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Jul 18 2018 14:14 EST

Silver Coins of Chandragupta Vikramaditya#C-70

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One of the coins featured in my blogpost Sanskrit Couplets on Gupta Coins is a Kshatrap Type silver coin of Chandragupta vikramaditya. Silver coins of Chandragupta II are very rare, especially the kshatrap type silver coins.

After the scythian rulers of western punjab became the feudatories of Chandragupta and after driving back kidar kushan to the indus valley chandragupta vikramaditya concentrated on western part of India – the malwa region ruled by scythian king.

around AD 390 Chandragupta attacked shak kshatrap of malwa gujarat region. annexing this region will bring him more revenues and wealth since this region’s littoral towns were major centres of foreign trade. He not only defeated the scythian rules but also totally annihilated their power in india.

A major numismatic event to take place after the completion of annexing malwa, gujarat and saurashtra regions to gupta kingdom. chandragupta issued coins with his kshatrap type bust on obverse and on reverse he placed a garud (an eagle) in centre instead of chaitya and sun/star with brahmi legend around – imitating kshatrap fashion – param bhagwat maharajadhiraj chandragupta vikramaditya around the centre.

Conqueror minting the coins in the style of the conquered ones

since in the past satvahan kings overprinted (counter printed) the kshatrap coins with their own symbols. Chandragupt’s silver coin were just minted in the style of recently conqured kingdom’s. this will enable his administration to run the finanical affair effectively making way to gradually introducing gupt style coins for general circulation.

Imitation of Kushan Gold Coins?

Though there are enough evidence to suggest that by the time Chandragupt’s ancestor started their winning streak, consolidating the indian states into one gupta kingdoms Kushan power was dwindling.

at many places it is suggested that gupta kings imitated kushan coins, but the above fact should also be kept in mind while making a sweeping statement that the kushan coins were merely copied – to make the state’s financial matter more fluid and effective, the new king need to introduce an acceptable (or similar) currency of erstwhile rulers during initial phase of the new administration.

in my humble opinion, the kushan coins were not imitated because the artists were lacking in skills but for the above reasons. this is more pronounced when many types of beautifully designed gupta coins were minted with unique style and metrical legends with different weight standards.


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