A Mauryan silver karshapana; it may or may not be one of the earliest issue, c.320-270

Source: http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/coinindia/store/viewitem.asp?idProduct=109
(downloaded May 2007)

"MAURYA: Series Va punchmarked silver karshapana. Obverse: Five official punches. Reverse: Trace of one unofficial banker's mark. Date: c. 4th-3rd century BCE. Weight  3.14 gm. Dimensions: 13 x 13 mm. Comments  According to Gupta and Hardaker, the Series Va coins are the initial issues of the growing Maurya empire. They date these coins to c. 320-270 BCE, the time of Chandragupta Maurya and Bindusara."

A typical Mauryan silver karshapana; these coins may or may not be assignable, on the basis of their designs, to different rulers

Source: http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/dltcoins/store/viewitem.asp?idProduct=1521
(downloaded May 2007)

"India, Mauryan Empire; AR Karshapana, c.321-187 BC. Mint  (Pataliputra ?). Obverse  Five punches: stupa/ peacock-on-hill/ balance + sun & 6-armed symbol. Reverse  Peacock-on-hill. Weight  3.23gm Diameter  14x12mm "
[Image and description courtesy of *David L. Tranbarger Rare Coins*.]

Another example of a Mauryan silver karshapana

Source: http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/dltcoins/store/viewitem.asp?idProduct=1540
(downloaded May 2007)

"Mauryan Empire, AR Karshapana, c. 321-187 BC. Mint: (Pataliputra ?). Obverse: Five punches: stupa/ tree-in-railing/ bull + sun & 6-armed symbol. Reverse: Septa-radiate symbol. Weight 3.37gm. Diameter 14x13mm square. Reference   MACW 4195-4196; attributed to Samprati, 216-207 BC. Mitchiner, in his Oriental Coins and their Values: The Ancient and Classical World (MACW) attributes various sets of marks to specific Mauryan rulers. His attribution is given above. Mitchiner's attributions, however, are not widely accepted and most scholars in the field do not believe that the current state of knowledge is sufficient to assign these coins to specific rulers."
[Image and description courtesy of *David L. Tranbarger Rare Coins*.]

One more example of a Mauryan silver karshapana

Source: http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/nemesis/store/viewitem.asp?idProduct=9656
(downloaded Aug. 2008)

Three Ashokan (?) coins, and an analysis that shows how the tentative identifications are made

Three different silver Karshapanas, measuring (from left to right) 13 mm, 15 mm and 15 mm.
Each coin has on the obverse five individual punches:

All Mauryan silver karshapanas show the first two symbols, the sun and some form of the six-armed symbol.  The third symbol, the "hills", is thought the indicate the main mint at the time of Asoka.  The fourth symbol, composed of six semi-circles, is thought to represent the regal symbol of Asoka.  The fifth symbol is variable and may indicate a particular coinage issue.
Source of coins and interpretive commentary both: http://members.aol.com/dkaplan888/asok.htm
(downloaded April 2001)

A contemporary coin of the city-state Tripuri, with a legend in Ashokan Brahmi

Source: http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/coinindia/store/viewitem.asp?idProduct=807
(downloaded Apr. 2008)

"INDIA, ANCIENT CITY-STATES, TRIPURI. Potin uniface karshapana. Very rare. Obverse: Hollow cross at top right, chaitya, or crescented three-arch hill, below, legend in Ashokan Brahmi at left: Tipuri. Reverse: Blank. Date c. 3rd century BCE. Weight  6.91 gm. Diameter  19-20 mm."

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