Making of Punch marked coins

28 Apr 2018  Sat

Have you ever seen some irregular shaped coin with small punches on it? Well, these coins are known as Punched Marked Coins. Punched marked coins are stamped with small individual die - small punches with small symbols. But do you have any idea how these punch-marked coins were made, what was the process of its minting?

Today we will be discussing about the process of Punch marked coins.

  The story of Punch marked coins will take you back to the 6th Century B.C. It was cut in irregular shapes and consist prescribed weight. Such types of coins were minted by Mahajanapadas. Some of the coins were struck with a single punch and some of this coin used to have multiple punches. These coins were made with a silver of prevailing standard.

  The metal was first melted in crucible known as ‘Musha’ and then it used to be purified with Alkalis (Kshara). After this, the metal used to be beaten into the sheets on an anvil (Adhikarni) and with a hammer (Mushtika) and then cut into pieces with clippers (Sandansha) and finally it used to stamp with dies and punches having the symbol. After it if the weight is not proper, they were cut and clipped to adjust to a proper weight.

 Punch marked coins did not have the inscription, but instead they had symbols. Some of the examples of these symbols are geometrical, floral patterns, animals, bird, trees, hills, human figure etc.

  Image Courtesy: Todywalla Auction