Journal of Applied Spectroscopy

, Volume 86, Issue 5, pp 948–954 | Cite as

Analysis of Kushan Coins (1st–3rd Centuries C.E.) by Multi-Spectroscopic Techniques

  • D. Mamania
  • M. R. SinghEmail author

Seven Indian copper coins of the Kushan Period (1st–3rd centuries C.E.) were studied by multi-analytical techniques like WD-XRF, XRD, and FESEM-EDX to understand coin composition and the metallurgical process of fabrication. Analytical results reveal a compositional gradient in the distribution of elements between the external surface and the inner core of the coins, and the coins show isolated patches of surface mineralization leading to the formation of copper oxides, magnesium silicate, and silica. The analysis also showed the probable use of sulfide ore of copper for smelting and poor workmanship for this hoard. The impurities like sulfur, iron, silica, etc. could not be removed due to low firing temperature and improper poling during smelting. Striations have formed in the coin interior, with grain boundaries showing micro-cracks due to stress like punching or hammering with the die. The coins under study are a single-phase copper with associated impurities of Si, Al, P, and Mg in all coins and black spots of copper sulfide in coin inner core.


Kushan striation WD-XRF copper sulfide composition gradient magnesium silicate 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.II Tian’s Pace and Pace Junior Science CollegeMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.National Museum InstituteJanpathIndia

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