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Maurya Empire silver Karshapana's  
 

 
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 Posted 02/12/2018  05:07 am Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The Maurya Empire the largest empire to exist in India, including present day Pakistan and Afghanistan existed from 322-187 BC. It was founded by Chandragupta. It's third emperor Ashoka 268-232 BC was it's greatest.

Out of the Ancient Indian coin series I have a particular liking for the punched marked coins from this empire. This coins are usually advertised as Karshapana of the emperor Ashoka, when in fact there is no way to tell which emperor the coin was struck. The series lasted from te begining to the end of the emperor.

The coins appear from somewhat square to round, with the round coins appearing towards the end of the empire. The weight varies from around 3.10 - almost 4 grams. They usually have a least five punch marks of various images on the obverse and one image on the reverse. This does vary at times.

Here is a group of ten Karshpana's I recently picked up.



I've also included a wikipedia link to tne histry of the empire along with a link to Coin India.


http://coinindia.com/galleries-maurya.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurya_Empire
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 Posted 02/12/2018  05:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ron, this is a great subject for a thread as there are several of us who have dabbled in this area, but haven't given it serious study. I look forward to seeing what you've picked up!
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
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 Posted 02/12/2018  05:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The cheapest ancient silver coins you can get.
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 Posted 02/12/2018  06:00 am  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I bought them as a group for around $6 each.
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 Posted 02/12/2018  06:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The cheapest ancient silver coins you can get.
If they are, I haven't seen one yet. I'd love to get one of those for $6, or even for $16...

Also, when I opened this thread, I saw the lower picture first, and thought "why is there a photo of cookies in a coin forum? ...oh."
I know there were cuneiform tablet cookies. Did anyone ever try to make karshapana cookies?
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 Posted 02/12/2018  06:52 am  Show Profile   Check chafemasterj's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add chafemasterj to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting thread. Thank you for the information.
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 Posted 02/12/2018  08:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice group of karshapanas there, Ron.
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 Posted 02/12/2018  09:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice coins Ron...I'm very interested in these type of coins..

On a recent thread of mine I think it was Finn who said 'Gupta and Hardaker's'
book was a good reference source..Do you have it?

Will you be giving us a breakdown of these coins?

Paul
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 Posted 02/12/2018  11:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice group of coins there, Ron! I've got a handful that I really need to get photographed. If I can add a few more points of info:

- Chandragupta Maurya is said to have usurped his position from Dhana Nanda, the last Magadha king in 321 BC. The prospect of having to fight the Magadha empire had made Alexander the Great's troops mutiny and demand to return home - this created an immense power vacuum. Since Chandragupta was already "in" and Dhana's subjects largely hated him, the entire empire switched allegiance when Dhana was killed or exiled. Chandragupta was then able to conquer all of war-devastated northern India with ease.

- The Karshapana denomination actually stated over a century before 321, and I have read that late Magadha karshapanas are indistinguishable from Maurya coins. Maybe Gupta & Hardaker's book can shed more light on this?

- I've read that these coins were made by cutting up huge sheets of silver into squares, and then clipping as necessary to attain the ideal 3.4g weight. When they were certified, they would then be punched with the various symbols. I am really curious to know how some of them came to be round, however, unless those were intended for international trade?
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 Posted 02/12/2018  2:43 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No I don't have Gupta & Hardaker's book, I do have Sambhu Nath Mondal book "Ancient Indian Coins Decoding of their Indus-Brahmi inscriptions with special emphasis on the Punch Marked Coins and a copy of Thomas book on ancient Indian coinage.

I need to see about getting a copy of the G & H book.

I seem to recall recently reading a thread in the Indian Coins Collector group that Magadha coins can been identified by the fish symbol on the reverse.

Thanks all for your replies.
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 Posted 02/12/2018  5:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am asking myself:
"Why are they so cheap and available?"

Have any very large hoards of them, that have been discovered in the last few decades?
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 Posted 02/12/2018  5:39 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I haven't heard of any being found recently. Outside of India I don't think there are many collectors, it's not that a specific ruler can be pinned down which I would guess doesn't make them very appealing.

However I have noticed over the last couple of years that in some areas of Indian coinage collectors have started to become more Interested. For example the Western Satrap series, prices have climbed from a few dollars per coin into a hundred or more dollars now. All in just a few years.

So maybe these coins still remain cheap because the supply is more than the demand. Which suits me just fine.
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 Posted 02/12/2018  6:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure about Mauryan coins, but I have read that the most common Gadhaiya types are periodically found in hoards of several tens of thousands which of course will take decades to sell to all seven collectors of that series.

I figure the Mauryan coins are a similar tale.
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 Posted 02/12/2018  7:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
all seven collectors


"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 02/12/2018  8:20 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And half of them are here.
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