed in the first 15 minutes. This may vary from 1 degree to 3 degrees Celsius. Actual rise in water temperature is only noticed when the coin has been immersed in water between one to three hours. This may cause a rise upto 15 or more degrees. To negate or neutralize the effect of room temperature, it is recommended that chilled water from a refrigerator be used.
  • If the Lebbo is active, and taken close to a TV screen while it is on, the program reception is seen to be disturbed causing static-like sounds, diffusion of image and formation of lines across the screen. This happens most often only if the Lebbo is held constantly in front of the screen for sometime, upto 45 seconds to a minute. Be cautious as you may damage the picture-tube of the TV.
  • Sometimes the Lebbo can cause major disruption to the AC power sources in the vicinity. If held close to a tube-light or any other bulb, or sometimes even close to a switch panel, it interrupts the AC current flow and may even cause the main power supply to trip.

The above mentioned tests are sufficient to establish the authenticity of the Lebbo coin. No ordinary piece of metal exhibits these peculiarities or phenomena. To some degree, the above also indicates that the Lebbo is active and original. If a genuine buyer is on call, he would pick it up without hesitation.

Unreliable, Fraudulent and Damaging Testing Racket.

There is only one reason to visit the Taj Mahal. To see the mausoleum built by Shah Jahan at Agra, of which there is only one in the world. There is ONLY ONE reason to test a Lebbo Coin. It is to establish if it is one of the 16 pieces that were made in the year 1616, of which there are only two that are unaccounted for, and which exhibits any of the above mentioned characteristics. It is the search for these two missing Lebbos that has generated so much interest among collectors and researchers. It is the search for these two coins that has also spawned so many locaters, fraululent testers, self-appointed appraisers, fictitious buyers, fly-by-night companies and racketeers.

Tests conducted with pencil points, rice-grains, cloves, tamarind, currency notes and milk are irrational and unscientific. These are creations of racketeers who earn a livelihood out of collecting testing fees. No unusual phenomena can be noticed by using these ingredients as we are only dealing with radiation, and the need for establishing whether the piece you are testing belongs to the eight pairs of the 1616 Lebbo coins. Many unscrupulous individuals will twist and modify the factual information about the Lebbo coins to suit their own ends. There are those who believe that the coin will become buoyant and partially float, or lift one end when immersed in water. The Lebbo is a very dense metallic coin, not a submarine. Please don't be misled by these so-called testers.

There are many such testers who also ascribe to a ridiculous cloud-test. By exposing to the open sky they expect to see some strange cloud formation. It is true that some researchers believe that the Lebbo coin has some satellite application by which one can seed clouds or cause weather changes by scientific application of its radiation properties, but not by merely exposing it to the sky. This is another case of twisting of facts by these so-called testers. Fake testers look for vapour formation in an empty overturned glass when the Lebbo is covered with it.

Another common racket is to demand a fee to buy chemicals to test the Lebbo coin. The owner or possessor of the coin is asked to bring the Lebbo to a distant or remote location for safe testing. Will anyone in their right senses carry a valuable material to any remote location that someone else decides? There are normally many reasons for sweetly and convincingly talking the seller into doing this. One is to try and intimidate the owner to surrender the coin when he reaches the remote destination. Remember the racketeers already know if the coin is authentic or not. From that remote location, it is easy to walk away (as they have already collected the chemical fee he paid for) as no policeman can reach the location easily to arrest him in case the seller complains about being cheated. In some cases some local police "friends" of your so-called tester are already tipped off and waiting to raid the venue and confiscate the material with the threat of a case of the seller being involved in some nefarious deal. In which case they don't need to pay him, return his fee or even his material. He can consider himself lucky if he gets away without losing his wallet, valuables and car.

Never allow a buyer to dictate terms to you if you possess authentic material. Your anxiety to transact on hearing the vast sums of money offered leads you straight to the trap. Always be alert to sniff-out a bait.

Chemical-treatment, not chemical-test, is done by the end-user. It is done when the end-user requires applying the Lebbo to some research purpose, and this should in no way be the concern of the seller. There is no way to know what chemicals might be used. Do not allow this nonsense, as you will invariably end up being the loser. A genuine coin has already been damaged by this indulgence.

Talk of the Government being legally involved in the transaction is also only a well-rehearsed sales-talk to entice you to cooperate and make you comfortable. Why should the government go into all that trouble? If they want it, or if you do not possess papers to prove the material belongs to you, or if the material is above a certain age to qualify it as an antique, the Government will simply seize it. If it is tested and found to have fissile properties, radio-activity or any form of destructive or national threat, you have a lot to answer for.

Finally, be it known that there are very few genuine buyers or sellers in this line of work, and nobody can boast of previous experience or expertise whatsoever. Anybody claiming "experience and expertise" in this field is clearly a lie when there are only two Lebbos in existence somewhere, yet to be found, perhaps still in the India!