Coin - FAR2018-029.104_1



Medium:Stamped Silver
Geography: Kalinga, India
Date: 500-260 BC
Period: Pre-Empire
Ht. 2 x Wt. 1.5 cm
Object number: 2021.105.87
Credit Line: Dr. Donald P. McIntyre Collection of South Asian Coins. Gift of Bruce McIntyre. Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur l'exportation et l'importation de biens culturels.
Not on view

This coin is an excellent example of the Kalinga Janapada and shows punch marks of an elephant and pinwheel form with dots.

Indian coins hold a unique place in the field of Numismatics. It is one of the earliest places in the world to issue coins (along with Greece and China) and no other region rivals India for the sheer diversity of coins in terms of their shapes, sizes, motifs, materials, and techniques. Further, unlike Greece and China, India has no surviving written history prior to the 15th century, and so material evidence such as inscriptions on monuments and coins serve as the only written texts with which to reconstruct a historical account of the region.

Coins began to be issued in the Indian subcontinent around 600 BCE, first in the region of Gandhara in the northwest and then spreading to other political territories, known as janapadas, across what is today north and northeastern India. Coins from this early period were all produced from sheets of silver that were cut down into standard weights and punch marked with different signs corresponding to political territories and bankers’ marks. No two are exactly alike, but certain consistencies can be observed when there is a large sample set. Most coins consisted of 5 punch marks and each territory had consistent symbols.

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