Lot 688. India, Magadha. 6th-5th centuries B.C. AR 25 mashas.
6th-5th centuries B.C. AR 25 mashas (24x23 mm, 5.46 g). Four official punches: central 6-arm symbol, sun, tree, triangle with four pellets, plus a banker's mark / Banker's mark. Gupta & Hardaker 0.19; MATEC -. Extremely rare. Toned. Nice very fine.
This coin belongs to the earliest, pre-karshapana issues of Magadha which are all extremely rare. They were not covered in Gupta and Hardaker's seminal work on the Magadha-Maurya coinage, although they have been included in the second edition published in 2014. The very first types featured only the central 6-arm symbol; this coin belongs to the second round of issues where the 6-arm symbol was supplemented with a sun and two other symbols. The denomination of 25 mashas was meant to weigh approximately 5.45 g, considerably heavier than the later 3.49 g karshapana.