Extremely rare type! Silver drachm of Mahapadma Nanda and his 8 sons (ca.345-320 BC), Magadha Empire, Ancient India (G/H 469)

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Five punch-marked symbols (see below) / Blank, a number of bankers' marks. Irregular flat silver plachet, 18mmx14mm, 3.30 grams. Hardaker ISPC series IV XXXV A 13 (#469).

Extremely rare type, rated XR in the G/H catalogue.

These silver coins with various punchmarks are the earliest silver Indian coins. Magadha was an ancient kingdom in India, mentioned in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It was also one of the four main kingdoms of India at the time of Buddha, having risen to power during the reigns of Bimbisara (c. 544-491 BCE) and his son Ajatashatru (c. 491-460 BCE). The core of the kingdom was that portion of Bihar lying south of the Ganges, with its capital at Rajagriha (modern Rajgir). Magadha expanded to include most of Bihar and parts of Bengal with the conquest of Anga, and then expanded up the Ganges valley annexing Kosala and Kashi. Magadha formed one of the sixteen so-called Mahajanapadas (Sanskrit, 'great country'). The Magadha empire included republican communities such as Rajakumara. Villages had their own assemblies under their local chiefs called Gramakas. Their administrations were divided into executive, judicial, and military functions. Bimbisara was friendly to both Jainism and Buddhism and suspended tolls at the river ferries for all ascetics after the Buddha was once stopped at the Ganges River for lack of money.



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