The History of Punch Marked Coins

22 Aug 2019  Thu

The earliest coins developed in India were the Punch Marked Coins. These coins were originated during the 6th Century when silver was brought from the west. All the coins which were developed during that time were made of silver.

According to the passage of counterfeiters of coins (kutarupakaraka) in his Arthasastra, the book written by Kautilya during the 4th century has given the list of objects that were used to manufacture of coins. First, the metal was melted in crucibles known as Musha and then it was purified with alkalis. In the next step, the metals were beaten into the sheets of an anvil with a hammer. Later, these sheets were cut into the pieces with clippers. In the final step, the coins were punched with the die having symbols.

The shapes of these coins were in geometrical forms like round, oval and elliptical. The metal of the desired weight of the coin was melted and then poured on the earth or on some flat boards to take its shape. The punching device used to have only symbols like geometrical and floral patterns, hills, trees, birds, animals, reptiles, the human figure, etc. This technique of punching coins was very unique and thus such coins were known as Punch Marked Coins.

Image Courtesy: Todywalla Auction

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