An early copper coin of Ceylon. It is referred to in works of the fifth cen- tury and later, and is frequently alluded to under the name of Kahapana.
The English traveller, Robert Knox, who was in Ceylon from 1659 to 1679, and whose writings were published in 1681 by order of the East India Company, states that " the King's proper coin is called a pounam (panam) ; it is as small as a spangle; 75 make a piece of eight, or a Spanish Dollar." See also Rhys Davids (secs. 14-18).
In the coinage of ancient India the Pana, or Karshapana, as it is sometimes called, was based on the weight of eighty rati seeds, equivalent to one hundred and forty- four grains, or nearly nine and a half grammes. The name, like the Greek Drachma, means a " handful," and is derived from pani, the hand. See Cun- ningham (pp. 4-5, and 42-44).
The following table exhibits the names and weights of the early Indian coins in detail : Copper Coins Equivalent Weight Name in Rati in Seeds or Grains Cowries. Ardha-Kakini or one eighth Pana 10 18 Kakini or Vodri, or one quarter Pana 20 86 Ardhapana, or one half Pana 40 72 Pana or Karshapana 80 144 Dwi-pana, or two Panas 160 288 SILVER COINS Tang-ka, or Padika, or one quarter Karsha 8 14.4 Kona, or one half Karshas 16 28.8 Karshapana, Dharana, or Purana 32 57.6 Satamana or Pala, or ten Karshas 320 Gold Coins Fanam, or one tenth Pagoda 5.28 Mada, or one quarter Pagoda 13.20 Pratapa, or one half Pagoda 26.40 Pagoda, Varaha, or Hun 52.80 Karsha 57.60 Suvarna 140-144 Nishka, Pala, Satamana, or quadruple Suvarna 560-576
See Also: Pana
Source: Frey's Dictionary (American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 50, 1916)