Rare silver 1/2 vimshatika, Kasala Janapada, c.600-470 BC, India (Rajgor-962)

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Irregular flat silver planchet, four punchmarks / Various bankers' punch symbols. 24mmx20mm, 2.71 grams. Rajgor Series 64 #962.

Rare early issue.

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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