Unique type with 3 punches - earliest large silver shatamana (double siglos or bent bar) issue, Gandhara (ca.600-500 BC) - FIRST Indian coin issue every struck! Medium type.

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Long concave silver bar, 34mm long, 11mm wide, struck with THREE 6-armed Gandharan symbols - one on each end and one in the middle. 11.35 grams. Rajgor 540-545 var.

A unique piece with three punches instead of two. The third punch was probably applied in error.

These fascinating large coins, equal to about 3 karshapanas, are the most likely candidates to be the very first Indian coins ever struck. During the 6th century BC Gandhara was a subject of the Achaemenid Empire (as known from an inscription dating to the times of Darius, ca.520-518 BC). The Achaemenids are likely to have introduced the native Gandharans to the idea of a struck coinage. The earliest Gandharan coins - shatamanas (=100 manas, the meaning is unknown, also known as "bent bars"), were probably based on a Achaemenid siglos standard, since the average weight of these shatamanas equals to the weight of 2 sigloi. From Gandhara, the idea of struck, or punchmarked, coinage spread south and soon the punchmarked coins were produced in many other regions of northern and central Indai. This theory concerning the first coins in India is quite widespread, though it is not accepted by everyone (some people prefer an idea of independent invention of coinage, and are against the idea of the foreign introduction). These shatamanas were issued over a long period of time, though it is uncertain when their production ended (Chandragupta Maurya conquered Gandhara around 300 BC, and the production of the independent Gandharana coinage did not continue pass that point). 



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