TAXILA/PUSHKALAVATI, copper 1/4 karshapana, c. 200-160 BC


TAXILA/PUSHKALAVATI REGION, 1/4 karshapana, c. 200-160 BC, Obverse: elephant L, moon over hills before, Reverse: blank, rectangular, copper, 14x11mm, 2.28g, unlited in Mitchiner, crusty, VG

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The earliest Taxila coins had the same designs, more or less, on both sides.

Taxila, not far from Islamabad in Pakistan, found itself on its own late in the 3rd century BC. Among other local initiatives, it created a copper currency for itself.

The earliest ancient Indian coins were the “bent bar” punchmarked silvers of the Achaemenid Persians occupying Gandhara in northwest Pakistan. By the 3rd century BC coins were in general use in most of India and Ceylon, and in subsequent centuries struck round coins in gold, silver, and copper came into use throughout the subcontinent and beyond to Southeast Asia and Pacific islands to Java and beyond.