Ancient Indian Coin

By | July 29, 2017

Ancient Indian Coin

Ancient Indian Coin

Ancient Indian coins, this topic has some problem. The Problem is before British came what to be call India? Are we considering modern India as India for old coin? Coin history of this geographical area is much older than age of modern India, even British India.

One solution may be if we consider current Indian subcontinent as “India”. Then  coin this area maybe consider  as Ancient Indian coin . This will have much more meaningful  and can cover almost geographical area.

In India first currency was Cowry. In old mythology and stories we found  Cowry/ “Kowry” is used as currency. Seems like Cowry used as coin.  Stone and metal coins came after .

The lost city Dwaraka , probably exist around 2500 BC , use the stone currency or “Mudra” . Seems like in Indian languages “Mudra”  came from there which means Money, currency.

Historian said in Indus Valley Civilization they currency  . But finally from Mauryan Empire minting of regular currency started.

Few interesting things of Ancient Indian coin you may not know

a) in ancient India coins shape was round , square,rectangle, all was not only round .
b) Copper , silver , bronze and gold was primary metal of coin
c) sometimes kings mint new coins with their image and taken name .
d) in Ancient Indian coin we found Indian shows believe in God . Often  Hindu , Buddhist and Islamic believes are engraved in the coin.

Want to start , our guide 

Few Ancient Indian coins

Stone Coins  – 2500 BC

Ancient Indian Coin - Stone Coins

Around 2500 BC stone coins was in use , after age of Cowry stone age of currency started in ancient India .

Shakya Janapada Silver 5-shana – 500 BC

This is coin from Shakya Janapada, which is northern part of India and southern part of Nepal, it’s the place where Buddha born and this coin is almost from same age , Its made of silver , it’s a punched mark coin , means by punching image on large sheet of silver its beaning created .

Value of Coin guide

Gandhara janapada, Silver satamana 500 – 400 BC

Gandhara janapada silver coin

This is from the Janapad Gandhara , currently in northern part of Pakistan , Gandhar was in touch with western civilization (Greek) so their coins and culture has mixed up of Indian and western culture.

It’s a silver punch coin .The shape of the coin  almost different  compare to other , this shape is called “bent bar”.


Gupta dynasty (Samudra  Gupta) – 450 BC


In Ancient India Gupta dynasty was one of the famous dynasty , and their age is called golden age , their cold coin literally symbol of their economic strength .Probably first Ancient Indian gold Coin minted this time.

Magadha janapada, Silver karshapana – 400 BC

this is one of 16 Janapad of Ancient India , and lots of famous kings from India was basically ruler of Magadha , including Ashaka .This is a silver punched coin, Five Symbol punched in the coin .
Signification of those images yet not clear to historian.


Surasena janapada, Silver 12 karshapana – 400 BC

Some conflict is there about this coin some said this is fro, Surasena Janapada ,Some said from Avanti, it’s made of silver and fish and lion are visible on the coin .

 Want to sell collection , few important things for you

Bactria, Seleucid, Seleucos I Silver tetradrachm -290 BC

This is probably the first foreign coin in India , After Alejandra the great Seleucid became king and this coin is from his age .It’s a silver coin ,one side Zeus the Greek god of sky and thunder and in another side, Athena the Greek goddess driving elephant chariot can be seen.

Some Greek coin also listed in eBay, so you can checkout may be you can found your desire one .

Mauryan Empire Silver karshapana 250 BC

Maurya empire of ancient India was the biggest empire, their area was larger than modern India, before them no empire was so big, the great Ashoka was one of the great king from this Empire . After Kalinga War he started Dharma Bijay, in place of war,since then he send message of space to the world , by his active support Buddhist spread thought out the world .
This  silver coin is a punch coin . Fore symbol punched on the coin. Three of symbol in one side and another one symbol is on other side . You can have a look in eBay  , yet few coins available there .

Bactrian Kingdom, Diodotos I or II=250-230 bc

After death of Seleucid ,Diodotus I make his territory free from Seleucid rule. The coin we are talking is from his age.
It’s a Greek gold coin , in one side face of Diodotus I Soters and in another side Zeus holding aegis.


If we think of India, the modern India came to our mind, but actually concept of modern India came after India became free from British, before British rule and even if we check long way back lots of small states are there, in this article we mainly talked about coins from sixteen janapada , and Greek, roman  coins that come to India after Alexander came to India .
In conclusion  we can say this territory has a long history, and coins of this area are sample of its own history, which reflects economic state, religion belief and great heritage mix culture. You can get more information in related books , available on many online store  check out Amazon  and flipkart.

Do You Know ?

What was the first currency in ancient India ?

Well in ancient India current does not start with coin. Its Cowry used same like coin therefore Cowry  was the first Indian currency.

What materiel used in creating coin in India  ?

Copper , Bronze , Silver and Gold are raw martial of Ancient Indian Coin .

What are most rare Indian coins of modern India?

1. 1992 – Land-Vital Resource issue : 2 rupee coin
2. 1996 – 2nd International Crop Science Congress Commemoration issue: 5 rupee coin

as a result of  error these coins those became so costly .

How Rupee name come to Indian currency ?

in Sanskrit there is a word  rūpya, whic is the origin of Rupee. rūpya means  “wrought silver, a coin of silver”.

Which country use name Rupee as currency name ?

Interestingly lots of country use same name . In addition India ,Pakistan,Nepal and  Sri Lanka other countries like   Indonesia, Maldives, Mauritius,Seychelles use Rupee word. Probably  Buddhist spread it around the world  .

Who created Indian Rupee Symbol ?

Indian Rupee Symbol () designed by  D. Udaya Kumar,therefore he is the designer of Indian rupee symbol


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