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Stricking of Coins in Ancient India

Posted on December 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM



It is nowhere recorded in the extant literature how coins were manufactured in ancient India. However, Chanakya, the minister of Chandragupta Maurya, has referred in a passage to the counterfeiters of coins (Kutarupakaraka) in his Arthashastra, the book of state-craft, which was compiled in the 4th century B.C.


Therein, he has given a list of objects that were used in the manufacture of coins. Metals was first melted in cubicles (musha) and purified with alkalis (kshara). It was then beaten into sheets on an anvil (adhikarni) with a hammer (mushtika), cut into pieces with clippers (sandansa) and finally stamped with dies or punches having symbols (bimba-tanka).


Except for the automatic devices, almost the same process is used even today in the manufacture of coins in mints. The actual coins of the period also show that they were cut and clipped to adjust them into proper weights.

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