India, Magadha Empire. Punch mark silver. 600 BC to 321 BC.

Ancient Coins - India, Magadha Empire. Punch mark silver. 600 BC to 321 BC.
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Denomination : Silver karshapana.

Size : 14.0 x 19.7 mm. Weight : 2.96 grams (see the note at the bottom).

Date : probably ca. 350 BC.

Grade :  F

Reference : MA-4059 to 60 variety

Obverse : Several punch marks, that probably identified the King and mint, and were individually punch into the coin, probably before it was trimmed to proper weight.   It is normal on these for most or all the marks to be fragmentary (running off the edge) and specimens with all marks fully on the coin probably do not exist on the Magadha series.

This particular combination of marks is not listed by Mitchiner, but it is the combinations of marks that would be found if the wavy line on #4059 were changed out with the elefphant on #4060, so I have no doubt it is within that part of the series.

Reverse : Uncertain punch mark.

Mitchiner, in his series ORIENTAL COINS AND THEIR VALUES, attributes this part of the series to the eight Sons of Mahapadma Nanda, in the decades just before the fall of the Magadha Empire in 321 BC, but most experts in this field do not accept his attributions and feel that currently we simply do not know which kings issued which sets of punches. 

The weight standard for this period (or coins with these stamps) is about 3.6 gram, and the 2.96 grams this specimen weighs suggest it may have been cut down to continue circulating later in the Mauryan period when the standards were lower.

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