Counter-Struck Coins – Existent Testimony of Wars

2016-09-23 Fri

Counter-striking is a phenomenon occurring on coins issued by one authority and later being re-struck by another authority. Counter-struck coins play crucial role in providing historical information about relative chronology, political conditions. Counter-striking is generally interpreted as a graphic indication of which king had the upper hand over a particular region.

Back in 1910’s in the outskirts of Nasik in Maharashtra; a hoard of 13,250 silver drachma of Nahapana of Western Kshatrapa were discovered. Of which, 9,270 coins were counter-struck by Gautamiputra Satakarni of Satavahana dynasty.

Constant political stifle of Kshatrapa and Satavahana rulers is known to us by their counter-struck coins. The rivalry is also known from other sources, including inscription. However, coins provided an acceptable testimony of swift changes that occurred in the political authority.

Numismatics refers to the original strike as ‘Under type’ and the new strike as ‘Over type’. When striking is done properly; it completely erases the original Under Type. But in this case, the parts of Under Type are clearly visible.

The coin in spotlight has a portrait of Nahapana along with corrupt Greek script; reverse has a dynastic emblem of thunderbolt and arrow along with legend in Brahmi and Kharosthi script. Gautamiputra Satakarni counter struck Nahapana coins with his own symbol of arched hill surrounded by a Prakrit legend giving his name on the obverse and reverse had Ujjain symbol.

These coins are the ultimate evidences of the might of Satavahana Empire as well as the contemporary political scenario.