Five various punchmarks, including a frog (Gupta/Hardaker very rare series III IX A 4 (seriest III IX was previously known only from 2 types), unpublished in Gupta/Hardaker - this coin should come between G/H #317 and #318) / Five various punchmarks (Gupta/Hardaker series II XV A 2, #289). 20mm, 3.4 grams.
This coin is a second series coin, the reverse of which was (at a later date) overstruck with the 5 symbols from the 3rd series. Both sides are attributable and clear, which is unusual for these. If you want tolearn more about these early karshapanas - please follow this link: http://www.ancientcoins.ca/magadha/index.htm All 2nd issue karshapanas are extremely rare - these coins are considered to be a transitional issue between the large-flan 1st issue (coinedunder Ajatashatru and his ancestors) and the smaller-flan 3rd issue.The 2nd issue is the smallest out of all the 7 Magadha-Maurya issues,and the rarest one of them all. It is also not well-studied because ofthe small number of specimens available in museum or on the market. Thesecoins are usually regarded as a transitional issue between issue I and issue III coins, and are usually dated to between ca.470 and 445 BC,i.e. between the later part of the reign of Ajatashatru and the reignof his successor Uddayina (461-445 BC). This attribution is somewhat tentative - it is likely that the period in which these coins were struck was actually shorter. What is so fascinating about them is thattheir reverses are virtually always overstruck by series III (and some series IV) coins - examples that were not overstruck survive in verysmall numbers, thus the rarity of these coins. Now, chronologically, itmeans that the series II coins could not have followed series I coinsdirectly, since series I coins are never found overstruck - it seemsthat series II coins circulated right after 470 BC in a relativelysmall region of the Magadhan Empire, but since no hoards of series II coins was ever discovered, this explanation is tentative and requires proof.