Rare HUGE silver 1/2 vimshatika, Kasala Janapada, c.600-470 BC, India (R-1021)

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Irregular flat silver planchet, four punchmarks / Various bankers' punch symbols. 28mmx25mm, 2.38 grams. Rajgor Series 64 #1021 (4th symbol incorrectly depicted).

Rare early issue. This coin, as the one listed in Rajgor, is huge, much bigger than normal coins of this series. It might be a very early issue or a different denomination altogether. Note that the 4th symbol is incorrectly depicted in Rajgor, without the square border around the plow (?).

The denomination of these coins is unclear. Rajgor calls them "karshapana", but they average 2.6 grams, which is much too light for a standard karshapana of around 3.4 grams. 2.6 grams standard corresponds either to a 1/4 of a late shatamana of 10.8 grams or 1/2 vimshatika of about 5.6 grams. These silver punchmarked coins from Kosala Kingdom are much scarcer than the ones from either the Mauryan Empire or from Magadha Kingdom. 

Kosala was an ancient Indian kingdom, corresponding roughly in area with the region of Oudh. Its capital was Ayodhya. It was a powerful state in the 6th century B.C. but was weakened by a series of wars with the neighboring kingdom of Magadha and finally (4th cent. B.C.) absorbed by it. Kosala was the setting of much Sanskrit epic literature including the Ramayana. Buddha and Mahavira, founder of Jainism, taught in the kingdom.



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